The Politics Of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination 1969-1994: Struggle for Palestinian Self-determination, 1969-94 Paperback – 15 Jun 1995
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"[Said’s] combination of flamboyant style and erudite radicalism, honesty and advocacy… makes The Politics of Dispossession necessary and informative for anyone interested in the complexities of the Palestinian question." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Radical, cogent, compelling" (Guardian)
"Said has been the most cogent and eloquent defender of the Palestinians and their right to self-determination... This fine book shows him to be an angry man; it also shows he has much to be angry about" (Ian Gilmour Observer)
"Anyone who wants to engage with an author who has lived the contradictions of an intellectual in politics, or who wishes to understand the deep motivations of the Palestinian national movement, has a duty to read this book and will incur a debt to the man who wrote it" (Christopher Hitchens)
Said’s collected essays are incontestable proof of his status as the best writer on the Palestinian struggle, offering passionate, and thoroughly knowledgeable critique of this critical issue.See all Product description
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It was hard for me to read these essays without getting angry: at the self-serving lies of Israeli apologists, at the cynicism of every US administration, at the sheer stupidity and venality of Palestinian leadership (so-called!).
Israel will never make peace with the Palestinians through negotiations as long as the US continues to subsidize Israel. Where is the incentive?
I fault Said for timidity in not elaborating on HOW Palestinians should prosecute their struggle. It is long past time that Palestinians accept that depending on their "Arab brothers" is going to get them nothing and nowhere. None of the essays helped me to understand how Said proposes to get Israel to allow Palestinian self-determination and statehood.
I also fault Said for his failure to mobilize any organized opposition the Israel Lobby in the US. Said may be much-celebrated in a certain small left-leaning ghetto of the intelligentsia, but he is a marginal figure in national politics and the debate (very little allowed) on Israel. The Lobby is powerful, yes. But the Israel Lobby does nothing illegal: it peddles influence and money and thereby influences politics in its favor, and nothing prevents a Palestinian Lobby from adopting similar tactics and emulating the Israel Lobby. The surest, perhaps the only, way to Palestinian self-determination is to change US policy towards Israel.
Said's (pronounced Sayid)--a Palestinian Arab of Christian descent--was that rare voice which informed the world of the Zionist duplicity, in a way that laid bare the untold sufferings of over 4 million of its inhabitants in the most lucid manner possible. For over three decades, Said's was a lone cry in the New Yorkian wilderness, which drew attention to the State of Israel's Ocean liner of lies ever since (and even before) it came into existence.
Said's pain and melancholy comes through, etched in every page of this book and makes for frightful reading. Given the supposed openness of the media in democratic nation-states, it's shocking how through over 5 decades, the combined might of Zionism's religious fanaticism, the traditional incompetence of ruling monarchies in the Arab world, the West's moral ambivalence to call the Israeli spade a bloody shovel and the Zionist lobby in Washington have been able to keep an entire nation of millions in a sort of permanent exile.
This book neatly divided in 3 parts critiques everything that is wrong and tragic about the Palestinian movement with merciless felicity and attention to detail that a proper understanding of this cause deserves. Of course, he is severe (and justifiably so) on Israel, but it is his attacks on the rest of the Arab world and the dishonest intellectuals of the western world that makes for fascinating reading. Truly, an intellectual like Said, rarely ever loses his relevance or goes out of fashion. This book is a priceless gem, to be read and re-read by anyone who wants to move beyond standard middle-east explanations, terrorism clichés and the rhetoric of "with us or against us".