On Dignity and Solidarity: Scholar, Activist, Palestinian, Edward Said Speaks Out in One of His Last Major Addresses

StoryOctober 20, 2003
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We spend the hour hearing a speech by the late Palestinian scholar, activist and intellectual, professor Edward Said. He died three weeks ago at the age of 67 after a decade-long battle with leukemia. Speaking of the Palestinian struggle, he says, “It is a just cause, a noble ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights.”

The Israel Air Force launched three air strikes in Gaza City in the space of several hours today, killing two members of the Hamas military wing and a bystander. At least 23 others were wounded in the attacks including 4 children and a 70 year-old woman. The strike comes hours after three Israeli soldiers were killed and one injured in a shooting ambush near Ramallah on Sunday evening. Two right-wing Israeli ministers called for Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s exile after militants affiliated with his Fatah movement claimed responsibility for the attack.

An official in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade said that the ambush was in response to Israeli crimes, in particular the “death and destruction in Rafah.”

14 Palestinians were killed and thousands left homeless following Israeli raids in Rafah in the Gaza Strip last week. Up to 120 homes were demolished in the raids which were codenamed Operation Root Canal. One UN official told the BBC, Gaza looked like it had been hit by a severe earthquake.

On Wednesday, three American security guards traveling with a U.S. diplomatic convoy were killed in a bomb blast in the Gaza Strip. The bombing was the first to target Americans during the three-year Intifada. Palestinian police arrested three people for their role in the bombing. Washington sent FBI investigators to the area in response and called on all Americans to leave Gaza.

The blast occurred just hours after the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s construction of a massive wall through the West Bank. The vote marked the second time in a month that the U.S. used its veto to block a resolution criticizing Israel.

Today we spend the hour hearing a speech by the late Palestinian scholar, activist and intellectual Edward Said. He died three weeks ago after a decade-long battle with leukemia. He was 67 years old. His death came just days before the third anniversary of the Palestinian Intifada, or uprising.

Said was a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and the author of over a dozen books, including Peace and its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process, Culture and Imperialism and Orientalism. His writings have been translated into 26 languages. He was a frequent guest on Democracy Now! and other Pacifica programs and a great fighter for voiceless victims around the world.

Today we spend the hour listening to Edward Said speaking at one of his last major addresses. He spoke on June 15, at the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s annual conference.

  • Professor Edward Said, speaking at the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s annual conference on June 15, 2003.

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