The AFP News Agency published a photo depicting Professor
Edward Said, a prominent professor at Columbia University in
New York City and a former president of the U.S. Modern
Language Association, throwing stones from Lebanon at IDF
soldiers stationed at the Fatma Crossing in Metulla.
Said is a leading intellectual and internationally recognized
critic whose opinions continue to impact east-west studies,
particularly with respect to Israel and the Palestinians.
Said, whose writings often take issue with what he terms
Western stereotypes that diminish Arabs as primitive and
violent, acknowledged throwing stones at Israel's border
fence, but he says it was a harmless act of joy. In a
statement dated July 6 and faxed to Jerusalem from his
Columbia University office, Said acknowledged he was the man
in sunglasses tossing stones on July 3. "For a moment I
joined in: the spirit of the place infected everyone with the
same impulse, to make a symbolic gesture of joy that the
occupation had ended," Said wrote.
Said was photographed among Lebanese who show up daily to
celebrate Israel's troop withdrawal from south Lebanon by
stoning the new fence between the countries. Israel has
complained the stonings violate the U.N. resolutions that
mandated the end of its 18-year occupation of south Lebanon.
Since the troop withdrawal in May, several soldiers and
others have been injured in the stonings.
Morton A. Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of
America, stressed that "there is no such thing as `symbolic'
rock throwing just as there is no such thing as a `symbolic'
stabbing or shooting. Bullets, knives, and rocks can kill and
maim. Eight Israelis have been killed, and thousands maimed,
by Arab rock throwing attacks. If Edward Said threw rocks at
people in the United States, he could face a lengthy prison