Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

19 Adar 5761 - March 14, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Lecture Cancelled Because of Stone Throwing
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

On a visit to Lebanon last July, Columbia University professor Edward Said, a famous literary critic and champion of the Palestinian cause, was photographed throwing stones at Israeli army positions in Lebanon. Now his acts have resulted in the cancellation of a lecture that he was due to give in Vienna.

Said is a Palestinian Arab who has taught at Columbia University as a professor of English and comparative literature for more than 30 years. He is an active and articulate supporter of the Palestinian cause. His intellect and power of persuasion is such that he usually has a visible influence on the students in his courses and even many Jewish students leave them with a decided sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

A senior member of the University and of the New York literary establishment, Said has written and lectured in a number of areas. He was due to give a lecture in Vienna before the Freud Society of Vienna on May 6, the anniversary of Freud's birth. However, after members of the Society saw a photograph of him in the act of throwing a stone at an Israeli guardhouse last July, the invitation was withdrawn, according to a report in the New York Times.

In early February, Johann August Schulein, the society's president, wrote to Mr. Said and canceled the invitation because of "the political development in the Middle East and the consequences expected."

Mr. Said called his stone throwing a "symbolic gesture of joy" at the end of Israel's occupation of Lebanon.

During the period that Mr. Said visited Lebanon, dozens of Palestinians came daily to the fence that separated Israel and Lebanon and threw stones at Israeli soldiers and farmers. Many times the stones just fell ineffectually but on occasion they caused damage and injuries.

Displaying his flair for presenting his side, Mr. Said told the Times, "Freud was hounded out of Vienna because he was a Jew. Now I am hounded out because I'm a Palestinian."

But the Freud society said simply that it did not feel comfortable hearing a speaker who also throws stones against Israeli soldiers. Mr. Schulein said that a majority of the society's 18 board members voted to withdraw the invitation, but he would not give the exact vote.


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