[(Continued from p.11)]case alone. The Pollard case should not be, as Israel and theJewish community have disastrously made it, part of the negotiating process with the American administration and the PLO. The Ledger editorial puts it well: "At the Wye River Plantation negotiations, for example, President Clinton first pledged to pardon Pollard in exchange for Israel's cooperation in the talks and then reneged on that agreement...Even though Pollard wasn't released, there was a real cost to Israel in that the issue affected the relative bargaining positions of the sides involved. This is what can happen when extraneous issues are insinuated into a negotiating process....If Yasser Arafat had agreed to Israeli concessions [at Camp David] the Pollard clemency might again have been one of the chips on the negotiating table for Bill Clinton to use as he did at Wye. The issue means little to the Arabs, but because it has been given so much prominence here, it is meaningful to many Jewish voters. What price to put on those votes? An extra square mile or so in Jerusalem? A larger portion of the Jordan Valley? A settlement or two?"
Pollard's release should not be a bargaining chip to weaken Israel; surely Pollard himself would not wish this to be the case.
Edward Said's foray into stone throwing on
the Lebanese border (according to the London
Telegraph, he threw a stone at Israeli soldiers from a distance
of less than 30 feet) seems to have caused more
controversy at his Columbia home base than his
misrepresentations concerning his status as a supposed Palestinian
refugee. The Columbia Spectator, the student paper, actually published an editorial condemning his behavior. But what is most interesting is Said's bizarre role in publicizing his own misbehavior.
When the famous photograph was first published, it was believed to have been taken by a French Press Agency photographer. Said responded to its publication via Columbia's Office of Public Affairs: "I had no idea that media people were there, or that I was the object of attention." But then, two Columbia professors called the French Press Agency only to discover that Said himself had delivered the photo to the news agency! Asked about this development, Said had a graduate student respond that he had no further comment.
Otherwise, Said remains his normal vituperative self. In a clash with Israel's far-left Meron Benveniste (it's a pleasure to see two men who deserve each other have a go at one another), he accuses Benveniste (a tireless foe of Israeli residents in Judea and Samaria) of participating in "ethnic cleansing" in 1967 ("the forced removal of hundreds of Palestinians in order to clear the space before the Western Wall") and declares: "That he feels no guilt or even embarrassment nevertheless strikes me in the end as being as uninteresting as the details of his family's history which he regales us with shamelessly in the process of slandering mine. He neither has a consciousness of who he is, nor a capacity for orderly and consequential thought."
This is the man elected President of the Modern Language Association and Columbia "University Professor" -- as Columbia Spectator points out, a special honor given only nine of a total of 2872 full time professors at Columbia.
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Outpost - 12 - October 2000