By John Randolph LeBlanc (auth.)
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Extra info for Edward Said on the Prospects of Peace in Palestine and Israel
But he sees in the work of contemporary historians of classical humanism the emergence of a critical awareness—complete with a postcolonial eye, in which iconic figures like Petrarch and Boccacio lauded the “human” and yet were not even stirred into opposition to the Mediterranean slave trade. 84 These critical currents need not require a rejection of the values humanism claimed to articulate, but they do contextualize any assumptions we may make about the sacrosanct character of classical humanism’s content and, in our post-Enlightenment mode, its universality.
For those who embrace the well-established narrative, Palestinians lives and attachments to the land are demographic inconveniences whose human presence is easily lost in the power and magnitude of the ZionistJewish narrative. There is a relationship between human community and place and, most often, between particular communities and particular places. In the extant case, there is an intimate connection between being Jewish and being on this land. Similarly, being Palestinian is connected to this land and deeply problematized by being chased off it 42 E D WARD SAID ON T HE P ROSP E CT S O F PEAC E or being consigned to second-class citizenship.
The democratic task of the critic is to (re)define situations and, in so doing, discern the possibilities for active intervention. ”87 Negotiating the common project is the stuff of a democratic politics. Said gives examples of three struggles the intellectual must engage in, in order to preserve the possibilities of a democratic politics. ” The point is that our political spaces be open without the threat of sanction from God or colonial masters or some other brooding superpower omnipresence. Out of this first struggle, Said seeks to replace the Hobbesian Leviathan with a critical human context, that is, with perspectives that politically maturing democratic people can use to contextualize their own political interactions.
Edward Said on the Prospects of Peace in Palestine and Israel by John Randolph LeBlanc (auth.)