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Zionism without Zionism: the Jacqueline Rose--Edward said exchange.

In a gesture that is certain to infuriate some and confuse others, the Jewish literary critic Jacqueline Rose dedicates her recent book, The Question of Zion, to the late Palestinian-American critic Edward W. Said. (1) Said himself never had the opportunity to comment on Rose's book, Rose informs her readers in an essay titled 'The Question of Zionism: Continuing the Dialogue', (recently published in Edward Said: Continuing the Conversation (2)), as Said died a mere four days after she delivered a copy of the manuscript to him. Thus Rose never learned of his reaction to her work, which was dedicated to him and written as a response to his now classic text The Question of Palestine. (3) Apart from these sources, the relation between Rose and Said is documented in an interview that Rose conducted with Said, titled 'Returning to Ourselves' (republished in Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews With Edward W. Said (4)), and in Said's Freud and the Non-European, (5) which includes Rose's response to Said's controversial public lecture at the Freud House in London. (6)

In this article, I explore the complex relation between Rose and Said as documented in these various texts. They offer a privileged glimpse into current problems in dialogues between Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews, as well as Diaspora Jews like Rose. Not unlike the late French theorist Jacques Derrida, Rose attempts to rethink, or 'deconstruct', Zionism from within Zionist ideology. However, whereas Derrida in curmudgeonly fashion informs his readers that they are free to take or leave his mostly undemocratic views about Zionism, (7) Rose more apologetically seeks to recover forgotten auto-critiques of Zionism articulated by influential Jewish figures such as Martin Buber, Hannah Arendt, Gershom Scholem and others. Although we will never know in precise terms how Said might have responded to Rose's The Question of Zion, the many texts produced by Said over the years, especially his recent interviews and various journalistic essays, give us a fairly good indication of how he might have reacted.

Before commenting on Rose's The Question of Zion, it may be helpful to briefly overview the exchange between Rose and Said regarding the question of Sigmund Freud's Jewish identity and, by extension, the alleged Jewish dimensions of Freudian psychoanalysis. This detour is needed to clarify Rose's position on the issue of Jewish exceptionalism and how it is represented in The Question of Zion. Although Rose had the opportunity to respond to Said's lecture Freud and the Non-European, Said offered no documented counter-response to Rose's 'Response' that I have been able to locate. In effect, Said's lecture on Freud counters recent readings of Freud by Jewish critics like Emanuel Rice, Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi and Derrida, who have all insisted upon the irreducibility of Freud's personal identity as a Jew. (8) These various interpretations of Freud's Jewishness also rebut Peter Gay's influential thesis that Freud was an unapologetic atheist and rational philosophe, or that he was a 'godless Jew', as Freud himself once put it. (9)

Along with the prominent Egyptologist Jan Assmann, (10) Said enters into the fray of recent debates about Freud's Jewishness by insisting upon Freud's commitments to European humanist thought. Rose rejects Said's view in this regard and, more or less, lines up with Rice, Yerushalmi and Derrida by suggesting that Freud's relationship to his Jewishness is more fundamental than Said allows. (11) While Said, like Derrida and other poststructuralists, affirms a universal doctrine of the trace in his lecture on Freud, Said certainly does not--unlike Derrida--assert that the figure of the Messianic Jew can serve as an appropriate marker of universal human identity, one that may supersede the Kantian subject of UN law and human rights. (12) In other words, the trace for Derrida is always-already a codeword for the Jewish milah (the 'Abrahamic' cut/name) that is both inclusive and exclusive, (13) whereas Said emphasizes the universality of what he calls the 'secular' trace as a generalized experience of psychological trauma, one that is undergone by all peoples everywhere. (14)

While Said insists that the trace (or 'wound') may be construed as a fitting token of an existential experience that is the ultimate guarantee of our membership in the human community, Rose turns this shared recognition in a more psychoanalytic direction by claiming that the trauma resulting from one's insertion into the realm of the symbolic mainly fosters in us the unconscious urge to react against the interpellative violence of the other. In Rose's view, Said is naive about the more detrimental aspects of this traumatic psychological experience, namely how it gives rise to the human urge to seek vengeance as a result of our having been so badly traumatized by the other. Rose therefore claims to offer a more 'realistic' perspective than the allegedly 'idealistic' view of the trace proposed by Said in his reading of Freud. However, in Rose's response to Said, the historical context that forms the backdrop to this critical exchange remains unarticulated, specifically the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If one keeps this historical context

in mind, Rose's critique of Said seems to be as follows: 'If Israeli Jews were to allow the specificity of their Jewish identity to be subsumed in the more general or universal way that Said proposes, they would by no means enjoy the cosmopolitan identity that Said idealistically affirms. Instead, they would find themselves subject to retaliation at the hands of Palestinian Arabs, whom they have traumatized for more than fifty years now'. I am obviously paraphrasing Rose's response to Said in a cruder way than she would appreciate, but my rapid formulation is not inaccurate, for such questions are germinal to this important critical exchange, even if Rose prefers to mute them.

These difficult questions are explored in more explicit terms in an interview with Said conducted by Ari Shavit, an Israeli Jew, in 2000, and republished in Power, Politics, and Culture. (15) Rose tends to soften some of the more difficult political issues in her friendly exchange with Said through the use of qualifying adjectives and other rhetorical niceties, but I would argue here that there is finally no escaping them, and it is better to be forthright about this. In fact, such questions reveal the furthest limits of current progressive exchange between opposing sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and they should therefore be investigated in greater detail.

In order to adequately comprehend the doctrine of the trace, which is affirmed by Said in a secular and universal sense, it is important to remember that what Derrida calls the 'gramma', wound or trace is yet another word for circumcision, which Jews have historically asserted is a unique marker of Jewish identity, or a privileged sign of the Abrahamic covenant. But as Freud points out in his Moses and Monotheism, (16) and as Egyptologists like Assmann never tire of confirming, circumcision existed in the ancient world long before it became a privileged marker of Jewish identity. (17) In Africa and the Middle East today there is nothing particularly unique about this ancient rite, which has been practised longer than any human record can ascertain in countless tribal contexts. In other words, if circumcision is an exclusively Jewish rite, it is unique largely for those Jews living within an historically European setting where it has been abhorred from ancient times, and not an African or Middle Eastern one. As an Arab man with a foot in both worlds, Said is certainly aware of this fact, and he therefore has no problem affirming that circumcision need not be construed as a uniquely Jewish ritual, any more than Freudian psychoanalysis must necessarily be defined in the Arab context as a uniquely 'Jewish science'. For Said, the question of the Jews' exceptional status is instead relative to particular historical and social contexts, namely those contexts outside of its place of historical origin. From a Middle Eastern or African perspective, Jewish tribal identity is neither particularly problematic nor exceptional. In such contexts, the Jews are simply perceived as one more ethnic tribe among various others, a fact that even unabashedly Zionist Jews like Thomas Friedman regularly assert. (18) Because Rose insists upon the more exclusive aspects of the doctrine of the trace, as if tribal cutting is only a shibboleth and not also a marker of universal human identity (despite the fact that 'writing' of this order is, by and large, performed only by human beings), she unavoidably reinforces the ethnocentric notion of Jewish particularity, something that both Freud and Said sought to transcend in more universalistic directions. It is my contention that Rose is motivated in this respect not only because of her beliefs in Jewish doctrines of tribal election, as Emanuele Ottolenghi has charged, (19) but also because of her anxieties over the possibility of future Arab retaliation against Israeli Jews for the dispossession of the Palestinians.

In fact, Said honestly shares Rose's anxieties in this respect and says so very forthrightly in the interview cited above, which is entitled 'My Right of Return'; that is, Said knows very well that Israeli Jews may be subject to future retaliation from Levantine Arabs for the historical dispossession of the Palestinians, but he unequivocally states that Israeli Jews must eventually come to realize that their anxiety about Arab retaliation is something with which they must learn to live. Three years before Rose's recorded response to Said's lecture on Freud, Said stated bluntly that this form of anxiety is preferable to the anxiety under which the Jews currently live as a result of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, and the prior dispossession of the Palestinians in the early days of Israel's formation, from which Said's own family suffered. Ari Shavit asks Said the following question: 'Knowing the region and given the history of the conflict, do you think such a Jewish minority [in an Arab-dominated Palestinian state] would be treated fairly?' (20) Shavit's question is the central, albeit unstated, issue at stake in the Rose-Said exchange, and the anxiety it provokes is understandable. In response to Shavit's question, Said states clearly: 'I worry about [possible retaliation against the Jews]. The history of minorities in the Middle East has not been as bad as Europe, but I wonder what would happen [to them]. It worries me a great deal. The question of what is going to be the fate of the Jews is very difficult for me. I really don't know. It worries me'. (21) Three times in this brief response, Said states that this difficult question worries him. It obviously worries Rose too. However, the difference between Rose and Said is that Rose's anxiety is so great that she is unwilling to take the risk that Said is more than willing to take, namely the risk of embracing Arab-Islamic identity.

As a matter of fact, Rose's view seems to be identical to that of Derrida, who enjoyed speaking of his own 'Arab Jewish' identity but never referred to himself as a 'Jewish Arab'. (22) This is the crucial question that both Rose and Derrida will decline from answering in any affirmative sense: 'Are you willing to become a Jewish Arab?' However, this is precisely what Said is urging Israeli Jews to become, Jewish Arabs. Said states this opinion quite bluntly in his interview with Shavit: 'My definition of pan-Arabism would comprise the other communities within an Arab-Islamic framework. Including the Jews'. (23) When Shavit says that many Jews would find this frightening, Said replies, 'As a Jew, you obviously have good reasons to be afraid. But in the long run, one should move towards less rather than more anxiety'. (24) In fact, Said insists that Jews would gain significant benefits by affirming Arabism, including--beyond the promise of peace and security--greater mobility and a truly 'open life' in the region. The prospect that Said holds out for both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in Israel is the chance to become tolerated minorities within the Arab-Islamic world, as both he and his Protestant Christian family were in the many years before they lost their ancestral homeland. As a member of a religious minority in the Middle East, one that has suffered its share of discrimination at the hands of Arab Muslims, Said knows very well that Israeli Jews are being offered no ticket to paradise, yet he believes that this is the best they will ever get.

Said's thesis, in this respect, echoes the writings of Pan-Arab and Ba'athist Christians like Negib Azoury, Qustantin Zuraiq, Charles Malik, Michel Aflaq and many others, who have long insisted that Levantine Christians and Jews alike must affirm their common Arab-Islamic heritage, rather than their religious and cultural ties to European society. For Said, Israeli Jews are simply 'Arabs', and they must awaken to this political reality. While both Ashkenazi Israelis and Euro-American Jews may understandably feel some skepticism regarding the viability of Said's theory about their supposed Arab-Islamic identity, demographic realities in Israel and the Occupied Territories are urgent enough that increasing numbers of Jews may find this viewpoint worthy of more careful consideration in the coming years. In 2000, Shavit expressed his worry to Said, that 'in a bi-national state, the Jews will quickly become a minority like the Lebanese Christians'. (25) In response, Said offered Shavit no comfort or consolation: 'Yes, but you're going to be a minority anyway. In about ten years there will be demographic parity between Jews and Palestinians, and the process will go on'. (26) This is the historical and demographic reality that most Jews, inside or outside of Israel, have yet to accept. That is, it may not be possible to achieve the old dream of enjoying majority status. Said states this quite frankly, '[T]he Jews are a minority everywhere. They are a minority in America. They can certainly be a minority in Israel'. (27)

The obvious rejoinder to Said is that, even if he too is a member of a religious minority in the Middle East, as a Christian Arab his minority status is underwritten by the existence of more than two billion Christians living outside the Levant, who have tended to welcome dispossessed Arab Christians, whereas Israeli Jews have no other lands available to them in which they can enjoy majority status. What is true for Palestinian Christians is also true for Muslims, who may relocate to any number of Arab Muslim nations where they can live in relative peace. It may therefore seem Machiavellian of Said to advance such an argument, at least from a Jewish perspective. In other words, for Said, the true 'power of the powerless' may not be the legitimacy of Palestinian claims to justice, as he has always insisted, but rather the hard demographic facts that Jews must eventually come to face. In the long run, Said points out, the Jews are going to be outnumbered by the Arabs. Abandoning his characteristic appeals to moral justice, Said too seems to be saying to the Jews, 'Learn to deal with this hard fact instead of fighting for what you cannot realistically achieve, no matter how high and thick you build your wall'.

With respect to Rose's Question of Zion, the key question may be stated as follows: 'Is Rose herself prepared to become a Jewish Arab?' If she dares to speak as a Jew, who by Israeli law has an indisputable stake in the future of Israel, is she truly prepared, as Deleuze once put it, to 'become minor'? (28) If not, how can she possibly dedicate her book to Edward Said? The evidence offered in The Question of Zion, as well as in Rose's various exchanges with Said over the last few years, suggests that Rose is not willing to accept Said's proposed Pan-Arabist solution to the problem of the Jews' future in the Middle East. Instead, Rose's anxious critique of Zionist discourse affirms a more deliberately meta-critical Zionism, but one that nonetheless refuses to allow Jewish ethnic identity to be superseded by Pan-Arab Islamic identity, as Said unambiguously urged. Instead, Rose's The Question of Zion may signal the inauguration of a broader rethinking of Zionism that may lead to its renewal as a discourse that is far subtler than the heavy-handed configurations that currently prevail. Rose's book is not an exhortation for Israeli Jews to accept their status as minorities within an Arab-Islamic political economy, as Said urged, but rather an attempt to foster less simple-minded and embarrassing varieties of Zionism. To this end, Rose mines the writings of the historical giants of Zionist thought, showing the agility, complexity and diversity of their various approaches. Certainly, the Zionist theorists who are displayed for Rose's readers are impressive in their thoroughness, so much so that one wonders in the end why it took so long for a book like Rose's to appear.

In a recent review of The Question of Zion in the journal Israel Studies, Emanuele Ottolenghi offers a response to Rose that is noteworthy as the kind of strident Zionism that Rose's book was written to refute. In horrified anger, Ottolenghi charges that Rose's book is 'a direct challenge to Zionism', which Ottolenghi insists forms 'the core of contemporary Jewish identity [today]'. (29) Ottolenghi's extreme reaction is, no doubt, a symptom of the same historical crisis that now brings Rose's book into existence. However, Ottolenghi rashly jumps to the conclusion that Rose believes that 'only Israel's demise as a Jewish state will save the Jews themselves', (30) and she sloppily cites Rose's careful paraphrases of thinkers like Buber, Scholem and others to make it appear that Rose's summaries of their respective opinions represent Rose's own political views. In fact, Rose holds her cards close to her chest, seldom making direct observations, instead contenting herself with carefully laying out the viewpoints of her various predecessors. Ottolenghi therefore misses the subtlety of Rose's argument and does not see how the argument in favour of a more subtle form of Zionism is the true raison d'etre of Rose's book.

Although one may more easily ascertain this fact from Rose's response to Said's lecture on Freud, Ottolenghi nonetheless seems to be correct in her observation that in The Question of Zion, Rose assumes that moral exceptionalism is 'innate to the Jewish people'. (31) But Ottolenghi misrepresents Rose's views insofar as she suggests that Rose believes that the Zionist colonization of Palestine must be aborted in order to preserve Jewish religious beliefs in divine election. In fact, Rose does not argue for 'Israel's demise' at all, but for what she calls a 'middle way', a road that has not yet been taken by Jewish nationalists. Rose draws her thesis of the 'third path' from the writings of Tom Paulin, proposing that Jews opt for taking 'a route existing somewhere between Zionism and anti-Zionism'. (32) She is militating for a 'Zionism without Zionism', or a Zionism that claims not to have inhaled. 'I want to issue a wager,' Rose states, 'or to use this study to attempt an experiment. To enter the house of Zionism without blocking the exits'. (33) But Rose's proposed 'wager' begs the question--which, for Said, was precisely the main question--of who it is that wields legal right of entry into Zionism's house. For instance, Rose as a Diaspora Jew, may come and go as she wishes in the House of Zion, whereas Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and elsewhere may not. By way of contrast, Said agreed with Theodor W. Adorno that, 'in the twentieth century the idea of home has been superseded'. (34)

Ironically, the privilege of entry that Rose enjoys is bound to unite both Zionist Jews and displaced Palestinians in their response to The Question of Zion. Palestinians living in refugee camps do not have Rose's freedom of movement because they are locked out of their ancestral homeland. But Jews like Ottolenghi do not enjoy such freedom either, for they know very well that Zionism's survival is now a matter of brute demography--Jewish bodies resolutely dwelling in Israel, not Jews on tourist excursions to the Holy Land. Like all committed Zionists, Ottolenghi urges Rose and those like her to pack their bags and do their part in the struggle for Jewish survival, without shame or apology.

Interestingly, Rose has almost nothing to say about Arab nationalist aspirations, including that of the Palestinians. In her Preface, she acknowledges this omission by stating, 'At Princeton, I was repeatedly asked for a critique of Arab nationalism, or more simply for greater stress on the hostility and aggression towards Israel within the Arab world'. (35) She declines to articulate any critique of Arab nationalism, and she seems to conflate Palestinian nationalist aspirations with Arab hostility to the Israeli state. Moreover, Israel is also conflated in The Question of Zion with the individual Jewish man, a rhetorical syllepsis in which the traumatized Jew is sometimes a human figure and sometimes a figure for the State of Israel at large. In other words, the Jewish man and the Jewish nation are interchangeable figures for Rose, and thus one can also infer from the above statement that she believes that Arab nationalism and Arab hostility to Jews effectively amounts to the same thing. If Arab nationalist discourse tends to be hostile towards Jewish nationalist discourse, it does not necessarily follow that Arab nationalists are themselves in any way hostile to Jewish people, and yet this is the impression that Rose gives.

Because Rose exclusively focuses upon 'one side of the historical drama', (36) as she puts it, one may also conclude that Rose is oblivious to the many nuances within Arab nationalist thought. Rose's rhetorical strategy of focusing upon only one of the two partners of the Arab-Jewish conflict enables her to create the false illusion that she and Said share a basic sense of solidarity with respect to her views about Zionism when, in fact, Rose evades the questions that were the most crucial to Said, as well as to other Arab nationalists like him. In the process, Rose articulates a complex form of Zionism that promises needed therapeutic relief from feelings of shame over the Palestinian question. In her Acknowledgments, she admits that Said 'would not have agreed with all of [her book]', (37) but she also claims that Said's '[main] priority was justice for the Palestinians'. (38) In a certain sense, this is true. However, Rose does not seem to be aware that, for Said, 'justice for the Palestinians' finally meant the creation of an Arab state in Israel and the Occupied Territories, one in which Jews would at last come to terms with their actual status as a minority population living within an Arab Muslim land. Unlike Said, Rose does not seek the dissolution of Jewish nationalism, but its political renewal, which she believes can occur through a psychoanalytic process of moral self-reflection wherein the Zionist Jew becomes more authentically cognizant of what lies repressed within his or her national unconscious. Whereas Said seeks the demise of Zionism, Rose seeks its moral redemption. (39) Rose wishes to revive the forgotten voices of Zionists from days past not so much to move beyond Zionist thought as to purify it spiritually.

In this sense, the debate between Ottolenghi and Rose seems to be a matter of style between competing Zionisms--a question of rhetorical strategy. Rose's biggest offence, from Ottolenghi's perspective, is that she dares to be ashamed of Zionism. For Ottolenghi, Zionist Jews have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. After all, Ottolenghi insists, Jews are merely normal people, like domestic nationals everywhere, unlike Rose who clings to archaic doctrines of Jewish exceptionalism. For Ottolenghi, Jews are not exceptionally moral individuals simply because they are Jews. 'What intellectuals like Rose depict as healthy iconoclasm,' Ottolenghi states, 'often conceals an ideological agenda, whose goals are no better than the evil it purports to extirpate'. (40)

Although Ottolenghi's views are unnecessarily insulting, it is hard to escape the legitimacy of many of her conclusions, even if she exaggerates Rose's so-called 'anti-Zionism'. For Ottolenghi, as for many Jews everywhere, it is simply no longer possible to be both Jewish and anti-Zionist. 'Even anti-Zionist Jews like Rose, ironically, define their Jewish identity almost exclusively through their opposition to Israel,' Ottolenghi insists. (41) Rose, on the other hand, believes that one can stake one's Jewish identity in the blank spaces between Zionist and anti-Zionist discourse, in the interstices and lacunae of Zionism's previous articulations. She plays hide and seek in the empty spaces and silences of Zionism, opting for a Jewish theology of 'white fire' that she believes will protect her from making a choice. Yet, Rose tells us forthrightly in the final sentence of The Question of Zion that she was motivated to write her book out of her fear that the 'Jewish nation [is currently] ... in danger of destroying itself'. (42) It is doubtful that a Palestinian reader like Said would appreciate her efforts to save the Zionist state. In fact, this is precisely what Said sought to accomplish--the demise of the theocratic Jewish state so that a truly secular Jewish Arab state could be born.

What makes Rose's approach unusual is that she wants Israel to be more welcoming in its treatment of the Palestinians, precisely at a time when most Israelis have concluded that only a thick wall and more barbed wire will save Zionism. Towards the end of his life, Said repeatedly stated that the Jews and the Palestinians would have to learn to get along with one another, and he frequently cited Nelson Mandela's slogan 'one person, one vote' as a motto for the goals of secular Israelis and Palestinians. But Said seems to have given up on the idea that Israeli Jews could preserve an independent Jewish state in historically Palestinian lands for many years into the future. In one of his later, increasingly desperate opinion pieces, written shortly before his death, he spoke bluntly of the 'sinfulness' of Jewish intellectuals, the implication being that it is old-fashioned evil--rather than the trauma of the Jews' inhuman treatment at the hands of Europeans during the Holocaust--that has brought both Israeli Jews and Palestinians to the current deplorable impasse. For instance, in an opinion piece written in the aftermath of September 11, Said commented about Israeli intellectuals as follows: '[Their] moral blindness, [their] inability to evaluate and weigh the comparative evidence of sinner and sinned against (to use a moralistic language that I normally avoid and detest), is very much the order of the day, and it must be the critical intellectual's job not to fall into--and actively to campaign against falling into--the trap'. (43) In a similar observation about Israeli politicians, Said states: 'Not once, to my knowledge, did an Israeli leader stop and say, we have wronged these people, we have driven them out of their homes, we have destroyed their society and dispossessed them, let us at least remember that and try to make things easier for them now'. (44) Said repeatedly insisted that Israeli Jews had to repent of the moral wrongs committed against the Palestinians, then ask the Palestinians for forgiveness, and do their best to compensate for the wrongs they had committed. Only in this way, he believed, would Israeli Jews obviate a future of retaliation at the hands of Palestinian Arabs.

(1.) J. Rose, The Question of Zion, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2005.

(2.) E. W. Said, Edward Said: Continuing the Conversation, ed. H. Bhabha and W. J. T. Mitchell, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 2005.

(3.) E. W. Said, The Question of Palestine, New York, Times Books, 1979.

(4.) E. W. Said, Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews with Edward W. Said, ed. G. Viswanathan, New York, Pantheon Books, 2001.

(5.) E. W. Said, Freud and the Non-European, London, Verso, 2003.

(6.) See Said's account of this controversy, 'Freud, Zionism, and Vienna', in From Oslo to Iraq and the Road Map, New York, Pantheon Books, 2004, pp. 52-7.

(7.) In Specters of Marx, Derrida states plainly in defence of his own theocratic political views: '[W]hat we are saying here will not please anyone. But who ever said that someone ever had to speak, think, or write in order to please someone else?', New York, Routledge, 1994, p. 87-8.

(8.) See E. Rice, Freud and Moses: The Long Journey Home, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1990; Y. H. Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1991; and J. Derrida, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1996.

(9.) P. Gay, A Godless Jew: Freud, Atheism, and the Making of Psychoanalysis, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1987, p. 38.

(10.) J. Assmann, Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1997. Assmann states, 'I find the emphasis which Yerushalmi and others have recently laid on Freud's Jewishness somewhat distorting with regard to his position as he constructs it in Moses and Monotheism. As far as Moses and Monotheism is concerned, I agree with Peter Gay in seeing Freud more on the side of the philosophes than on that of the Rabbis: Gay, A Godless Jew, p. 253.

(11.) J. Rose, 'Response', in Said's Freud and the Non-European, London and New York, Verso, 2003, p. 73.

(12.) See J. Derrida, Of Spirit: Heidegger and The Question, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1989, p. 111; Sovereignties in Question: The Poetics of Paul Celan, New York, Fordham University Press, 2005, p. 55; and Specters of Marx, pp. 86-7. See John Caputo's The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Religion without Religion, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 1997. Without reflecting in any way on the political implications of his statement, Caputo guilelessly praises what is certainly the most problematic aspect of Derrida's political writings, 'If circumcision is Jewish it is only in the sense that all poets are Jews, or insasmuch as the Jew is the witness to something universal, that spiritually we are all Jews, all called and chosen to welcome the other ... [my emphasis]', p. 262.

(13.) J. Derrida, 'Circumfession', in G. Bennington and J. Derrida, Jacques Derrida, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1993, p. 88.

(14.) In Freud and the Non-European, Said states, 'The strength of this thought [that Moses was Egyptian] is, I believe, that it can be articulated in and speak to other besieged identities as well--not through dispensing palliatives such as tolerance and compassion but, rather, by attending to it as a troubling, disabling, destabilizing secular wound--the essence of the cosmopolitan, from which there can be no recovery, no state of resolved or Stoic calm, and no utopian reconciliation even within itself', p. 54.

(15.) See E. Said, 'My Right of Return', in Power, Politics, and Culture, pp. 443-58.

(16.) S. Freud, Moses and Monotheism, New York, Vintage Books, 1939. Freud states, 'The fact that circumcision was native to the Egyptians could not possibly have been unknown to the Israelites who created the text of the Bible ... but nevertheless the fact had at all costs to be denied', p. 54.

(17.) Assmann states, 'The Classical sources agree that circumcision originated with the Egyptians and Ethiopians and then spread to other areas of the Near East and as far as Kolchis on the Black Sea', p. 154.

(18.) Friedman in particular enjoys describing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as an 'ancient tribal dispute' rather than a war of decolonization. See T. Friedman, From Beirut to Jerusalem, New York, Anchor Books, 1995, p. 91.

(19.) E. Ottolenghi, 'Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion', Israel Studies, Bloomington, vol. 11, no. 1, Spring 2006, pp. 194-203.

(20.) Said, 'My Right of Return', p. 453.

(21.) Said, 'My Right of Return', p. 453.

(22.) Derrida, 'Circumfession', p. 58. See also Derrida's Archive Fever where he also states his view that it is sometimes necessary to violently gather up the other within oneself as a matter of political expediency: 'The One makes itself violence. It violates and does violence to itself but it also institutes itself as violence. It becomes what it is, the very violence that it does to itself. Self-determination as violence ...', pp. 78-9. This formulation is offered as the justification for Derrida's claim, along with Yerushalmi, that 'Only in Israel and nowhere else is the injunction to remember to remember felt as a religious imperative to an entire people [my emphasis]', p. 76.

(23.) Said, 'My Right of Return', p. 455.

(24.) Said, 'My Right of Return', pp. 455-6.

(25.) Said, 'My Right of Return', p. 453.

(26.) Said, 'My Right of Return', p. 453.

(27.) Said, 'My Right of Return', p. 453.

(28.) G. Deleuze, The Deleuze Reader, ed. C. V. Boundas, New York, Columbia University Press, 1993, p. 164.

(29.) Ottolenghi, 'Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion', p. 196. I will limit myself to making two points about Ottolenghi's Zionism. Those who believe both in free speech and the separation of religion and state, two pillars of liberal democratic ideality, will find that Ottolenghi's politics fail to satisfy on either point. In the first place, Ottolenghi vehemently affirms an ethno-religious concept of the Jewish 'citizen' and, secondly, she is opposed to the democratic principle of free speech. For instance, in her review of Rose's book, she makes the reprehensible suggestion that the editor at Princeton University Press who oversaw this project should be fired for daring to publish it! The fact that Ottolenghi would resort to such an argument is a fairly good indicator of how desperate the current situation for Zionists like Ottolenghi has become.

(30.) Ottolenghi, 'Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion', p. 197.

(31.) Ottolenghi, 'Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion', p. 197.

(32.) Rose, The Question of Zion, p. 14.

(33.) Rose, The Question of Zion, p. 14.

(34.) Said, 'My Right of Return', p. 457.

(35.) Rose, The Question of Zion, p. xix.

(36.) Rose, The Question of Zion, p. xx.

(37.) Rose, The Question of Zion, p. xxii.

(38.) Rose, The Question of Zion, p. xxii.

(39.) Rose, The Question of Zion, p. 107.

(40.) Ottolenghi, 'Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion', p. 201.

(41.) Ottolenghi, 'Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion', p. 199.

(42.) Ottolenghi, 'Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion', p. 155.

(43.) Said, From Oslo to Iraq and the Roadmap, p. 158.

(44.) Said, From Oslo to Iraq and the Roadmap, p. 46.
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Title Annotation:Edward W. Said
Author:Wise, Christopher
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Date:Mar 22, 2007
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The Last Resistance - Book Review.
The Last Resistance - Book Review.

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