Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Universal Humanist

Edward Said in an interview with Ari Shavit:

“[Q] In a binational state, the Jews will quickly become a minority, like the
Lebanese Christians.

“[A] … the Jews are a minority everywhere. They are a minority in America. They can
certainly be a minority in Israel.”

[Q] Knowing the region and given the history of the conflict, do you think such a
Jewish minority would be treated fairly?

[A] “I worry about that. The history of minorities in the Middle East has not been
as bad as in Europe, but I wonder what would happen. 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.” [-]

“[Q]So what you envision is a totally new situation in which a Jewish minority would
live peacefully within an Arab context?

“[A] Yes. I believe it is viable. A Jewish minority can survive the way other
minorities in the Arab world survived. I hate to say it, but in a funny sort of
way, it worked rather well under the Ottoman Empire, with its millet system.
What they had then seems a lot more humane than what we have now.
So as you see it, the Jews would eventually have a cultural autonomy within a
pan-Arab structure? “[-]

“[Q] So in a generation or two, what we will have is an Arab-Jewish minority
community in an Arab world?

“[A]Yes. Yes. I would have thought.”


At 4:44 PM EDT, Blogger k said...

Well, at least the fate of the Jews "worried" him a little.
Good to know the Ottoman Empire millet system is something to model the future on.

* Really interesting blog.
Came here via Mick Hartley's place.
Will be coming back a lot.

At 6:58 PM EDT, Anonymous Migreli said...

I wonder what he would say today.

At 7:07 PM EDT, Anonymous Migreli said...

It's Ari Shavit, not Avi Shavit.


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