Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Bernard Lewis and Edward Said

I rejoice in this attack on Edward Said by Dominic Green in The Spectator, especially as it deals even-handedly with Bernard Lewis and his share of responsibility for the invasion of Iraq. 

I thought that Said's Reith lectures were intellectually not third but fourth or even fifth rate. On the other hand, Said was right that the Israelis had behaved badly to the Arabs and he did not help persuade Bush 2 to launch the unjust and tragic invasion of Iraq.
"Lewis ... said that the Arabs were the authors of their own misery, and that
the ‘return of Islam’ meant that unhappy Islamists were going to share their misery with the rest of the world. No doubt his death is being quietly celebrated in departments of Middle Eastern Studies the world over."

"Lewis was an Orientalist before Edward Said made that a term of abuse. Said was not a scholar of the Middle East, but a polemicist from the Middle East. He was also an intellectual impostor. Ever since Orientalism came out in 1978, proper historians have concluded that it would be a masterpiece, if only it were true. The only people who take Edward Said’s books seriously are, in no particular order of irrelevance, academic poseurs, chippy lefties, and the legions of chippy academic lefty poseurs churned out by the departments of Middle Eastern Studies."

1 comment:

  1. Now that was an absolutely first class leader comment.