Tuesday, April 03, 2007

On Sympathy

That the NYT assigned Leon Wieseltier to review Sari Nusseibeh's new autobiography is somewhat akin to it assigning a meat lover to review a vegetarian cookbook. The analogous headline would read: Cookbook writer criticizes- but does not hate!- meat recipes. Seriously. Why didn't the Times ask Lorraine Adams or someone not known for consistently defending Israel to write this article? And here's an Ed Said question for you: when will there appear a review that discusses Palestine for the most part and allot Israel a peripheral place? The most offensive parts of the review, which appeared in this Sunday's Book Review, are the ones in which Wieseltier refers to Nusseibeh as a Palestinian among savages, an exception (because Wieseltier't read Arabic and I assume has never visited Palestinian cities); when he calls the apartheid wall a fence, and says it is "hideous as a matter of symbolism" when it is hideous as a matter of human rights violations; and when he criticizes Israel's mines in Southern Lebanon, but not its decimation of the entire country's infrastructure. But most offensive was that instead of spending his time reviewing the book, he worked himself up into a miniature harangue and defense of Israel.

The most ironic part is that the review is titled "Sympathy for the Other." At the end of this review, in which Wieseltier writes that Palestinians can't stop shooting their guns, I wondered who needed to have sympathy; who was the Other.


Blogger Ibn Bint Jbeil said...

such a tired situation. how boring they are with their narrow bigotry-infused academia. my friend transient who holds a degree in journlism, tells me that journalism is dead.

10:31 AM  

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