Best Of TUC: Tribute in remembrance of his death, Sept. 25, 2003
This is Prof. Edward Said’s last major speech on Palestine given at UC Berkeley seven months before his death on September 25, 2003. He was born in Jerusalem in 1935, lived in exile in the US and was professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
Edward Said gave a report on GAZA, still under military occupation. He also referred to the first and second Intifada, the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, and the beginning of the building of the separation wall.
The building of Israeli settlements, the major cause of conflict and suffering, continues to this day. By the end of 2012 settlers in the West Bank numbered 342,000 – and almost half a million Israeli settlers have moved into occupied East Jerusalem and the Palestinian land around the city.
Since Said spoke in 2003 many analysts and even some governments have pointed to international law codified in the Fourth Geneva Convention that states: “The occupying power shall not … transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.” Article 49 of that same convention also protects the legal right of Palestinians to resist the Israeli occupation.
Said ends with a very personal description of the healing collaboration between him and the Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim. The youth orchestra that they founded together in 1999 to bring Palestinians and Israelis together still performs in 2013.