‘Edward Said’s critique was important in the years after Oslo’
Ali Abunimah follows up on post recalling his comment that he had been upset when he learned of the signing of the Oslo accords, in 1993:
That’s accurate! What I would have told you is the accords were signed on the day I was driving from NJ to Chicago (to move there), and I was driving alone listening to it all on the radio (and then watching it on CNN at a motel) and very upset — as were many Palestinians of course whose voices were subsequently silenced by the strictly-enforced feel-good narrative. After that if you didn’t support Oslo you were an Enemy of Peace. Oslo demoralized and demobilized Palestinians, split them, froze out the diaspora and made it much much harder to advocate for our rights. All this for a "state" we saw then would never come, despite the slogans and promises. Edward Said’s critique was extremely important to me in the years right after Oslo. His articles and books chronicling its failures and betrayals were among the few voices we had access to (remember the Internet as we know it today did not quite exist) and his critique was really formative for me (which is why it was also excluded from the mainstream). Everything else followed from there.