AFOPA's premier event each year is the Edward Said Memorial Lecture, an annual public lecture to honour the memory of the path-breaking Palestinian scholar, courageous advocate, passionate critic and an unfailing humanist - the late Edward Said.
2017 EDWARD SAID MEMORIAL LECTURE
speaker: Gideon Levy
Journalist, Haaretz newspaper
Save the Date:
Saturday, 16 September 2017
For further information, please call Tel. 08 8232 5273.
This is the 13th in this important annual series of Adelaide lectures inspired by the work of the late Palestinian public intellectual and post-colonial theorist, Professor Edward Said.
Gideon Levy is an Israeli journalist, writing opinion pieces and a weekly column for the newspaper Haaretz often focusing on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. A notable journalist on the Israeli left, Levy has been characterized as a "heroic journalist" by some, by others as a "propagandist for the Hamas".
Levy was born in 1953 in Tel Aviv. In 1974, Levy was drafted into the IDF, where he served as a reporter for Israel Army Radio. From 1978 to 1982 he worked as an aide to Shimon Peres, then leader of the Israeli Labor Party. In 1982, he began to write for the Israeli daily Haaretz. In 2004, Levy published a compilation of articles entitled Twilight Zone – Life and Death under the Israeli Occupation. He has hosted A Personal meeting with Gideon Levy, a weekly talk show that was broadcast on Israeli cable TV and has appeared periodically on other television talk shows.
Levy has said that his views on Israel's policies toward the Palestinians developed only after joining Haaretz.
"When I first started covering the West Bank for Haaretz, I was young and brainwashed," he said in an interview. "I would see settlers cutting down olive trees and soldiers mistreating Palestinian women at the checkpoints, and I would think, 'These are exceptions, not part of government policy.' It took me a long time to see that these were not exceptions – they were the substance of government policy."
Levy defines himself as a "patriotic Israeli". He criticizes what he sees as Israeli society's moral blindness to the effects of its acts of war and occupation. He has referred to the construction of settlements on private Palestinian land as "the most criminal enterprise in [Israel's] history". In 2007, he said that the plight of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, then under Israeli blockade, made him ashamed to be an Israeli.
Levy supports unilateral withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territories without concessions.
"Israel is not being asked 'to give' anything to the Palestinians; it is only being asked to return – to return their stolen land and restore their trampled self-respect, along with their fundamental human rights and humanity."
Levy used to support the two-state solution, but he argues that it has become untenable, and he now supports one-state solution. He supports boycotting Israel, saying it is "the Israeli patriot's final refuge". Levy has said that economic boycott is more important, but that he also supports academic and cultural boycott.
The Edward Said Memorial Lecture is jointly presented by the Australian Friends of Palestine Association and the School of Social Sciences at the University of Adelaide.
Edward Wadie Said (1935-2003) was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and one of the most articulate and visible advocates of the Palestinian cause. He taught English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Before his death in 2003, Professor Said was seen as one of the leading literary critics of the 20th century, and described by many as an 'intellectual superstar' in the United States.
The annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture was inaugurated in 2005 and is held in partnership with the University of Adelaide.