In 1979, Edward Said attended a colloquy on Middle East politics hosted by Jean-Paul Sartre and Les Temps Modernes in the apartment of Michel Foucault. He would later go on to publish his reflections on this experience in a short piece titled “Diary.” Reading this piece alongside Said’s larger oeuvre, as well as those of his predecessors Foucault and Antonio Gramsci, this article attempts to offer a theory of intellectual responsibility that may be applied to the BDS movement today. In turn, Orientalism and The Question of Palestine, published in the same year as the colloquy, offer a salient political allegory for the relation of the United States to the question of Palestine writ large when read as a dyad as they are intended to be. In closing, the article attempts to apply the theory of intellectuals derived from Said’s work by reflecting on the potential for the particular case of BDS to speak to a set of universal concerns on the Left.

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