By Joseph El-Khoury
Hassan Nasrallah promised again that Israel will one day cease to exist (speech on 24/03/08) in line with his previous statements and the slightly less ambiguous ones of Iranian president Ahmadinajad. Israel is for many, including myself, an archaic aberration in a post modern world built around concepts of multiculturalism, integration, mass communication, open markets. This country artificially created in 1948 through a concerted effort of the Zionist movement and the British occupant required the cooperation of the rich Arab landowners on one hand and the indifference of the puppet Monarchies that littered the Arab horizon throughout the 1930s and 40s. It has all the hallmarks of an apartheid state in its ideological basis (a state for a religious group) and in its practical implementation (the wall of Separation, The occupation).It is no more democratic than Sparta was democratic in that it embeds in its constitution discrimination against one religious/ethnic group (non-Jews) over another. So the disappearance of such a state should in theory bring cheers from across the globe in a similar way to the wave of support that accompanied the end of apartheid in South Africa and the dismantling of the Afrikaans state apparatus.
As always the devil is in the details. My main problem remains that I have never heard Hassan Nasrallah or his partners describe their vision for this post-dismantling phase (however unlikely it is in practice). Are we going for the one multireligious multiethnic state solution (maybe at the image of the successful Lebanese model) or will it be the two states option with the possibility of a population exchange. Or simply are we going for the forced expulsion of the Jewish population back to their countries of origins and the resettling of the original Palestinian inhabitants. This would be a perfect surgical reversal of the Palestinian Nakba of 1948. Except that it wouldn’t be clean cut, might result in a blood bath and ignores the fact that Israel is now a fully formed society with generations having no connections to their European ancestry, while others will have to return to Arab countries (Is that really an option?). It also ignores the Israeli nuclear arsenal and naively makes projections on the guerrilla warfare successfully fought by the Islamic resistance in South Lebanon in the past 2 decades.
And because I have always supported the rights of the Palestinian people all and above all out of purely ethical and moral principles, the idea of correcting the injustice done to them by creating another one is not appealing. The fact that the west , blinded by racism and colonial arrogance chose to solve the Jewish problem by creating an Arab one, should not make us waver from our call for a fair and just peace for all, including those who have humiliated and dismissed us for decades.
So we need clarity Mr Nasrallah, concrete plans and a vision beyond stating the obvious. Our own 'internal front' cannot cope with uncertainity. The statistics you revealed today on the support among Lebanese for the destruction of the Zionist entity is another example of your excellent marketing techniques but make me none the wiser.
Picture taken from http://www.comiteactionpalestine/