Antoun of Lebanese Chess on the internationalization of Israel-Palestine

After taking a look at my half-baked post on the idea, here’s what Lebanese Chess author Antoun had to say:

Halewistan,

My arguments tend to be more inclined with the view of Juan Cole.

His three possible outcomes seem to be the most plausible.

The status quo cannot remain. A single state option appears to be an inevitable conclusion, but perhaps not the most desirable for the Israelis for demographic reasons.

The Arabs in 30 years will form a majority in the Holy Land. The next few decades are crucial in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Israelis are acting out of desperation, a way to either prolong the status quo, or worse, inflict a 1948 re-enactment.

I don’t believe circumstances in the world will permit another mass expulsion, but in the likelihood of a major regional conflict involving several states, Israel may pursue this option.

1948 was different, it was a post-colonial era whereby mass expulsions, population migrations (India/Pakistan, Greece/Turkey, Central Europe etc.) were frequent in order to define the current world order.

Resistance to Israel in the Arab world is also particularly fierce, and the Palestinians are aware of their demographic advantage and will wait 30 years until they have majority.

Another factor is that the state of Israel has tied itself to the global power of the US. America is entering its twilight years of world power. As US power dwindles, Israel becomes more vulnerable.

I don’t see a need to paper over the cracks with an internationalisation of the Holy Land. It doesn’t address the core issues, and it won’t change the course of this conflict.

…and my reply…

January 11, 2009 11:04 AM
OpenID halewistan said…

Hi Antoun,

Thanks for having a look. I admit the idea’s pretty ill-formed thus far. I agree with you about the demographic issues, etc. … virtually everything, actually.

That said, re: your comment on the geopolitics of 1948–again i’m with you entirely… but i think where our current generation might genuinely contribute to a better future is in thinking past the stifling identity politics of a dead era.

As you obviously know well, the current -isms that have lead to the whole tragedy in Palestine (let alone Iraq and elsewhere) were essentially imposed on the non-European world out of brute colonial force.

The times have changed, and with info tech etc. as it is, stand to change even more rapidly as the years go on. Why restrict ourselves to these old, ill-adapted ways of thinking?

I don’t see it as ‘papering over the cracks’ (although the idea is admittedly still full of them), but rather shattering the whole thing to pieces, replacing it instead with an open-source ideological slate, if you will.

Anyway–thanks for the read. I respect your opinion + appreciate the thoughts. -halewi

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