Sarde after Dinner, a YouTube talkshow, offers a sneak peek into the thinking of Lebanon's secular elite
I just watched the episode with Ziad Majed, who was my professor many years ago, nice man, highly intelligent, but like you said, his progressive beliefs go out the door once Israel is mentioned. It happened to me in class and we argued over it. One thing I find amazing is that there is never any discussion of the Arab world's treatment of it's former Jewish residents, who are the ancestors of who Ziad and Co. would call "occupiers" today. Why is that? I assume its convenient to leave out?
Interesting that you say they’ve gone “conservative”. I didn’t realize the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel view was a conservative one among Arabs. It seems like it’s the opposite in the West. That’s an article topic right there! :)
Fine piece as usual. Please keep up the good work.
I just read your article in the New York Post. Much impressed, but still have some questions about why you would end up among the imperialist elite at the FDD. Institutions like yours appear to be serving a divide and conquer methodology from the very top.
Although I was touched by the sensitivity and personal history in your article, I have read Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour - about the Palestinian Christian perspective on 1948. Thus, and based on a great deal of painful research, as an American of Jewish descent I cannot escape the conclusion that the history of the Jewish State is largely based on the imperalist and strategic defeat of the Ottoman empire and a kind of joint violent crusade led by Diaspora Judaism, the Rothschilds (paid for most of the government buildings in Israel) and Christianity.
Without an understanding of the history of European imperialism in the Middle East, not much can be accomplished by way of healing, for in this case, the healing is multi-generational and must be understood that way.
Finally, the secular Arab world must still take account of the effect of religious teaching on both sides of this conflict. Although it is well-known that militancy was present at the birth of Islam, it is less well-understood that that was also the case in Judaism, where Joshua's arrival in Canaan was a thoroughly military and genocidal affair, and the same happened later to the Amalekites under King Saul:
Given that these periods in Jewish history are still cited in defense of the ongoing policies of the Israeli state, it would appear that the issue cannot be understood strictly in secular terms.
I would like to correspond directly and privately, but will engage here if you would prefer.
R. Leland Lehrman