Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nobody - With The Possible Exception Of Hannah Arendt - Could Have Predicted

..that forcibly establishing a Jewish state in Palestine against the wishes of its pre-existing non-Jewish majority - a state which would be surrounded by 200 million Arabs and one billion Muslims who are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the plight of the pre-existing population, and which would require for its continuing existence the repeated involvement of those Western powers who engineered its creation in the first place - would turn out to be a source of perpetual grievance and escalating instability that threatens regional war involving the countries of the entire Mid East and far beyond...
"In ‘Zionism Reconsidered’, she (Arendt) calls ‘absurd’ the idea of setting up a Jewish state in a ‘sphere of interest’ of the superpowers. Such a state would suffer under the ‘delusion of nationhood’: ‘Only folly could dictate a policy which trusts a distant imperial power for protection, while alienating the goodwill of neighbours.’ On the one hand, she is clearly anxious to find ways for Israel/Palestine to survive; on the other, she predicts that the foundations proposed for the polity will result in ruin. ‘If the Jewish commonwealth is obtained in the near future . . . it will be due to the political assistance of American Jews,’ she writes. ‘But if the Jewish commonwealth is proclaimed against the will of the Arabs and without the support of the Mediterranean peoples, not only financial help but political support will be necessary for a long time to come. And that may turn out to be very troublesome indeed for Jews in this country, who after all have no power to direct the political destinies of the Near East.’

In 1948, after the UN had sanctioned the state of Israel, Arendt predicted that ‘even if the Jews were to win the war [of independence], its end would find the . . . achievements of Zionism in Palestine destroyed . . . The “victorious” Jews would live surrounded by an entirely hostile Arab population, secluded inside ever threatened borders, absorbed with physical self-defence to a degree that would submerge all other interests and activities.’ She stated once again that partition could not work, and that the best solution would be a ‘federated state’. Such a federation, in her view, ‘would have the advantage of preventing the establishment of sovereignty whose only sovereign right would be to commit suicide.’"

(via Lawrence of Cyberia)

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