‘Dialogue vital to end rifts’
‘Need to bridge gaps for peace’
“DESPITE the role played by the ‘Balfour Declaration’ to found the State of Israel, the persecution of the Jews in central and eastern Europe led to the establishment of Israel, say founders of the state,” columnist wrote for daily.
“However, the elite who were involved in founding Israel were not identical compared to the personality of Chaim Weizmann or Baron Rothschild although the former was the first president of Israel. Moreover, he was one of those Jews who had escaped the annihilation campaign that was carried out in Poland, Romania, Germany and Russia.
“From these countries, many Israeli leaders including David ben Gurion, Yitzhak (Isaac) Shamir, Shimon Peres, Yigal Allon, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak migrated to Israel from Poland where the number of Jews in this country was reduced from three million in 1938, one year prior to the World War II to just 20,000 at the moment.
“As a matter of fact, Balfour Declaration or ‘Balfour Pledge’ did not make Israel, it was just a document that could be honored or not, or could even be forgotten to such an extent, we would not have been in a position to know the real reasons behind the foundation of Israel and we would have to know how to negotiate with them.
“However, it seems the European racism and the persecution of the Jews in Europe, particularly during that period which began at the outset of the 19th century up to the Holocaust, was the reason for the creation of Israel.
“Anyway, when I mention the Israeli leaders, the name of Yigal Allon surfaced in my mind because this man was the leader of the Palmach soldiers who were involved in attacking the Arab villages during the Arab/Israeli war of 1948.
“He had been appointed deputy to the Israeli prime minister Golda Meir when the latter formed the government following the death of Levi Eshkol in 1969.
“In addition to holding the post of deputy premier he was also the Israeli minister of education and culture. In this context, I like to mention here that I listened to a lecture given by him at the Michigan University in 1977.
“I interrupted him when I was about six meters away from him but I paid a heavy price for my behavior. During that time, I came to know that he is not just a military leader but had studied philosophy at the Oxford University.
“In spite of my enthusiasm for enmity towards Zionism, I was fond of the Jewish singers Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. In this context, I would like to elucidate here that most Arabs are not familiar with the cultural, scientific, literary and music heritage of the Jews.
“This Jewish standing cannot be attributed to genetic factors, rather to a fact that the Jews have always been living in societies that harbored hostility against them. Hence I see Zionism living in an illusionary world and believed that the solution to the Jewish problem rests in founding a homeland for the Jews in Palestine.
“As a matter of fact, we the Arabs need a permanent dialogue with the educated Jewish elite, but it is needless to say we shall not have the opportunity to personally meet them, rather we shall have the opportunity to read their books.
“Personally speaking, I have read the books of the Jewish author Erich Fromm who belongs to Frankfurt School for Social Science, where most of his schoolmates migrated from Germany to the US when Adolf Hitler came to power in Berlin.
“Personally, for me, it was a qualitative shift to familiarize myself with the Jewish cultural heritage and I began with the last book that was published by Erich Fromm, but at the end I read the most important two books one with the title ‘The Art of Loving’ while the second ‘Escape From Freedom’.
“As a matter of fact, Erich Fromm, had neither affected Theodor Herzl (The Chairman of the First Zionist Conference that was held in Switzerland in 1897) nor by Zionism, rather he was affected by Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Jalal ad-Din Rumi the (Muslim thinker).
“I was also affected by the late Abdel Wahab elMessiri who had published ‘The Zionist Encyclopedia’. I met him twice, the first time in Arbor in 1976 following the publication of his article in The New York Times newspaper under the title ‘The Zionism is Racist’, while the second time, it was in Kuwait — the day that is embedded in my memory because on that day I had made scores of copies of the el-Messiri article in question.
“After that, I entered the office of the economics professor to give him a copy of the article. However, when he received it, I felt as if he wanted to tell me ‘I hope you will be more concerned about your studies’.
“Anyway, after 100 years of the ‘Balfour Declaration’ I believe in holding a dialogue with the Jews even with those who believe in the Zionist thought, but not with Benjamin Netanyahu and his group who hate the Arabs and are arrogant.
“In other words, Netanyahu is a developed version of Menachem Begin (the former Israeli prime minister) who was accused of terrorism by the British although he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
“I don’t believe our relationship can be defined by Hezbollah of Lebanon and Iran, because they are striving to achieve Persian interests but the choice should not be Bashar Al-Assad, Iran and Hezbollah on one hand and Netanyahu on the other, because the two choices are bad and anyone who attempts to promote any of these can be called illusive person.
“Anyway, we are in an imperative need of a dialogue with the Iranians, the Jews, the Kurds and the Turks, provided the meetings are not confined only to the politicians, because the art and the culture and the formation of a vision needs to be derived from a new understanding towards the history because this is something necessary to enable our children breath the fresh air in this region.”
“Today, after more than 100 years since the issuance of the declaration or the pledge by the then British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild to grant the Jews a right to stay in a land that doesn’t belong to them and establish a homeland that doesn’t belong either to them or the British, we have observed that by doing so the British gave hope for the Jews that was seemingly unattainable,” columnist and professor wrote for
daily. “However, the declaration in question said ‘the government of his majesty looks through an eye of sympathy towards the establishing of national homeland for the Jewish peoples as such it will exert its utmost for facilitating this aim’.
“Anyway, if Britain had looked through any eye of sympathy towards the Jewish people, its view was extremely unfair and full of violations against the rights of the Arabs in Palestine.
“In other words, it abandoned the rights and even violated the text of the declaration in question itself, simply because it goes on to say ‘provided this declaration should not be understood as an opportunity for violating the civil and the religious rights of the other non Jewish sects who are residing in Palestine’.
“But following this declaration, Palestine witnessed organized operations since the very beginning of the declaration in question and until forcing its people to leave their country and this constitutes a gross violation of the religious rights of the Palestinians and this was evident through the persistent violations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque to such an extent the Palestinians have been repeatedly deprived of performing their rites in this mosque.
“Now after the lapse of one hundred years since the issuance of the declaration in question, the Palestinians still face different types of injustice and violations by the power of occupation.
“This happens although the Arabs still suffer from divisions and struggles which have yet to stop because of their negative effects against all Arab countries as well as against the development of the human being in this part of the world.”
“Suddenly, without a warning, the earth shook. In less than 30 seconds, people came out onto the streets, occupying the dusty squares. They were terrified. This is a summary of what I saw with my eyes, after the earthquake hit the earth’s crust. The tremors were felt by all the people — Kuwaitis and expatriates,” columnist wrote for daily.
“What is strange is that most citizens and expatriates do not have any kind of awareness about earthquakes. This is of course because no specialist has ever appeared in any media, and talked about what to do to survive during earthquakes.
“The panic that occurred on the evening the earthquake was felt in Kuwait, and people rushing down the stairs from ‘skyscrapers’ is clear evidence that people have not received any warnings before in the event of such disasters, although seldom it happens. Thank God there was no stampede or any injuries, especially when people with their children rushed down from buildings crowded with expatriates.
“I think we need to launch awareness campaigns, and even issue guidance brochures to help people tackle such situations. If there is no natural disaster, they can have a culture that they can handle.”
“We appreciate the credibility of His Highness the Prime Minister and commend his aspiration. We wish to see a new Cabinet that will become a symbol of what we desire to achieve,” wrote for daily.
“We know his humility in behavior and aggression toward aspiration, and perseverance to overcome obstacles. However, perseverance will not work with the repetition of the same approach, extensive tolerance and cold pacification. For this reason, the lawmakers developed the idea of dry words to trigger the emotion of followers for confrontation. This is exactly what happened at the last parliamentary session, and the same situation will continue if we follow the same method.
“The Prime Minister has been able to prove that he is credible in his actions and there is no doubt about that in our minds but he’s now required to keep ministers that are well known for dedication and virtue. He should also bring in others who remain unblemished and patriotic.”
“We must be worried about what lies ahead for this tiny country in a few days living on the single nonsustainable oil revenue-and nothing more,”
wrote for daily. “The country is surrounded by bigger countries having aspirations and contradictory policies. (It is impossible to be clearer than this, considering publication laws and the penalty, over and above the natural rule of “avoiding risk”).
“We must be worried, because His Highness the Amir’s message to the National Assembly was a clear note of warning that things are moving at a very fast pace, with new things surfacing each day.
“We must be worried and care about the future, because it may require the country to abandon the minimum level of neutrality. It is then we’ll find ourselves in serious dispute, which we never chose or ventured into. What shall we do if the current proxy war transforms to a real issue among countries in the region? What are we going do in a situation where several governments, including Israel and the administration of President Trump instigate trouble to push the country into the ditch? Our situation may turn out to be total destruction? Let us be worried and care.”
“All eyes are on the outcome of the ongoing investigation by the Robert Muller Committee under the supervision of the US Deputy Prosecutor General to determine the allegation of Russia meddling in the US presidential election in which President Donald Trump is the suspect,” — Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University- wrote for daily.
“It was a rude shock to everybody when a reckless motorist stormed lower Manhattan close to Ground Zero (the then World Trade Center or twin towers) bombed during the September 11 incident, where he deliberately knocked down pedestrians on the lane meant for bicycle riders. After that action, he alighted from the truck raining gunshots and shouting Allah ‘O’ Akbar. A US police shot at him immediately and got him, so he is now lying in a hospital.
“The incident, which claimed 8 lives and left 11 others with serious injuries, coincided with Halloween. I would have taken the incident to be a fourth level low standard Hollywood movie scene if it was not reported by the news channels across the world. It became known that the lone wolf — 29 years old Uzbek Seifllah Saybouf, is a DAESH member.
“Denting the image of Islam and Muslims has always been the major intention of western media, which everybody is used to. My only fear is that the destruction might be extended to other Muslim areas that are already in flames.”
— Compiled by Zaki Taleb