Azmi Bishara assesses Israel in terms of the ancient regional precedent of the crusader state, where a foreign polity maintained its existence through military might and orchestrating intricate pacts with various local powers and Arab princes while sowing internecine dissent among them. The ‘two-state’ solution is, according to the author, one which is doomed to failure due not only to public opinion, political ambiguities and realities on the ground and practical issues, but also to the lack of genuine support. Aside from the concept of a bi-national state once advocated by Hashomer Hatzair in the 1930s, Israel has been unwilling to seriously entertain alternatives. The viable solution, which is unfortunately not taken seriously is the democratic, egalitarian, secular one-state solution—a solution which guarantees equal rights for Jews and Arabs, the right of return. Time, however, according to the author is running out—and the future solutions currently held out by Hamas or Israel are not democratic.
This article tackles the historical basis and development of the issue of anti-Semitism and examines its perception and impact in the Arab world. The author argues persuasively that anti-Semitism is specific to European racism against Jews. He does not attempt to deflect the term by arguing, as some have done, that Arabs are a Semitic people, but rather unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism and racism of any sort. The author debunks major myths or misconceptions about anti-Semitism and deals frankly with questions of its political utility with regard to Zionism, Israel and Palestine. In the present day, Holocaust denial is unconscionable and, in the end, is not only morally unacceptable, but in the words of the author ‘just plain stupid’. The author castigates Arab and Muslim groups which may take such a stance, arguing that the correct response and Arab reaction to the Holocaust was the simple, straightforward and rational one – a European tragedy, but not one for which the Arabs should assume responsibility.
The story of David and Goliath epitomizes the supremacy of intelligence, acumen, pragmatism and faith in God, over strength, power, military might and numbers. It is easy, of course, to illustrate the confrontation of David with Goliath in Bint Jbeil as an embodiment of this equation, but in a reversal of roles; the Arabs, represented by Hezbollah, were David this time, the weaker opponent armed with faith and intelligence, against power and formidable strength. However, there is another aspect of the myth, not addressed yet; Saul's jealousy of David could as easily have illustrated one of the parties to the war on Lebanon. David's king, Saul, who had failed so far to defeat Goliath, envied David his success and saw him as a threat. He harboured malicious intent towards him and resolved to pursue him until he was able to kill him (1 Samuel 17).