Mallat: ‘What’s the point of military action by Arabs against Israel if Palestinians adopt nonviolence strategy?’
13/03/2018
Beirut, 13 March 2018
 
Mallat: ‘What’s the point of military action by Arabs against Israel if Palestinians adopt nonviolence strategy?’
Beirut, 13 March 2018
Today’s Qadaya (issues), the op-ed page in the main Lebanese paper an-Nahar, addresses ‘the new strategy of Palestinian elites’. In his introduction, the op-ed editor, Jihad ElZein, underlines the importance of the issue in the light of the continuing trauma, latest the US transfer of its Embassy to Jerusalem. Zein calls for a wider debate in light of the main contribution to the page by Khalil Hindi.
Prof Khalil Hindi, a distinguished figure of the Palestinian national struggle, is the author of a long concept paper presented in Ramallah in October 2017, published in the Arabic edition of the Journal of Palestinian Studies. The conclusions, which Nahar publishes today under the title ‘What Palestinian strategy? Nonviolent resistance, including civil rebellion’, advocate a full strategy of nonviolence and civil resistance as the basis for a just future in Israel-Palestine. Hindi links issues of Palestinian governance, the two-state/one-state dilemma, to the various forms of nonviolent resistance which he discusses in some detail.
In a first response to a ‘breakthrough paper’ entitled ‘Leaving behind the Arab and Lebanese military option’, Prof Chibli Mallat underlines the importance of the Arab response to Palestinian civil resistance as one which cannot be violent lest it undermines its nonviolence strategy. In view of the need to develop also nonviolence for persisting problems between Lebanon and Israel, he calls for renouncing military means against Israel, and supports arbitration on outstanding issues, like borders and oil, as demanded by the Lebanese president. Mallat suggests engaging a fuller debate on how the world, including Arab and Middle Eastern states and societies, can help Palestinians develop a successful nonviolence strategy articulated in Hindi’s paper.
 
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