Maksoud Calls on Arabs to Regain Commitment to Palestinian Liberation

By Hanley, Delinda C. | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August 2014 | Go to article overview

Maksoud Calls on Arabs to Regain Commitment to Palestinian Liberation


Hanley, Delinda C., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


Ambassador Clovis Maksoud, who served as the League of Arab States' permanent observer at the U.N. for more than 10 years, gave the Palestine Center's prestigious "Hisham Sharabi Memorial Lecture" on May 28 in Washington, DC. Dr. Sharabi, a professor of Arab culture at Georgetown University, was a founding member of the Jerusalem Fund and chairman of its board from 1977 to 2005. In his lecture, "Hisham Sharabi: Addicted to Precision," Maksoud described the great professor's life and work and guessed how Sharabi would view the current state of Palestine and the broader Middle East today.

Sharabi always said the Arab/Israeli dispute is not a conflict between Muslims, Christians, Arabs or Jews. It's not an inter-religious struggle as some people think. It's a struggle by the Palestinian people to liberate themselves from the yoke of occupation. Maksoud thinks it's also important to "liberate the Jews from the constraints, irrationality and dethronement of reason that Zionism represents."

The ambassador described the global and paradoxical context of this struggle. On the one hand, globalization is bringing people together, providing instant information and communication about each other. "Yet on the other hand," he said, "globalization is also confronting its negation, namely fragmentation" in many societies, such as Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, but especially in the Arab countries, with their divisions between religious sects and ethnic groups. "So while we are converging together we are diverging in conflicts," Maksoud said. …

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