Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sari Nusseibeh - UC podcast

The Council of Foreign Relations also has its own podcast that I need to check out and it may well be, that there is an overlap with the University Channel Podcast. In any case, it is in the UC podcast I found the very interesting lecture and discussion with Professor Sari Nusseibeh.

Nusseibeh presents his Palestinian View on the Israeli-Arab conflict and surprised me with his pacifist, mild and non-polarizing tone. For that reason alone it is very important to listen to the podcast, or view the video. At the end, someone in the audience presents Dr. Nusseibeh with a question that had been bothering me throughout listening as well: Why isn't Sari Nusseibeh the Mahatma Gandhi of the Palestinians? The answer is slightly evasive, if not a bit contradictory to the previous presentation as it emphasizes how the belief in violence is still prevailing, whereas earlier it had been stated that the vast majority of Palestinians is ready for peace.

It would certainly seem very helpful if more of Sari Nusseibeh's idea's would be heard and this would represent more of a visible and viable stream in the Palestinian politics. He seems to be doing his part intellectually as you can see through his website, for example. But the question also comes to mind, whether what we witness there and in the podcast is genuine and there is a rather pounding attack from Front Page Magazine that accuses Prof. Nusseibeh of double-speak, that is, in English saying what the Western Public wants to hear, but in Arabic, saying the opposite. On the other hand, I also found severe criticism from the Palestine side at Znet where Nusseibeh is accused of giving up on the Right of Return. So enough controversial food for thought.
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