Sunday, January 16, 2011

Palestinian perspectives - LSE and CNES

Here are two podcasts I heard in the past week which take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a Palestinian perspective.

At the London School of Economics (LSE Podcast) spoke Professor Yezid Sayigh about the Palestinian Authority. Much of what he relates confirms what has been said by others in other podcasts before: Palestine is a failed state. Sayigh however does more than just state this, he also elaborates and thus makes clear the lack of political strategy and coherence especially with Fatah. Hamas on the other hand, as it controls Gaza, it has a bit more of a consistent policy, yet remains isolated. In addition, he shows how the foreign policies towards the Palestinian Authority also fails to establish, support or even encourage a coherent polity. (feed)

As the conflict with Israel is fought on many fronts, it is interesting to listen in on the podcast of UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies where Basem Ra'ad takes on the conflict of narratives. As the Zionist side relies on main stream interpretations of the Bible and World History, in which God promised the land to the Jews and Arabs invaded as Islam spread. Ra'ad proposes that the Palestinians are not simply Arabs, but rather the descendants of the Canaanites. He connects the Canaanites to the Phoenicians as they are the inventors of the Alphabet that forms the basis for the Hebrew as well as the Arab script (and the Greek, by the way). He also makes a case that God is the god of the Canaanites and Yahweh is his son, who is the god of the Hebrews. It is a rather stretched lecture, but one simply must experience how the Israeli-Palestinian struggle extends as far as the making of narratives. (feed)

More LSE:
The impending war,
Quest for meaning,
The plundered planet,
China and India,
The China Hegemony.

More from the Center of Near Eastern Studies:
History, linguistics and the downside of society,
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer on Indus Valley Civilization.