Palestinians Share the Political Culture of the Middle East

(Makor Rishon-Hebrew, 12Apr2012) Mordechai Kedar - A fundamental problem in modern Arab states is one of legitimacy, especially because many states do not reflect a specific ethnic entity and are thus not national states in the European meaning, like France or Holland. Traditionally, there is no Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese or Sudanese people. There is the Arab nation, divided into tribes, extended families, and religious and ethnic groups. The modern Arab state has failed to win the hearts of the citizenry and to change their traditional allegiance to their tribe, ethnic origin, or religious identity. A man will call himself Iraqi or Syrian only if he's part of the ruling group or he enjoys economic or political benefits. People don't volunteer for the state or want to risk their lives for the government. In the case of the Palestinians, this is quite obvious in the lack of a volunteer army. Those who work for the PA security services are mercenaries working for pay, who will serve the government only as long as they are paid. The writer, an Israeli scholar of Arabic literature and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence.

2012-04-17 00:00:00

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