EFRAIM KARSH: A PALESTINIAN TWO-STEP
Published in The New York Sun May 02, 2007
The essential matter that Prof. Karsh (Kings College, University of London) doubts is that Sari Nusseibeh really advocates a two-state solution. Everything else that Karsh writes in this review of Nusseibeh’s autobiography (“Once Upon A Country”), including a paragraph that lists alleged factual errors – all quite minor, even if Karsh is accurate – is mud slinging. A better review would be one that may raise this concern – a very important issue – yet also weighs it against evidence that Nusseibeh is a moderate and an advocate of a two-state solution. The fact that Nusseibeh co-authored in 1991, “No Trumpets, No Drums: A Two-State Settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” with Israeli scholar Mark A. Heller, is totally ignored. Likewise, Karsh even ignores that Nusseibeh has campaigned in refugee camps for them to forego a right of return to Israel.
Among the more fair-minded reviews was one written by Jeffrey Goldberg in the LA Times, April 1. But in reading his book now, I can’t help but notice an annoying habit of Dr. Nusseibeh to differentiate Zionism from Judaism and “Jews” from “Zionists” in order to undermine Zionism’s moral legitimacy. Of course there is a distinction to be made, but this shows that it’s difficult for even a moderate Palestinian like Nusseibeh to appreciate that Zionism was a response to anti-Semitic oppression and persecution, let alone the fact that there were binationalist Zionists and others who might have been reasonably accomodated as an alternative to this ongoing multi-generational conflict.