Goldmann, Nahum
October 1975
Foreign Affairs;Oct75, Vol. 54 Issue 1, p113
Academic Journal
This article looks at the problem of the Middle East from historical and psychological perspectives. The Zionist movement is one of the most revolutionary ideas of modern history. From the Arab viewpoint, it was not another attempt of a colonialist power to dominate part of the Arab territory, but the intent to establish, within the Arab world, a non-Arab state, which nobody had tried to do since the time of the crusaders. In all the years when the Zionist movement propagate its claim for a Jewish homeland, nearly all foreign ministers were unfriendly or hostile to it. Before the vote on the partition of Palestine was taken at the United Nations in 1947, there had been no real attempt to convince the Arabs that a Jewish state in their midst, created with their acquiescence, could bring a highly constructive period to the Middle East and to themselves. In all this, the major aspect of the problem is neither territorial nor political, but psychological. At bottom, what motivates people, movements and individuals is not so much ideology or political calculation as psychology. A further psychological consequence of their unique history is the stubbornness of the Jewish people. Another consequence was the inexperience of the Jews, in the 2,000 years of their dispersion, in planning truly long-term policies. But there is no question that Arab acceptance of Israel may become more and more difficulty and unlikely.


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