The Al-Aqsa flood and the renewal of our thinking about the world

Our generation – the generation of the eighties of the last century – was destined to go beyond events and face major events. It started with the war in October 1973 and we were in the preliminary stage. We have not completed ten years. At that time, we kept the newspapers of this period until they turned yellow, with the remains of downed Israeli planes.

We entered university in 1981 with the assassination of Sadat, and we and several colleagues devoted our graduate thesis to the effects of the Iranian Revolution (1979) on the legitimacy of Arab political systems.

We interacted with the vibrancy – give and take – of the Arab public sphere in the eighties and nineties, extending into the first decade of the new millennium, to live the Arab Spring uprisings in its two waves. During these extended decades, the first and second Gulf Wars broke out, and there were frequent Palestinian uprisings, and we saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and the sole dominance of the United States over the global system in 1990, and September 11, 2001. Which ushered in the era of the “War on Terror” that lasted for two decades until the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. And the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and last but not least; “Al-Aqsa flood” 2023.

These events – in their entirety – announced the end of decades of thinking and approaches, giving rise to a new way of life that was slowly taking shape and becoming evident. I took great care to examine deeply the impact that these events and facts had on patterns of thinking and ways of understanding and they were all significant and specific in nature.

Dear Reader, will you allow me to exercise some of my hobbies in this regard, asking: What new can the “Al-Aqsa flood” offer us in understanding the world around us?

My thinking has led me – and I hope I am not wrong – to the fact that what the Al-Aqsa “flood” can offer us is a confirmation of the ways of approach that shape our thinking in the twenty-first century. should control, which I believe – and some doubt is not wrong – is completely different from the way of thinking that rules the century. The twentieth century, which was the beginning of the transition from the eighties of the previous century, but became quite strong in the last decade of the twentieth century.

Contemporary theoretical approaches are based on several premises, including:

  • First: lack of cognitive certainty, because events are complex, intricate, and interconnected, such that a small factor, actor, or distant event can have an extended, profound, and impactful impact on the entire world, and change the entire system. Or bring qualitative change in it.

The “Al-Aqsa flood” is one of these types of events that will have a lasting impact on the region and the world and certainly on the Palestinian issue and the Zionist entity. There appears to be not just one reference to the war on the Palestinians, but several. They may sometimes seem separate, but they intersect and intertwine with each other, adding to their complexity.

The Nakba and new displacements, the future of the so-called axis of resistance under the existing rules of engagement, Iran and Turkey's relationship with the Palestinian issue – where their interests outweigh the Palestinian tragedy – the paralysis of the United Nations, and the implementation of a ceasefire or The inability of the international system to comply with international humanitarian law has shaped governance in post-war Israel, the relationship between the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, and the future of the Palestinian Authority. The international system and its transformation from unipolarity to multipolarity…the list goes on, but it is certain that an event like the flood will leave its direct and indirect impact on all these contexts.

Talking about the future is complex and full of uncertainty, because many factors intersect with each other, such as: climate change, technological developments and economic conditions, and many events surprise us, such as the Corona pandemic, the Ukrainian war, al -Aksa flood. …etc.

The structure of the international system is still not stable, and I think it is moving towards fragmentation and chaos. This sees competition between the United States and China, but as a result of overlap and common interests – not unlike the Cold War situation between the Soviet Union and the West.

It also witnesses the emergence of new forces on the scene, such as India, which, due to the rise of Hindu nationalism, no longer belongs to the South, and is rethinking globalization through the restructuring of supply chains, and identity extremists. As hidden. Nationalism and the extreme populist right are on the rise, and all this is accompanied by changes in the functions and roles of the state. And its structures, and the distribution of sovereignty between soft and hard, and the next new actor it and its rival, who may replace it and take on some of its functions, and the structures of the economy, its nature and the people who influence it. Changes in maps…etc.

All these factors and more; Decentralized structures were produced, and were now controlled by the logic of networks, not by static structures, and their forces and forms were distributed between a center around which they revolved and the decentralization that occurred. There was a degree of disintegration and fragmentation.

The flood also destroyed Israel's principle of deterrence and the technological superiority of the Zionist entity. At the same time, it eliminated broad, holistic, reductionist concepts, such as: the concept of the West, the Jew, the South, and the Arab.

in flood; We face a major battle between stable, centralized structures – such as the Israeli army and Western armies – and decentralized structures that operate separately and apart from each other, both inside and outside Palestine.

In Palestine, there are multiple resistance forces, and each faction's armed organization operates in a decentralized manner. They are united by broad coordination structures and strategies, but within it each faction or group moves according to the requirements of reality. In such a situation, we have to understand the difference between politics and weapons in Hamas.

According to this logic; We will encounter pluralities that reach fluidity, and a permanent change in functions and roles that will lead to state intervention and withdrawal in the economy, or differences between secular and religious structures, or between traditional and modern, or between old Will eliminate conflicts like difference. And new, and in our case between armed conflict and peaceful conflict… etc.

Relying on epistemological certainty means that stable units of analysis can be adopted over long periods of time. The state was the basic unit of analysis in politics, and society was an aggregate unit – as in capitalist analysis, which, like Marxist analysis, can be viewed from the perspective of united classes.

In the flood, the role of non-state actors, including movements, organizations and networks leading through armed resistance or global peaceful demonstrations, has been strongly highlighted. The effectiveness of them all comes from the fact that there is no structure that brings them together, but rather ideas that unite them or networks that unite and organize them around a common goal.

In this context, Palestinian or Israeli society cannot be seen as a whole in their positions and priorities. A dominant current may prevail in times of war – as in Israeli society, or in moments of resistance – as in Palestinian society – but even in unifying moments, divergence and disagreement are observed, such as in the West Bank. And between Gaza, between Palestinians, which will have consequences in the future.

With cognitive certainty, we cannot feel the process and development of concepts; Rather we deal with it in its final form and the goal or objective becomes to reach its broad, comprehensive standards. That is, the final product. According to this assumption; We are no longer faced with open endings; Rather, it is the one and only station that everyone should reach.

Talking about more new deals the next day assumes that the sector is devoid of people who can decide their own destiny and implement directions different from those that were written on paper or dictated by politicians. There were conversations between.

  • Second: lack of universal, overarching concepts and ahistorical, contradictory, reductionist dualities: if cognitive certainty is lost; It is not possible to talk about blanket, holistic, ahistorical, meaningless, contradictory concepts driven by an “either-or” logic.

In the twentieth century, we found many common concepts such as: West vs. East, Islam vs. Secularism, Socialism vs. Capitalism, Private Sector vs. Public, Originalism vs. Contemporary…etc. There are many such concepts, but what they have in common is that they are ahistorical, broad and ideological in nature.

Ideology is the expression of intellectual purity; It provides a comprehensive explanation of the universe, life, and man's place in it. However, this is of a contradictory nature; Because it is based on confronting ideological opponents; Other Gentiles.

Everyone is looking for ideological purity and ideal application which promotes and perpetuates polarization. We need opposing dualities, and what comes out of them – even if the reality is always the opposite of this intellectual purity – so that the struggle continues.

Anyone who leaves it is a dissident – as in the experience of the Soviet Union – even if the dissidents were looking for an ideal or better application for it. In the West, McCarthyism in one of its manifestations was the pursuit of ideological purity, and in our Arab world, the concepts of rule and ignorance were applied by those who opposed the state. Post-independence state, insurgency and terrorism describe those who have deviated from the ideology of the state, which is of a hybrid nature that combines disparate elements.

The concept of the West – which became widespread and is now still used despite the absence of any significance for it – is a broad, pervasive, ahistorical concept that includes disparate elements, and this is a feature that characterizes ways of thinking. Is closely related to. The twentieth century, which is based on polarization between opposing dualities. It is also a reductionist concept based on epistemological certainty; Because it's about ideology: East versus West, the Soviet Union or the Eastern Bloc versus the West, and Jews versus Muslims. Holistic, comprehensive concepts are used in the conflict and absolute precision is adopted to ensure continuity and sustenance of the conflict.

The flood also destroyed Israel's principle of deterrence and the technological superiority of the Zionist entity. At the same time, it eliminated broad, holistic, reductionist concepts, such as: the concept of the West, the Jew, the South, and the Arab.

Demonstrations broke out in the West to show solidarity with the Palestinians, and included many parties that are part of the West. One of its main components was non-Zionist Jewish youth. As far as the south is concerned, its situation on floods was different. South Africa led the way in confronting genocide at the Hague Tribunal, while India/Modi of extreme Hindu nationalist disposition abandoned its historical legacy in supporting the Palestinian cause.

In contemporary times, it is not possible to obtain holistic, holistic concepts; Rather, it is necessary to create detailed maps and explain different situations. Without this there can be no meaning in interpreting, analyzing or formulating any political or intellectual position. Dealing with the broader, broader argument encompassing the phenomenon; That is, it hides it and does not allow it to be exposed.

Each concept involves multiple components and distinct descriptions that require mapping them and demonstrating their pluralism. In this context, it is not possible to talk about structures that are distinct from each other, but rather that there is a lot of overlap and mixing.

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