Nationalism and Class Struggles in the Arab World (Summer Issue)


  • Ahmad El Kodsy





There can be no doubt that Arab opmion is extremely sensitive to everything that happens in Palestine. How could it be otherwise? From the Atlantic shores of Morocco to the Persian Gulf, from the Mediterranean to the middle of the Sahara and the Vpper Nile, more than eighty million people speak what is essentially the same language, listen to the same broadcasts, read the same books, and see the same films. What is more, they have all been oppressed by the same European imperialism during our own time. When, however, anyone of these people is asked what his nationality is, nobody, or hardly anybody, will answer spontaneously "Arab." Instead, he will say "Moroccan," "Egyptian," "Yemeni," or something else. Do these people constitute a single "nation," the Arab nation, as the ideologists of present-day Arab nationalism have suggested, even if this nation is said to be only "in formation"? Or do they make up fifteen nations which are different though related, as orthodox Communism has long claimed? Is their feeling for Palestine merely sentimental, or is it based on consciousness, whether clear or confused, of a living political solidarity resulting from the role played by imperialism and Israel?

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