The leader of the Tunisian Al-Nahda (Renaissance) movement, Sheikh Rashid Al-Ghannouchi, has said that the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, “is compatible with Israel’s aggressive nature”. He believes that the Zionist state is undergoing an “ageing” process due to the perceived risk of the Arab revolts and their positive impact on the Palestinian cause.
Speaking to Quds Press, Mr. Al-Ghannouchi condemned the latest Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip: “Aggression against the Palestinians is not something new as this is the nature of Israel; it grew up on aggression and cannot exist without it. The more that its victims are determined to resist, the more it increases its aggression, because the Israeli entity is going through an ageing process and sees that the only way to restore its confidence and the confidence of its sponsors and supporters is through increasing its aggression. We do not expect Israel to stop such behaviour, because it is normal for it to behave in such a way.”
Al-Nahda’s leader denied claims that the Arab revolutions work against the Palestinian cause. “One of the reasons for Israeli aggression is the danger of the Arab Spring and it’s positive influence on the Palestinian issue,” he said, “so it is trying to discourage the Palestinians from taking advantage of the momentum provided by the Arab Revolutions.”
What can the revolutions offer the Palestinian cause? “These revolutions are still concerned mainly about their domestic affairs. However, indications are that an important transformation is starting to appear; capitals in the Arab Spring countries have received Palestinian leaders of the resistance, with representative offices being opened in a number of cities, but the main concern of the Arab revolutions is essentially internal at this stage.”
Mr. Al-Ghannouchi criticised the rhetoric of some writers and politicians that political Islam has come to power in the Arab Spring countries based on a political deal with the West under which a concession about the Palestinian cause has been made. “This is nonsense being spouted by losers; those who have failed to compete with the Islamists at the ballot box have nothing better to do except to promote such myths. No one can deny the Islamists’ support for the Palestinian issue; many of the other political groups sold the Palestinian cause, but the Islamists are the ones who have returned the Palestinian issue to the forefront of events.”