Sunday, April 25, 2010

Patrick Seale: and Riad As-Sulh

I still have much to say about Patrick Seale's new important book, the Struggle for Arab Independence. I mean, you read the book and it is a great read with a wealth of information assembled and references to recent and classic literature in Arabic, English, and French but the sections on Riad As-Sulh just don't make sense. They are all unsubstantiated especially the section about his dealing with King `Abdullah. Seale would like you to believe that Riad As-Salh when he went to Amman (and was assassinted there) in 1951, it was in order to rally Arab regimes to fight against Israel. There is absolutely no evidence of that. We need to remember that As-Sulh began negotiating with the Zionists as far back as the 1930s (read Ben-Gurion's book on his dealings with Arab leaders). The book is very well-documented and researched, except the references and sections dealing with Riad As-Sulh, and much of that is based on the author's conversation with Alia As-Sulh, daughter of Riad. I saw Alia As-Sulah only once in Washington, DC, and I remember ruled her quickly as mentally unstable, LITERALLY. She is the one that the worst Lebanese, Bashir Gemayyel, wanted to appoint her as prime minister. The public statements of Riad As-Sulh on Palestine are in contrast to the radical anti-Zionist that Seale invents for this book. Also, Seale ignored the references in the private papers of Chaim Weizmann to Sulh as being on the payroll of the Zionists (it is too early for me to find u the footnote but it can be found in my article in Al-Adab, Against Francophonie and the article is on the website on the magazine).