Dr. Gamal Abd Al-Gawwad, Head of the International Relations Unit at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS) appeared on the privately owned Egyptian TV channel, Dream2, where he confronted another Egyptian intellectual, Dr. Rif'at Ahmad. Following are excerpts from his comments:
Dr. Gamal Abd Al-Gawwad: Dr. Rifa't speaks of the Intifada's achievements and defines them in terms of the damage to the Israeli economy, 100 dead Israelis, etc. I see the damage to Israel, but I don't see the Palestinian achievements. What interest me, as an Arab, a Palestinian, and a Muslim, are the Palestinian achievements; Israel's damages do not interest me so much.
There is certainly damage to the Israeli side, since a struggle is going on, people die, the economy suffers and so on. But, can I gain anything as a result of these damages? I doubt it. The Americans suffered damages. 3000 Americans died on 9/11. But is this a Muslim accomplishment?! If the goal was to harm the Israelis, the Intifada, accomplished enormous achievements. But, the goal of the Palestinian struggle is not this. The goal of the Palestinian struggle is realizing the Palestinian people's legitimate aspiration that as I understand, is an independent state, on the land that was occupied in '67, in the West Bank and Gaza. That is the goal. The greatest accomplishment achieved in this Intifada, is the recognition of the Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza as an ideal solution to this struggle. The US has come to recognize this, even though it never had done so before. Israel itself, including the Israeli Right and Sharon, himself recognizes this. But, are we coming close to realizing this state? To my understanding, the way the Intifada is run, in the last 3 years, has driven us far away from it.