Israel's "obsession with fear" and "belief that the Arabs have no respect for international obligations" poses an insurmountable block to peace in the Middle East, Abdalla Bishara, Kuwait's ambassador to the United Nations, told 30 students at Dunster House last night.
This fear, Bishara said, prevents an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, the first condition for peace in the Middle East.
The second condition for peace, according to Bishara, is an Arab guarantee of Israel's right to exist. This will not happen because the Arabs consider the Middle East to be their home and view the Israelis as intruders, Bishara said.
"The Arabs believe that Israel is transient. It is here today but will not be here in 50 or 80 years. The Arabs have a great belief in absorption. In time, the Jews will be absorbed ... like a sponge," he said.
Bishara was equally pessimistic about the prospects of his own country, Kuwait. "The dynamics of the area reject the establishment of small states on the periphery of the Middle East," he said, and he does not expect Kuwait to exist as a separate political entity after 80 years.
In response to a question, Bishara said he welcomes American blacks as a "natural ally" of the Arab world. He said black construction firms have been awarded contracts in the Middle East, and black leaders have been invited to tour Arab countries.
Challenged by David Landes, acting master of Dunster House, about Kuwait's vote on the United Nations resolution that equated zionism and racism, Bishara said "according to the United Nations definition of racism, Zionism is racial discrimination."