By Noam Chomsky
July 08, 2013 “Information Clearing House – With wrenching tragedies only a few miles away, and still worse catastrophes perhaps not far removed, it may seem wrong, perhaps even cruel, to shift attention to other prospects that, although abstract and uncertain, might offer a path to a better world – and not in the remote future.
I’ve visited Lebanon several times and witnessed moments of great hope, and of despair, that were tinged with the Lebanese people’s remarkable determination to overcome and to move forward.
The first time I visited – if that’s the right word – was exactly 60 years ago, almost to the day. My wife and I were hiking in Israel’s northern Galilee one evening, when a jeep drove by on a road near us and someone called out that we should turn back: We were in the wrong country. We had inadvertently crossed the border, then unmarked – now, I suppose, bristling with armaments.
A minor event, but it forcefully brought home a lesson: The legitimacy of borders – of states, for that matter – is at best conditional and temporary.
Almost all borders have been imposed and maintained by violence, and are quite arbitrary. The Lebanon-Israel border was established a century ago by the Sykes-Picot Agreement, dividing up the former Ottoman Empire in the interests of British and French imperial power, with no concern for the people who happened to live there, or even for the terrain. The border makes no sense, which is why it was so easy to cross unwittingly.
Link to full article above….