The first drafts of the Tunisian Constitution are published these days. The preamble of the Constitution now mentions the Tunisian support for the Palestinian cause “above any other cause”. In my opinion, this is not appropriate at all, for the following reasons:
- the only countries that mention another country in their Constitution are colonies mentionning the “mother land”. And those countries had their colonizers in their constitution only because they were forced to. Besides this case, it’s a unique example of a free country listing another country’s cause as the cause “above any other”, meaning above national interests. Why is a Tunisian cause less important to Tunisia than a foreign cause?
- Tunisian first constitution ran for 98years, the second one for about 55years. Writing down support for Palestinian cause in the third constitution of the country means it is here to stay: indeed, what would be the point of Palestinian cause in our Constitution the day Palestine is liberated? In other words, Tunisian deputees put Palestine in the Constitution because they think that in the long term it will not be free; and if they think it, its simply because its not in their interest for it to be a free country. Simple: if Palestinian cause doesn’t exist anymore, how will demagocic governments of MENA region excite the feelings of their people and bring them away from their own problems? Arab dictatorships always used the rethorics of Palestinian cause while secretly helping Israel to root in the region: secret business deals, bad treatment of Palestinian refugees, etc. We made a revolution for our rulers to stop selling us metaphysical ideologies while working for our loss. At the very least, if Tunisia really wants to help Palestine they should start by believing there exists a solution for the crisis to end within the next few years.
- As much as I care for Palestinian cause, I can’t accept the fact that because it’s an “Arab” cause it is above any other. It would simply mean that support goes with ethnicity not with justice. In many places in the world people experience situations at least as horrible as Palestinians, and sometimes much worse. Dying of hunger in Somalia or killed by a Taliban in Afghanistan or a Jenjaweed in Darfour is nor less important nor less painful. By favoring Palestinian cause, Tunisia would send the message that not all victims are equal.
Tunisia has a long History for supporting Palestine (Souha Arafat wife of the late leader Yasser Arafat has even obtained in the past a Tunisian citizenship!), it certainly does not need to write it down in its constitution for Tunisians to feel concerned by the fate of Palestinians.