Review of Werner Ende's "The Palestine Conflict as Reflected in Contemporary Arabic Literature"

In his article, Werner Ende, a professor and chairman of Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg as well as a co-editor of the magazine The World of Islam, argues that a close examination of the Arabic literature, i.e. in the sense of belles letters, in the 20th century, especially after 1948, can provide a way to get inside the "Arab mind" and find out what the Arabs feel and think about a crucial problem that concerns all Arab nation states, Palestine.
At the very beginning of the article, Ende states some of the oppositions that can be raised against his statement and offers his refutation of such objections. One of such oppositions is the strict censorship under firm pressure of regimes exploiting the problem of Palestine for the benefit of the internal stability. Ende refutes this by pointing out that there was, to some extent, freedom of expression in Lebanon. There, not only Lebanese or Palestinian writers, but also other writers could publish many rebellious views about various aspects of the Arab World, including very strong words of self-criticism regarding the confrontation of Arabs with Israel. As well, there are Arab writers in Israel who speak freely about their problems and aspirations in writings published in Israel. Considering the fact that a number of works by various writers are banned in many Arab states, it is not because of their expression of readiness for compromise, rather because of their radical tone of self-criticism that these works are considered by some Arab governments as "partisan statements instigated by rival Arab regimes."
Following his refuting the oppositions of his statement, Ende states the literary genres in which the Palestinian cause is dealt with starting with poetry, the very favoured form of expression in Arabic literature. Other forms that appeared under the western influence and have dealt with the problem of Palestine are the historical novel, short stories,...