Monday, January 26, 2009

Dealing with Islamist terror - Barry Rubin

Hamas and Hizbullah, Iran, Muslim Brotherhood, and even Islamist impersonator Syria, are not persuadable through dialogue. They glory in death and won't rest till they achieve 'total victory'

David Grossman, an Israeli writer, has penned an essay entitled "Israel's success in Gaza only proves it is strong, not right." Aside from the irony of his being Israeli, Grossman's ideas are the ultimate expression of Western reaction to the terrorist -extremist challenge.

To his credit, Grossman notes there have been Palestinian 'crimes and mistakes', that the other side prefers violence, and that ignoring this "would be tantamount to belittling and condescending to them, as if they were not mature adults with minds of their own, responsible for their own decisions and failures."

But, he concludes, since Israel is stronger, it somehow controls the conflict's level of violence, able to be "calming it down and even bringing it to an end." How, he asks, will peace "ever come if we fail to comprehend just how grave is the responsibility that lies on our shoulders" for achieving it?

Grossman is upset that Israelis feel united and confident, complaining about, "Those who have taught us over the years to scoff at belief in peace and any hope for change in our relations with the Arabs. Those who have convinced us that the Arabs understand only force, and therefore that is the only language we can use in our dealings with them."

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