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Reader comment on item: Americans Battle the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Mar 11, 2015 at 12:54

Hi, Daniel

I like this article. You bring up real food for thought, and some quotable quotes. Among them,

Arab-Israeli partisanship fits a broader pattern, in which distance turns greys into blacks and whites, increasing political passions.

That was a gem. Also, your conclusion was correct:

this pattern runs contrary to the general assumption that the frenzied combatants in a war need cool-headed outsiders to help guide them to resolution and peace – an assumption that sometimes leads to the unfortunate decision to put ignoramuses in charge of diplomacy and policy. In fact, the locals may see the problem more lucidly and realistically than their foreign friends. It is time for foreigners to stop assuming they know how to achieve the region's salvation and instead to listen more to those directly involved.

I remember moving to the rural California community of Eureka in 1984, to see that students in the nearby university were protesting against Apartheid in South Africa. I wondered what on earth compelled young people in this nearly all-white logging and fishing town to become passionate about people on the other side of the globe, whom they certainly knew nothing about. That was my introduction to the Twilight Zone of the next generation. It confused me a bit, because my previous encounter with the California North Coast had been in the Hippie days. I assumed that those demonstrators had somehow gotten caught up in a local time warp. I was right; and that time warp exists to this day. Time-displaced activists like Barack Obama, or newscasters on PBS, are ample evidence of this.

On my own part (as an American), I was raised in a Roman Catholic family; but my understanding of Israel was shaped by television and newspaper accounts of the Holocaust, and by the stage play Diary of Anne Frank. Of course, this made me pro-Israel, without a hint of pro-Arab sentiment. Somehow, a new generation has arisen that is anti-Israel; and it seems to me that these people have gotten taken over by body-snatchers from a another planet: I simply cannot fathom them, or where they seem to be coming from.

We live in a strange world. Keep up the good work.

Shalom shalom :-)


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (21) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1Another conclusion I draw from this column [58 words]There is NO Santa ClausJun 28, 2015 08:39223975
a useful analogy [197 words]Charles MartelJun 21, 2015 22:12223895
You say the West sees black and white and the Middle East sees all the shades of grey yet... [541 words]LynnApr 4, 2015 13:43222644
1The Jewish people war of survival was not won when Hitler lost. It continues to this day [173 words]YJ DraimanMar 15, 2015 18:27222336
Excessive Focus On Israel [120 words]DaveMar 15, 2015 16:00222334
Great observation with clear and present danger in Iranian context [110 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
asokMar 15, 2015 03:51222326
Israeli-Arab Conflict NOT to be Resolved on the World's Terms - America Notwithstanding [417 words]M. ToveyMar 16, 2015 12:01222326
Arena politics vs Projection politics [149 words]David ScholemMar 14, 2015 08:46222317
Very Insightful, but not Universal [92 words]AlexMar 13, 2015 18:32222311
Belief of the conspiracy teory [36 words]CzeslawMar 12, 2015 04:20222297
Progressives hate the idea of "nations" - Period. [164 words]Uncle VladdiMar 11, 2015 21:43222295
Unfair apples-to-oranges comparison [142 words]Dan SimonMar 11, 2015 18:36222293
Sobering [5 words]Jay AbouafMar 11, 2015 17:44222291
1American Arabs may be more anti-Israel than Middle East Arabs, but American Jews go both ways [171 words]Alan SteinMar 11, 2015 15:48222288
Why do Israelis seem ambivalent concerning Iran? [206 words]Michael S.Mar 13, 2015 04:43222288
1Karpman Drama Triangle [404 words]Jonathan CareyMar 13, 2015 13:55222288
1Bullying has nothing to do with the conflict [126 words]Michael SMar 17, 2015 15:37222288
3I like this article [370 words]Michael S.Mar 11, 2015 12:54222285
1Consider this! [321 words]There is NO Santa ClausJun 28, 2015 08:54222285
Kickenjudenaustheirlandenheit and Antisemitism [2168 words]Michael SJul 3, 2015 04:25222285
The master of the divisions have found the additional line of the opposition. [79 words]PermReaderMar 11, 2015 12:00222283

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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