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Farid: Very astute...

Reader comment on item: How Israel Can Win
in response to reader comment: Individual vs. collective psychology

Submitted by William (United States), Apr 6, 2006 at 01:32

Farid,

I think you've made some very good points here that reflect some profound thinking about this subject. People as a group are probably much less likely to give up because no one would like to be the first to do so -- the group would probably mercilessly punish those who do. In the case of the Israelis, they do not wish to strike back with all their capabilities, since it would be very difficult for them as a people to rationalize ruthless military action with their self-image as a fundamentally just and humane people.
Just out of curiosity, may I ask whether you are a Muslim? I assume so. Are you devout? Do you have some problems or

misgivings with the current state of your religion, the prevelance of violence in the Muslim world, or how people are interpreting it? From your brief comments here, it sounds like you reflected pretty deeply on the Israeli-Palestinian situation and didn't come up with the usual propaganda. I'm wondering if you reflected on your faith and if so, what your conclusions are. It would be very interesting if you could share some thoughts.

(If you're interested, there are some astonishing and legendary experiments in social psychology on the overwhelming pressure on individuals to conform to even ludicrous positions of a group. There's a fabulous and inexpensive book on the general subject of social psychology, "The Social Animal" (by Elliot Aronson), that reviews much of this research and is as captivating and easy to read as a good novel. I highly recommend it if you're interested in such topics and haven't read it.)
Submitting....

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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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