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premises must be laid out first

Reader comment on item: Where's the Arab "Street"?

Submitted by Ephraim Lior (United States), May 10, 2003 at 01:30

DOBBS: Mahmoud Abbas, do you believe he will be a strong, effective leader?

PIPES: Maybe, maybe not. I'm really not sure but I don't think that the premises are laid yet.
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I totally agree with Daniel that the premises are not laid yet. Palestinian leadership as well as radical Islamic leaders successfully created a new phenomenon, I'd call "terreligion". It is an explosive mentality which uses (I should say – abuses) religion as a vehicle for the promoting terrorism as a new (not new as a form of actions, but rather as a state of public believes) weapon, which is cheap, low-tech, easy to transport, and hard to detect and disarm.

Success in proliferating of "terreligion" throughout the Muslim world totally rests on pan-Muslim anti-Semitism, which inspires Arab (Muslim) masses and legitimizes terror as a means of struggle against Israel and its supporters. It also resonates in non-Muslim anti-Semitic souls found in Christian world as well.

What usually escapes from scrupulous analysis is that any weapon upon completion of its development acquires life of its own and becomes used for the purposes other than it was developed for. In a sense modern Islamic terrorism, and suicide bombing as its extreme form, can be viewed as a Trojan horse. Anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist forces of the West open the gates of western media, public opinion, and - as result, - of physical borders for that weapon, which pose imminent threat not only for Israel and its supporters, but for the rest of the world, because achieving of immediate (initial) goals by the means of terror never stops terrorist forces from using remaining "weapons" for other gains.

As to "new" Palestinian authority and Mahmoud Abbas as a new hope – we must be na├»ve to believe that he could change over night the Palestinian mentality of terreligion. (We have a saying in Russian: Raven won't pock another raven's eye. )
Such hopes could be compared with the situation if Hebels or Goering would become a new Prime Minister in Hitler's Germany and this would inspire international hope.

Even if Mahmoud Abbas would become a chairman of Palestinian Authority it would bring same changes as replacement of Hafez Assad by his western-educated son, Bashar.

So, to expect any positive changes in Palestinian approach to peace "premises must be laid out" first, indeed.

Thank you, Daniel.
Ephraim Lior
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