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Dr. Pipes, Your Article Leaves an Important Question Unanswered

Reader comment on item: One Cheer for Obama's Arab-Israeli Policy

Submitted by Aymenn Jawad (United Kingdom), Sep 19, 2009 at 06:09

Dr. Pipes:

Your article makes the assumption that the leaders of the Arab states can implement normalization of relations with Israel without repurcussions from their own citizens. Indeed, the rulers (as your blog entry 'Glamorous Muslim Political Women', inter alia, has shown) are often more liberal than the citizens themselves in their attitudes and personal opinions vis-à-vis women's rights, the role of Shari'a, relations with Israel etc.

Your article has thus left unanswered the question of whether Obama's policy outlined here will be successful. To answer this question, we need to look at reliable polling data from various Arab countries on their citizens' attitudes towards Israel. For instance, perhaps you could use such data to estimate what percentage recognise Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state?

Aymenn Jawad.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

You have a point that populations are often more Islamist, radicalized, and anti-Zionist than elites. That said, the elites can pull the populations in a moderate direction and they are not doing that adequately.

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