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Interpretation too Benign?

Reader comment on item: Some Common Sense in Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Dec 23, 2009 at 12:25

This is certainly a useful poll, but Dr Pipes conclusions with regard to the questions about the willingness of Arabs to live with Israel seem too benign, especially without a definition of the "right circumstances" under which even the minority is willing to accept Israel.

The fact that the negative totals are so high should lead to the following conclusion: There is no reason whatsoever to negotiate SERIOUSLY toward a solution of the Palestinian problem as long as most Arabs and their States are unwilling to unambiguously admit Israel's right to exitst . In other words, keep looking for amelioration, as is going on in the West Bank, but no serious pressure on Israel to concede anything fundamental.

Sooner or later. it is to be hoped that some Western leader will say this, however low key the language used.

From another angle, it would be useful if some western leader or leading thinker "speculated" an alternative history i.e. what would the Middle East look like today if the Arab States had accepted Israel in 1948, or at least after 1967, and decided to profit from its example as a viable, modern, prosperous, rights-based, rule of law-based State instead of pledging themselves to its destruction. Given the fact that so-called "radical" Islam - which some of us think is the far more logical core of Islamic belief than peace, tolerance or respect for women - continues to slowly spread, especially now in Pakistan, why not offer this vision of an alternate world that could have been, or still might be, if the Arab Middle East not only condescends to "accept" Israel's right to exist, but actively respects its accomplishments.

I know this may seem wildly counterintuitive, but why not give it a try?

Ron Thompson

ps I'm not sure Saudi Arabia wouldn't tacitly allow Israel to overfly the country, as long as they had a plausible excuse, e.g. the planes were flying too high, or, they were over Iraq (while Iraq says the opposite)


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