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Reader comment on item: My Peace Plan: An Israeli Victory
in response to reader comment: Palestine is not the battlefield, stop the media-event

Submitted by Edward Halper (United States), May 7, 2010 at 19:50

"Edward, I do not imagine a decisive Israeli military victory scenario in Palestine. That would not help at all."

I think, myth, that you are agreeing with me here. I also think you are right to recognize that the west is at war with Islamic fundamentalists. However, I think your proposal to prosecute this war is, first, much more difficult to implement than you imagine, second, likely to be ineffectual if not self-defeating, and third, an imposition on the west of the loss of freedom we should be fighting against. (1) Western democracies are free societies and our economies require freedom of action and thought. (2) The sort of repression of Islamists you advocate would create martyrs and long-lasting resentment. Ultimately, it is in our interest and that of Muslims for Muslims to embrace democratic government. Just how difficult that is for them has become clear. Still, they have a strong motivation to modernize and embrace freedom and human rights. They need to figure out a way to integrate these with Islam. (3) What makes Islamism noxious is its seeking to end human freedom. If we need to repress freedom in the west to confront them, we have already lost. And we in the west can scarcely entice Muslims to respect the rights of others if we do not do so ourselves. This, incidentally, is why it is important to respond to the propaganda claims that Israel, America, and the west denies rights to Muslims or is "at war with Islam."

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