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A Very Difficult Issue

Reader comment on item: Television in Time of War

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Aug 4, 2005 at 18:08

A very difficult issue.
But what do you do when the 'Goal Posts' have already been successfully and disastrously moved?
That is, what good would your 'guidelines' do when it has become impossible to say or suggest that there should NEVER be a Palestinian State. That the 'means - end' problem (the rapid resort to violence in any dispute, called the 'Duty of Jihad) that is at the core of Moslem political culture, isn't debated.

One of the most striking things about the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is how intellectually passive the Israelis and their supporters are. What a contrast between the shouting Arabs and Palestinian and Terrorism or radical Islam apologists, and the almost total absence of any Israeli and pro-Israeli intellectual (I don't like the word ideological) offensive. Israel is bold, determined, and to my mind, remarkably restrained in its military action, and yet, by contrast, incredibly passive in its intellectual contest with the Moslem world.
So your guidelines, if best for the world war on Terrorism (which BECAME a world war in my view because of 30 yrs of World tolerance of Palestinian terrorism), are obsolete for that already lost struggle.
What would happen if you accepted those invitations, and started to say that the real lesson of terrorism is that the Palestinians should never have been allowed, by the international community, to seek a State (and that they obviously have never wanted a State 'alongside' Israel) . That if this had been said 35-40 yrs ago, then maybe the Palestinians wouldn't have been the tail that has wagged the World all these decades.
Sure, this would heat things up at first, but it would also change the terms of the debate, and might finally put the Moslem World where it should be, on the moral and intellectual defensive.
As long as this idea remains unthinkable, even as a matter of potential personal survival for TV executives and their families, then of course it will be deeply difficult and unpleasant to debate representatives of Radical islam - with one hand tied behind your back, and in the foolish position of censoring yourself off television.

ps Before the year is out, I will have the chance to see some things firsthand, as my wife and I plan to visit Israel for a week.

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