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This article pretty much nails it

Reader comment on item: When Arab Politicians' Shouts and Whispers Contradict

Submitted by Jens (Thailand), Jan 10, 2023 at 02:31

This article nails an under-appreciated reality.

So many Americans blindly surmise that the Cold-War era Eastern Block dynamic applies to the Middle East: the "man on the street" is moderate, democratic, and amicable toward modernity, while the leaders are intransigent hardliners hellbent on annihilating their "evil" opponents.

In the Middle East, it's precisely the opposite: the leaders are more reasonable realists, who will make a deal with Israel (and secretly do so, sometimes). Behind the scenes, they are vastly more moderate than the "man on the street." It's not that the leaders don't bear responsibility for the radicalization of the public. They do: in their school systems and their propaganda, they promote ethnic conspiracy theories about Jews and Christians. They may not start the idiotic canards about Jews using Muslim blood for Matzoh &etc, but they certainly set the stage for them.

Peace will come about when these leaders align their public rhetoric with their pragmatic behind-the-scenes positioning.

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