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I think there is wisdom in what you say.

Reader comment on item: Israel's Unnecessary War in Lebanon
in response to reader comment: Yossi Sarid Diagnoses the real Cause of the Conflict

Submitted by Sophia Gates (United States), Jul 20, 2006 at 21:52

There's an economic component to what is going on with Hamas and Hizbollah. Both represent the poor elements in the region; the Shi'a in Lebanon relative to the Christians and the Sunni are, I believe, considerably less urban, less linked to the cosmopolitan world of the Mediterranean - let alone to Europe; Hamas of course needs no explanation.

However, I don't think that's the whole story. The radical Shi'a regime in Iran arose in an oil rich state - why? It's philosophy is similar to, and inspires, Hizbollah. They seem to be a reactionary force - repelled by the very world we would seek, through economic, cultural and social infrastructure, to share with them.

Hamas represents both a stateless people and a philosophy, an Islamist philosophy, that works against the very idea of a secular, Western democracy.

Both groups believe in Shari'a law, neither shies away from violent jihad; I think both seek a caliphate, an umma, rather than respecting the idea of nation-states governed by civil and international law.

I don't know how much good either cultural exchange programs, education, or economic investment, can do with either group, as far as moderating these core philosophies.

Perhaps some of the other readers have some thoughts on this.


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