Sunday, December 31, 2006

Common Sense

[posted by Callimachus]

This strikes me as a fair-minded, if necessarily simplistic, reading of the current state of the world. On the Middle East, for instance:

Muslims saw the creation of the state of Israel in the midst of Arab land as the ultimate proof of their decline. For Jews, the legitimacy of Israel was manifold; it combined the accomplishment of a religious promise, the realization of a national destiny, and compensation by the international community for a unique crime, the Holocaust. For Arabs, by contrast, it was the anachronistic imposition of a Western colonial logic at the very moment decolonization was getting under way.

The unresolved conflict between Israel and its neighbors has helped turn the culture of humiliation into a culture of hatred. Over time, the conflict's national character has shifted to its original religious basis — a conflict between Muslims and Jews, if not a clash between Islam and the West at large.

What's odd is that such straightforward rhetoric is so rarely seen. It comes courtesy of Dominique Moïsi, who has a long association with the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales, and also able to write intelligently about the Franco-American grudgefest.