Thursday, August 26, 2010

Middle East Discussion - Totten-Spyer

A long interesting discussion of the Middle East, and how not to think about it.
One telling passage:
MJT: The Arab world has its own political culture, and it’s not like the political culture I know, or even like other Middle Eastern political cultures.
If the Palestinians had a Western political culture, the problem here could be resolved in ten minutes. If you Israelis were dealing with Canadians instead of Palestinians, you would have had peace a long time ago. And if the Palestinians were dealing with Canadians instead of Israelis, there would still be a conflict.
Jonathan Spyer: That’s exactly right. And that’s why it’s so frustrating sometimes when people say, “If only the two sides could sit down and talk.”
Israel has had its own moments of nationalist madness and score-settling and that sort of thing, but there’s less and less of it over time. Even within my living memory Israel has matured astonishingly. People here are a lot more disenchanted, a lot less likely to get carried away and follow political leaders.
h/t sda


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