Somewhere on A1A...

Friday, June 14, 2002

Stefan Sharkansky gives us this Letter to the Palestinians from an Agnostic in New Zealand.

My perspective of Palestinians is something like this - you're Arabs (of course), mostly Muslim, but with a Christian minority. Many of you live outside Gaza/West Bank, mostly in Jordan and other Muslim countries, with some groups living in Western countries as well. You feel that you have been wronged by Israel and are fighting to destroy them.
As for my perspective on Israel, I see them like this. They are a mainly Jewish, small, free-market democracy with a large Arab minority surrounded by hostile Arab dictatorships. They have an ancestral claim to Israel, their state was created as a refuge from persecution, they have a right to exist, and, having survived a holocaust in Europe, they should not have to sit still and wait for another one in the Middle East.

Not a lot to argue about there. Nor here:
A number of Western commentators have put Arab failures down to numerous cultural factors, not the least being Islam. Your religious beliefs in martyrdom and jihad, coupled with a total inability to accept any blame for your own predicament, have combined to do you great and lasting damage.
Look closely at why Western countries such as Israel have succeeded, and Muslim countries have not. Western countries are free-market democracies. Muslim countries (other than Turkey) aren't. Surely that should tell you something.

Read the whole letter!


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