The Islamists Really Are True Believers

[Daily Star-Lebanon] Michael Young - Hizbullah's secretary general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, often mentions Israel's eventual evaporation. In 1992, following his appointment as head of Hizbullah, he described the party's long-term strategy as "fighting against Israel and liberating Jerusalem, as well as [Iran's] Imam Khomeini's proposal - namely ending Israel as a state." Academics, analysts, and journalists, particularly the Westerners among them, for whom the concept of elimination is intolerable, think much more benignly that this is a "bargaining" position. Hamas and Hizbullah are pragmatic, they will argue, so that their statements and deeds are only leverage to achieve specific political ends that, once attained, will allow a return to harmonious equilibrium. But for outside observers to ignore or reinterpret their words is both self-centered and analytically useless.

2008-04-04 01:00:00

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