A Moment of Truth in the Middle East

[Boston Globe] Nadav Tamir - Historically, conflict in the Middle East was defined by the struggle between Israel and the Arab world. Today, a new conflict has emerged between pragmatic moderates and fanatical extremists. In this new conflict, Israel finds itself on the same side as the moderate Arab community. Both support the implementation of a two-state solution to resolve the ongoing issues surrounding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Moderate Arabs also call for the renunciation of terrorism, and progression toward modernity and enlightenment. On the other side of the divide stands an alliance of strong forces. Iran has proven to be a leader in promoting chaos and terrorism and exporting Islamic extremism throughout the Middle East. Syria cultivates an alliance of convenience with Iran in a desperate attempt to divert attention from its brutal machinations in Lebanon. Consequently, both Iran and Syria support Hizballah, Hamas, and other Palestinian terrorist organizations as proxies in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories. In the wake of the war between Hizballah and Israel, moderates in the Arab and Muslim world are beginning to grasp the danger of supporting these extremists. In the Arab world, there is a discernible fear of fundamentalism in moderate regimes, including Jordan, Egypt, the Gulf, and the Maghreb states. These nations are wary of Iranian ambitions and the dangers of a destabilizing extremist alliance. The writer serves as consul general of Israel to New England.

2006-12-29 01:00:00

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