New Voices in the Arab World

[Ha'aretz] David Govrin - In the context of the spread of Islamic radicalism in the region, the Sunni regimes are seeing Israel more and more as part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. Nevertheless, there is a gap between the Arab rulers who are interested in advancing a regional initiative with Israel, even without formal recognition of it, and public opinion. The Islamic circles and the secular Arab nationalist elements alike are drawing encouragement from the Lebanon War, from what is perceived as the U.S.' failure in Iraq, and from the Iranian policy of challenging the West, and are acting to advance the strategy of "resistance" to Israel. Yet it is precisely in these circumstances that voices in the Arab world are being heard against the "resistance" school, the culture of death, and the cult of hatred. The liberal circles in the Arab countries understand very well that radical elements must not be allowed to dictate the agenda and the values of Arab society. It appears that these circles are expecting recognition and help from the Western countries and Israel, since only a joint struggle will enable the creation of conditions for dialogue, reconciliation, and stability in the Middle East. The writer is the director of the Islam department at the diplomatic planning division of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2007-08-03 01:00:00

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