Sunday, May 28, 2006

"Foreign Policy" Magazine is CRAP

I've noticed that "Foreign Policy" magazine always attempts to seperate the Palestine/Israel problem from the other problems afflicting the Middle East. This, as far as I am concerned, is tantamount to wanting to cure a patient from, say, recurrent headaches and ulcers while insisting that these symptoms are seperate from the cancerous tumour in their brain.

Anyway, I wanted to publish a letter to the editor I just sent to FP.

Dear Sirs,

It saddens me that publications such as yours insist on clinging to concepts about the Middle East that are mere wishful thinking rather than facing the realities on the ground. What I am referring to is your article "Think again: Middle Eastern democracy" found on the following link : http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=2705&popup_delayed=1

Unfortunately you are doing your readers a disservice when you cling to the simplistic notion that democracy in the Middle East and the resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict are not interlinked. As the recent rise of Hamas to power through the ballot box demonstrates, the US and its allies within and without the region will make it extremely hard for any democratically elected party that is overtly hostile to Israel to rule, effectively subverting the democratic process. The ONLY solution to this is a reasonably just solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict that will contribute towards marginalizing the extremist and anti-Israeli voices and rob them of the votes they can so handily muster today if democratic elections were to be held at all.

While the Middle East is rife with problems other than the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, there is now, thankfully, increasing awareness throughout the world that this conflict is a central issue that cannot be left alone. To quote a recent article in the Economist (Nov 19th, 2005): "this conlict poisons the whole world, not just the protagonists". Quite right.

2 Comments:

Blogger moi said...

Samer,
The article is a couple of years old, but still makes valid points. I agree the one cannot completely separate the issues of lack of democracy and the Israel/Palestine conflict, but then again I don't think the latter is the cause of the former. I do believe that many Arab dictators use the I/P conflict as an excuse and distraction from domestic issues and calls for internal reform. Ottaway and Carothers have written a great deal on democracy in the Middle East in much more detail than this article which might come off as superficial. You might be interested in their work at the Carnegie Endowment which publishes FP (I agree that the magazine is not their best work). They've written a lot about the implications of Palestinian elections, reforms in Egypt, Jordan, and other countries in the region. Check it out here. Hope you find that helpful.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Callie Neylan said...

Obviously, I'm not as well-versed in middle eastern policy as you are Samer, but it's obvious to me that there will be no peace or democracy as long as the Palestinians and Israelis are in conflict.

I appreciate your outspokenness for things that matter so much to you. It takes a lot of guts to stand up for what you think is right.

10:40 AM  

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