Ed: 33: August/2008
As I accepted my invitation to participate in the 2nd World Peace Forum in Jakarta this June, I had in mind a comment made by a participant in the 2006 World Peace Forum, that the environment had been "hostile to Jews, even antisemitic".
Iran's missile and WMD progress have raised existential fears in Israel which have been mostly absent since 1973. Hanging over this tense situation is the question of Israel's capability of intercepting a missile attack from Iran.
The West should understand that the democrats in the Middle East aren't necessarily pro-West or pro-Israel. However, they are willing to ask important questions... These include asking, if Israel and the Arab world basically started in the same place, how is Israel's GDP so much higher than that of the Arab world?
It is obvious that conflict involving Israel is not the longest, or the bloodiest, or the most widespread of the region's conflicts. In large part, these many conflicts are symptoms of the same malaise: The absence of a Middle Eastern order, to replace the old Islamic and European empires.