After the war inThis trend, Rubin argues, goes back to the Palestinian leadership's rejection of the Barak offer (whether you think it was generous or not). A consensus has emerged that Israel and the West are weak, and that now a
Lebanon, the Middle Eastentered a new era, which was already on the way for a half-dozen years and in which radical Islamism sets the ideological and political agenda. It marks the end of hope for peace or democracy.
violent struggle in pursuit of total victory rather than pragmatism, democracy, compromise, and economic constructioncan cure all the problems afflicting the Arabs and the Muslim world more generally.
For Rubin, appeasing this new "resistance axis," is the biggest mistake that that West could make (and is making):
If only Iran, Syria, or Hizballah is offered concessions, [those who favor appeasement] argue, the threat will go away. This view actually feeds the problem. The radicals have far-reaching goals (including genocide in Israel) and powerful ideologies that make them not so eager to make any deal.It is often argued that Israeli actions weaken moderate forces. Thus, the bombing of Beirut rallied the entire Lebanese population to fight Israel and to support Hizbullah. Likewise, many argue that Israel's actions in the territories incite Arabs in Egypt and Jordan against the West and democracy. But few of these critics consider the effects of appeasement on local pro-democracy forces who see the incitement against Israel for what it is. Appeasement bolsters the most intransigent and fundamentalis forces, because
they [the extremists] think they are winning. Western efforts to achieve understandings are consistently viewed as weakness inviting escalation. This is clear in any reading of the radical leaders' speeches. Why should Arab governments, reformers, or Lebanese factions oppose the extremists if they believe--correctly in general--that the West will not help them?Apologies for not writing earlier. Temporary time pressures conspired against us, and someone on Kishkushim got married this week (it wasn't me).