Thursday, January 01, 2009

The threat to liberal civilization

Another significant guest post at Harry's Place. Michelle Sieff of Zword discusses two recent media contributions to the assessment of Israel's Gaza operation -- articles by Yossi Klein Halevi in the New Republic and Benny Morris in the New York Times, both focused on Israel's increasing sense of isolation and encirclement: a feeling, as Morris puts it, that "the walls are closing in on it". As Sieff points out,

Halevi suggests that the future of the civilized world - and not just Israel’s future - is at stake in Gaza. Gaza, Mumbai, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, Iran. These are all fronts in what is, fundamentally, one long war against variations of radical Islamism, a threat to liberal civilization that resembles the Fascist and Stalinist threats of the mid-twentieth century. Liberal democracies are sometimes faced with threats that can no longer be ignored. Halevi and Morris tell us why, for Israel - and for the rest of the civilized world - that moment is now.

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