What is the source of decline and non-progress among most of the Arab society?
Bret Stephens argues very convincingly that the hatred that abounds in much of the Arab world is the main source. The mindset of antisemitism is enormously popular in nearly every Arab land. This despite the fact that most Arab countries have tiny Jewish populations.
Hatred of Jews predates the State of Israel
A critical point to understand is that anti-semitism in the Arab world did not start with the State of Israel. It existed for centuries beforehand. The Jewish State simply helped focus most of the anti-semitic arrows into one central place.
Bret Stephens argues very convincingly that the hatred of the State of Israel is a disease. He quotes the eminent historian, Paul Johnson, and says that it is a highly infectious disease. This perhaps explains so much of the absurdities like Arab athletes who can’t even shake the hand of a Jewish athlete.
We Could Use Some Courtesy
One strongly held opinion in the West is that if everybody rationally sits around a table, we can work things out – no matter how complex the problem. This is both true and false. It is true when there are complex problems, yet both sides genuinely want a solution to the problem.
However, in the Middle East, more often than not, there are no 2 sides who would like to solve the problems – just one side. The mutual distrust is so high that there is no solid basis to sit down and work things out.
It starts with the schools
This goes back to the textbooks. There are very few Arabs today in the Middle East who use textbooks that say anything positive about the Jews and the State of Israel. So, anytime that Israel sits down to talk with any Arab leader, the Arab side thinks that the Jewish leader is a fascist, occupier, thief, rich liar.
So, if somebody wants to make a fundamental change in the Middle East, they need to take the long view and work on the textbooks.