America and Israel
To the Editor:
In “America and Israel: An Ominous Change” [January], Norman Podhoretz—intelligent and eloquent as he is—just has it wrong. Far from a Palestinian state being completely antithetical to the interests of the United States, as he argues, such a state would be to the United States’ benefit.
What Mr. Podhoretz overlooks in his article is the radicalization—in the direction of Islamic fundamentalism—that the Arab-Israeli conflict engenders at this time among Muslims. Islam is not a religion in the Western sense, to a great extent separate from public and political life; Islam is a quasi-political state religion. Because, further, opposition to Israel has become strongly tied during recent years to support for Islamic fundamentalism, continued support for Israel that does not lead to a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict will result in more such radicalization of the Arab world, as is occurring right now in Algeria.
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