Friday, September 24, 2010

On All the Just Below--Berman, Lynch, Herf, Basman-- by a Very Smart Guy

I agree with your comments. Not having read much of Lynch, I am unclear on where he wants to go with his “distinction” between a moderate ( hates/calls for the destruction of Israel, virulently anti-Semitic, but has other qualities—pro-democracy, for example) and the out and out Islamists who Lynch seems to concede are without redeeming features. If the goal is to move the former group off the troublesome parts of their thinking, how does he propose that be done, other than as Berman proposes, by debating them and holding their wrongheaded views up to the standards implied by their more enlightened views? If doing so drives them or others into the arms of the Islamists, as Lynch seems to suggest Berman’s binary approach does, how pragmatic or forward thinking were these “moderates” in the first place?

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