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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