Pat: I thought you might want to use this on the blog.
One of the tragic elements of the Arab-Israeli dispute is that it is being staged as a melodrama — pure good against the embodiment of the world’s wockedness. Because each side is so intensely conscious of its own rectitude, so enraged with the other for leaving it without any alternative but war, they have eyes only for each others crimes.
In other words, both parties fall into what is known as the Hobbesian fear –you may vividly feel the terrible fear you have of the other party, but you cannot enter into the other man’s counter-fear that he has of you. You can’t even understand why he should be nervous since your intentions are so good and your heart so pure. You know that you mean him no harm, and that you want nothing from him but guarantees for your own safety; and it is never possible for you to realize or remember properly that since he cannot see the inside of your mind, he can never have the same assurance of our intentions that you have.
Thus neither party sees the nature of the predicament he is in, for each only imagines that the other party is hostile and unreaonable.
That is what we are seeing now in Lebanon and it is heartbreaking for all.