by Salim Mansur
TEL AVIV — Size matters, and in geopolitics it can be critically important.
A grasp of this elementary fact could provide a better understanding for, and empathy with, a small country besieged by hostile powers on its borders.
Yet this fact often escapes people living in countries of continental dimensions with large spaces empty of inhabitants — as in Canada, the U.S., Russia, Australia and the E.U. — and they may, ironically at times, display a chauvinism reflecting the size of their country.
The fact of how small
As I write sitting at a cafe on Tel Aviv's waterfront, I remember how this city and
Consider the following: The Arab world, excluding
In terms of territorial size, only
An objective consideration of the huge disparity in size and population between the Arab world and
The reverse disparity between Israelis and Arabs is the tremendous human achievement of the former as free people, and the contrast when measured against the sullen reality of the Arab world just about at the bottom of the UN human development index despite the resources available.
But here, too, Arabs, Muslims and their apologists in the West will fault Israelis for the collective failure of the Arab world.
It is as if the plight of Palestinian "occupation" by Israelis explains the Sudanese civil wars and genocide in Darfur, or the savage killings inside
It is sheer absurdity to hold Israelis responsible for the utterly dysfunctional nature of the Arab world.
Palestinians are an integral part of this dysfunctional world, and their politics reflect, in a heightened sense, the problems the rest of the world seeks to avoid discussing for fear of being denounced as politically incorrect.
Their story is a gift to the Arab-Muslim world as it is to be found in the Qur'an if only Arabs and Muslims understood either.
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