Sunday, February 24, 2008

February 24, 2008

I work with a marvelous group called VISIONS ( who address issues of difference between people of race, class, gender and the like. They talk less of majorities and minorities and more of target groups and non-target groups. It had been suggested (and I cannot remember where) that one of the challenges of the Middle East is that every group thinks of itself as a minority or target group. The Palestinians are a minority in Israel. Israelis are a minority in an Arab world etc.

Robert Littell writes marvelous literary spy fiction (a la Le Carre) and has released Vicious Circle (Penguin, 2006) in which he works out the real similarities between Jewish and Muslim fundamentalists (not a good term, but it gets to the point) and the vicious circle of killing that is a part of the picture as a result. A similar point or conclusion is made in a recent movie set in Saudi Arabia called The Kingdom. These do not inspire hope, but may point to thought and understanding that could lead somewhere useful.

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