Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More on the wisdom of providing a platform for Ahmadinejad:

Mr Bollinger's devastating mistake Michel Gurfinkiel:

1) The moment you talk to Mr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or any totalitarian leader, and even if you tell him hard and bitter truths, or scorn him, you recognize him as a valid partner in a democratic debate. And you introduce the subliminal possibility, whatever hard facts you are provided with about him, that he might be right up to a point.

2) To be recognized as a partner in a democratic debate is precisely what Ahmadinejad is looking for. This used to be the tactics of Hitler, who, until 1939, was not adverse to being interviewed by racially Jewish foreign journalists (like the French journalist Bertrand de Jouvenel), and of the communist tyrants. Both Hitler and the communists realized that engaging in some kind of debate with the democratic adversary was a very effective way to inhibit him.

It was the tactics of Yassir Arafat at the White House in 1993. Arafat knew that the mere fact to stand in front of Rabin and at Clinton's side turned him into a respectable leader, and the Palestinians into the winners of the Israeli-Arab dispute. The actual content of the Oslo Accords or whether Arafat would or would not abide by them was irrelevant.


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