Friday, January 30, 2009

Erdovan, Davos, and Dealing with Israel


This mornings Stratfor Podcast is titled "Erdovan's Davos Walkout Lays Down the Marker". I haven't heard it yet (hoping to, on the exercise machine), but just from that title, you can see one thing: the recognition of Israel has been anathema in the Muslim world, but if you had wondered if any good could ever come out of recognizing them, this is it. The fact that Turkey is seen in the Western World as a "moderate" Muslim state and has respect for being one of very few Muslim states to recognize Israel gives Erdogan's action much more weight than, say, a Pakistani or Indonesian leader doing the same. I am not saying Pakistan should up and recognize Israel, but it's something for Pakistanis to think about in the debate of whether and when to think about "normalizing" relations.

Folks not related to Pakistan might ask: Why Pakistan, specifically? Why not Saudi Arabia, or Indonesia? Well, Pakistan IS the 2nd largest Muslim nation in the world--and it's not Arab, and it's the only nuclear power in the Muslim world. Not to mention that ideologically and socially, it's a center of much that happens and affects the rest of the world--both Muslim and otherwise. This IS the "most dangerous country in the world" if we are to believe the conventional wisdom in the West; this is the "training ground of terrorists", no? Of course, it is a country I identify with (together with the US and Nigeria), and therefore it's my job to raise the issue in its context; others can chime in with the view from their corner of the globe.
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