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Monday, November 17, 2003

Wanted: A Moderate Who Is Moderate

In yesterday's New York Times, Thomas Friedman wrote an article titled: Wanted: Fanatical Moderates. The "fanatical moderate" he is referring to is Yossi Beilin, an major player in the Olso Accords and one of the architects of the current Geneva initiative. I wrote a post on the labeling of "moderates". I was essentially pointing out that the label is generally mis-assigned to the point where it starts to lose meaning. This is another prime example of its misapplication. The reason why Thomas Friedman calls Beilin a "fanatical moderate" is because he pursues his agenda, which Friedman believes is moderate, in a fanatical way. No one disagrees with the fanatical part. What Friedman doesn't seem to get is that Beilin is no moderate. Why is a leftist agenda presumed to be moderate? As it stands, the Oslo accords are a disaster. They have not led to peace but to bloodshed. It was the fundamental flaws inherit in that peace plan that allowed the situation to deteriorate to the point where it is today. Now, there is yet another plan in the wings. It still has the same flaws. The only difference is that Beilin has no mandate, no support, and no authorization. Yet not only does he conduct the initiative in bad faith, but he has the chutzpah to try to force it through without the checks normally associated with democracy. That is not the initiative of a moderate. That is the initiative of an extremist.


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