September 18, 2005

A View from the Eye of the Storm: The Book

Do you remember Haim Harari? Well, now you can buy the book. From the review:

In 2004, internationally known physicist Haim Harari was invited to address the advisory board of a major multinational corporation. In a short speech he offered a penetrating analysis of the components of terror, and presented a passionate call for a new era in the Middle East. The speech, entitled "A View from the Eye of the Storm," was not intended for publication, but when a copy was leaked and posted onto the Internet, it caused a worldwide sensation, eventually being translated into more than half a dozen languages. Now -- as the modern era of Islamic terror continues to unfold -- Harari reaches further, to offer this serious yet accessible survey of the landscape of Middle Eastern war and peace at this challenging crossroads in history.

Moving beyond the sterile discourse of foreign affairs journals, Harari encourages the world to view the Middle East through the eyes of a "proverbial taxi driver," a man on the street whose wisdom (and sense of humor) outstrips that of the experts. And, as he observes, to anyone familiar with the Middle East from a taxi driver's perspective, the "persistent ugly storm" engulfing the Arab world is far more than a territorial battle with Israel: It is an "undeclared World War III" that rages from Bali to Madrid, from Nairobi to New York, from Buenos Aires to Istanbul, and from Tunis to Moscow. The sad result is that much of the Arab world has become an "unprecedented breeding ground for cruel dictators, terror networks, fanaticism, incitement, suicide murders, and general decline." And unless the free nations of the world mobilize to stop it, Harari argues, this new world war will continue to cause bloodshed on all continents.

As a fifth-generation Israeli-born observer, Harari includes a thorough response to the conventional wisdom about Middle Eastern affairs, including a frank dissection of the media's lopsided portrait of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Drawing on his family's two centuries of life in the Middle East, he offers a compelling catalog of the steps necessary to reach a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians -- steps, he writes, that are "inevitable -- not because everybody accepts them today, but because all sides must accept them before peace can be achieved." And he urges the civilized world to combat terror by isolating its state sponsors, blocking its funding, and promoting education, women's equality, and human rights reform.
UPDATE: Take a look at this review:
The author's great-great-grandmother was one of those who lived in Jerusalem in 1844, back when it was a little town in the Syrian province of the Ottoman Empire. Back when a census showed it had 7120 Jews, 5760 Muslims, and 3390 Christians (by the way, back then, these 7120 Jews all lived in what some folks today mistakenly call "traditionally Arab East Jerusalem").

Harari was sometimes amazed "by the successful penetration of so much fiction into the facts of the Middle East." He points out that "if someone in the world of science is caught even once in a deliberate lie, he or she is excluded, forever, from the scientific community; no scientist would ever listen to or employ him or her again."

I think this is what we need to do with those "scholars" who spread antizionist lies.

That's a really good point. I've always thought that the problem with the "soft sciences" is lack of objective standards of quality. But telling lies is something that we can judge with a high degree of accuracy - the same degree of accuracy, in fact, that we have in Physics. Why don't we do it? Why do lies get a pass in the soft sciences when it's the highest objective standard that we can apply?

Posted by David Boxenhorn at September 18, 2005 03:43 PM | TrackBacks
Comments & Trackbacks

People seem to have a harder time coming up with the "real facts" in areas like history than they do in science.

Posted by: Jack at September 19, 2005 11:01 PM Permalink

Jack, we are not talking about coming up with the facts (it may or may not be harder to do so, depends what you consider hard) - we're talking about deliberate lies.

Posted by: David Boxenhorn at September 19, 2005 11:05 PM Permalink

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