The West cannot play Hamlet, while Islamists have mastered the art of exploiting the West’s niceties to their advantage.
It is instructive to note Islamists are most cautious in dealing with Russians and Chinese — that neither Moscow nor Beijing will hesitate in using disproportionate force when needed and will not be troubled by any doubt over actions taken against Islamist terrorism.
But what is worse than playing Hamlet is playing the role at the expense of another.
The West does this with Israel.
Sitting in the shadow of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem one evening when visiting Israel, it became strikingly clear to me, as it is to most Israelis, that the ground zero of the millennial conflict between Islam and the West is right where I sat.
Islamists have made it amply clear, and the vast majority of Muslims support them, that this millennial conflict will not cease until Israel is annihilated.
Brendan O’Neill’s thoughtful piece on Israel’s impossible role leaves out this important point.
He rightly criticizes the way both Left and Right use Israel as a plaything in their own dramas, burdening it with expectations that will eventually crush it.
However, he leaves out the fact that, beyond Left and Right, there is another player in the game: Islam.
Israel’s role in the “Islam game” is James Bond to Goldfinger: “I expect you to die.”