In his Dec. 20 column, "Mideast Rules to Live By," New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman referenced an interview with Al Jazeera Editor Ahmed Sheikh that was published in English exclusively in World Politics Review. Here's the relevant excerpt:
Rule 11: The most underestimated emotion in Arab politics is humiliation. The Israeli-Arab conflict, for instance, is not just about borders. Israel's mere existence is a daily humiliation to Muslims, who can't understand how, if they have the superior religion, Israel can be so powerful. Al Jazeera's editor, Ahmed Sheikh, said it best when he recently told the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche: "It gnaws at the people in the Middle East that such a small country as Israel, with only about seven million inhabitants, can defeat the Arab nation with its 350 million. That hurts our collective ego. The Palestinian problem is in the genes of every Arab. The West's problem is that it does not understand this."
Friedman cites Die Weltwoche, where the interview was originally published in German. But unless Friedman reads German, which is doubtful given what we know about his history and experience, he read that passage in World Politics Review, or on one of the many, many blogs that linked to our translation (by WPR contributor John Rosenthal) in the days after we published it Dec. 7.
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