Perspectives: Jason Stanley on the Middle East

Jason Stanley, a philosophy professor at Yale, has written a thought-provoking and personal essay about the issues swirling around the Middle East.

An excerpt…

Professor Jason Stanley
Professor Jason Stanley

I have heard those with similar family histories say this about all groups: that each group is safe only among its members. It is understandable that those who experienced what my mother and her family experienced would take away from history the lesson that everyone hates the Jews, and therefore that Jews are only safe in a nation of Jews. But this is nothing less than a repudiation of the conception of citizenship at the heart of liberal democracy. Democracy has two chief values, autonomy and equality. In a democracy, citizens have the freedom to pursue their own life paths. The choices they take cannot compromise their political equality, that is, their equality as citizens. The test of a democracy is how it allows difference to flourish; this shows that political equality does not depend upon taking a particular life-path or following certain religious beliefs. The basis for political equality is equal respect. A democracy is a state in which equal respect flourishes among its members.

Worth reading in its entirety.

This also ran in  German, in the Frankfurter Allgemeine.

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