Israeli Prime Minister Sharon is regularly branded a ‘hardliner’ by the English-language press (even after showing considerable flexibility on, for example, the proposed Gaza withdrawl).
It’s telling to note where else in the world the major agencies use the term ‘hardliners’:
- In Yemen, to describe fugitive terrorists, including al Qaeda operatives.
- In Iran, to describe the radical Islamic forces that have rolled back women’s rights.
- In Macedonia, to describe ‘ethnically divided’ war-mongers.
- In Bahrain, to describe (in translation) Islamists who shut down an ‘immodest’ TV show and insist on ‘no champagne-spraying or scantilly clad women’ at an upcoming car race.
- In Pakistan, to describe Taliban-supporting radical Islamists.
The implication is clear — these are bad folks, the whole lot of them, opposed to reconciliation and progress (and even love).
Is this fitting company for Sharon, the elected leader of a modern, pluralistic, truly democratic nation?