Free societies are societies in which the right of dissent is protected.
It is not surprising, then, that in the decade since Oslo began, Arafat used all the resources placed at his disposal to fan the flames of hatred against Israel.
The only peace that can be made with a dictator is once that must be based on deterrence. For today, the dictator may be your friend, but tomorrow he will need you as an enemy.
Can someone within that society walk into the town square and say what they want without fear of being punished for his or her views? If so, then that society is a free society. If not, it is a fear society.
When we are unwilling to draw clear moral lines between free societies and fear societies, when we are unwilling to call the former good and the latter evil, we will not be able to advance the cause of peace because peace cannot be disconnected from freedom.
Democratic leaders, whose power is ultimately dependent on popular support, are held accountable for failing to improve the lives of their citizens. Therefore, they have a powerful incentive to keep their societies peaceful and prosperous.
Only weeks after Oslo began, when nearly all the world and most of Israel was drunk with the idea of peace, I argued that a Palestinian society not constrained by democratic norms would be a fear society that would pose a grave threat to Israel.
The two most important things that can be done to promote democracy in the world is first, to bring moral clarity back to world affairs and second, to link international policies to the advance of democracy around the globe.
It is important to remember that some of the most serious thinkers once thought that democracy was not compatible with the cultures of Germany, Italy, Japan, Latin America and Russia.
I have no doubt that given a real choice, the vast majority of Muslims and Arabs, like everyone else will choose a free society over a fear society.
Non-democratic regimes always need to mobilize their people against external enemies in order to maintain internal stability.
Of course, there can be serious injustices within free societies.
In contrast, fear societies are societies in which dissent is banned.
Japan is not a Western democracy. The Japanese have kept their traditions, culture and heritage, but they have joined the community of free nations.
Will dissent be permitted? The answer to that question will determine whether the society is a free society or a fear society.
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