Rants and Raves has a sharp and interesting essay on Arabs and tribalism and what he found out by living in Saudi for a year. A sample:
1) They don’t think the same way we do.
No, I mean THEY REALLY DON'T THINK THE SAME WAY WE DO.
3) Their values are fundamentally different from ours, their self-esteem is derived from a different source.
And you know what? Theirs is PHONY.
So I just had to comment, based on observing my sister's attitude after living among Muslims for almost ten years now and my own observations from a mere ten days, but an interesting ten days, in Egypt:
Excellent. The amazing thing is that so many Westerners can live among Arabs for years and fail to grasp the obvious facts you lay out.
I gleaned an interesting factoid from Spengler's The Decline of the West: the rise of Islamic civilization was largely traceable to the role of Jews, who were especially important in Moorish Spain. Arabs were as dependent on Jews then as they are on Westerners now. I believe many educated Arabs realize this and know that when they kicked all the Jews out of Arab lands, who then mostly went to Israel, they doomed themselves to social and cultural primitivism. This despair makes a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian problem impossible.