I checked our dictionary.com utility for a definition of "islamist."
1. a scholar who knowledgeable in Islamic studies
2. an orthodox Muslim
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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I am familiar with the use of the word in the first sense and have never seen it published in a book or magazine used in the second sense, though it's certainly possible. I have heard of T.E. Lawrence spoken of as an Islamist. I cannot recall seeing Osama Bin Ladin spoken of in books or magazines in those terms.
In those terms, "to side with the Islamists" would mean that one would side with those who have some expertise in understanding that religion and those cultures. Presumably a solid understanding of that sort of thing would be a good idea, just as a solid understanding of the Israelis and the various Jewish cultures, of which there are several, would also be considered a good thing.
To call 70s radicals violent is at about the same level of sophistication as the one which allows other mistaken people to consider all Vietnam Vets to be war criminals. The amount of contact with reality in either case is minimal. As Denise is wont to remind me, on occasion, about the proportion of certifiable loonies in any group of people: Any group may have them, but they're pretty much on the fringe.
Jews are permitted to have as many loonies as any comparable group of Muslims, though it's hardly something worth competing for. In this case, Muslims and Jews have treated each other sloppily in the middle east for a long time, and there is more than enough blame to go around for everybody. Nobody seems willing to claim their fair share, and everybody seems to agree that it's the other guy's fault. I'd like to suggest that this is extremely unlikely.
To say "Never again!" may allow you to put aside the role of victim. It does not permit you to adopt the role of bully, and there have been times when it seems to me that Israel has done this over the past sixty or so years. Israel agreed to suspend the building of new settlements on the West Bank, for example. Refusing to follow through on that commitment threw a sop to the Israeli Right Wing but did not show a willingness to negotiate in good faith. In the end it increased the pressure on the Israelis themselves.
The treatment of the Palestinians has been shabby, and Israel has put them into ghettoized situations that should make them weep for shame. Jews have experienced the like, and feel rage about it centuries later. Why Israelis would expect less or different from their Palestinian neighbors is a puzzle to me.
Yes, both sides are furious at each other, but if they don't talk and if there isn't so real give on this, then how do the Palestinians or the Jews expect anything but a continual worsening of the situation?
In Reference to Mike's comments about the media sheep, I respectfully disagree. It's not the media's job to manage the story for one side or the other. The Israelis have been acting in an absolutely predictable fashion, and they have allowed themselves to be outplayed. They are massively off balance and they can be easily lead about by the nose unless they change tactics and become more flexible in how they respond to crises.