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Will dissent be permitted? The answer to that question will determine whether the society is a free society or 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.
Unfortunately, little attention was paid to how Arafat ruled. In fact, some saw the harsh and repressive nature of Arafat's regime as actually bolstering the prospects for peace.
To understand why dictators have a problem with making peace - or at least a genuine peace - the link between the nature of a regime and its external behavior must be understood.
This scepticism is the same scepticism I heard a generation ago in the USSR when few thought that a democratic transformation behind the iron curtain was possible.
There were no dissidents then in the USSR because they were all killed.
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.
The three main sources of scepticism are first, that not every people desires freedom; second, that democracy in certain parts of the world would be dangerous; and third, that there is little the world's democracies can do to advance freedom outside their countries.
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.
The message of the free world to any potential Palestinian leadership should be a simple one: Embrace democratic reform and we will embrace you.
The central premise behind Oslo was that if Arafat were given enough legitimacy, territory, weapons and money, he would use his power to fight terror and make peace with Israel.
People may believe that there can be a society where dissent is not permitted, but which is nonetheless not a fear society because everyone agrees with one another and therefore no one wants to dissent.
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.
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