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Iran Should Not be Attacked, But IT is Problem #1

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Cross-posted from Tikkun Daily.

by Ralph Seliger

It would be a very bad idea for either Israel or the US to attack Iran; today's NY Times op-ed article by Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer,a Norwegian security expert, reinforces this conclusion. But an article in Salon by Gary Kamiya, "The Boys Who Cry 'Holocaust'," conveys a wrong-headed notion that the crisis about Iran's nuclear program is all Israel's fault. Yes, Netanyahu and the neocon hawks need to be countered, but not like this, in a way that removes the onus from Iran.

Jeffrey Goldberg (a liberal, not a neocon) is absolutely correct in this statement, quoted by Kamiya only to dismiss it:

"The leaders of Iran are eliminationist anti-Semites; men who, for reasons of theology, view the state of the Jews as a 'cancer.' They have repeatedly called for Israel's destruction and worked to hasten that end, mainly by providing material support and training to two organizations, Hamas and Hezbollah, that specialize in the slaughter of innocent Jews. Iran's leaders are men who deny the Holocaust while promising another."

And Kamiya engages in a flight of fantasy when he states the following: "... if [Israel] abandons its self-defeating Holocaustology, it will be able to live in peace with its neighbors and join the world." He's insensitive, if not insulting, in suggesting that there's something wrong with Israel's annual Holocaust remembrance (for what's still a living memory). Why should peace with Iran (not to mention Hamas and others in the Middle East) depend upon Jews not mourning a tragedy of such historic dimensions, rather than others abandoning their pathological antisemitism?

Yes, our memory of the Holocaust feeds Jewish insecurities, sometimes to extremes, but shouldn't outside observers first suggest that the Iranian leadership and their allies in Hezbollah and Hamas stop engaging in Holocaust denial (Iran), propagating anti-Jewish conspiracy theories (as in the charters of both Hamas and Hezbollah) and making existential threats against Jews (Hamas and Hezbollah) and/or "Zionism" (Iran)?

My prescription for Israel would be to spare no effort to forge a generous political agreement with the Palestinian Authority for two states, which no reasonable Palestinian should refuse. This might very well take the anti-Israel card out of Iran's hands, but it's still up to Iran to stop threatening Israel's existence.

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