Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90
I am getting really fed up with all the talk and speculation about Israel’s plans to bomb Iran. Will Israel bomb Iran or won’t they? Will America approve the attack or not? Is Israel secretly infecting Iranian computers with fatal viruses? Is Israel backing Iranian underground terrorists? Are Mossad agents assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists? What is all this speculation worth? If we talk about it day and night, is it going to help the situation?
If there is one thing that Iran’s leadership has made very clear, it is that it has no concern with Western public opinion or its media image. Human rights, too, are of little concern to a country that has one of the highest known execution rates in the world. Daily, Iranians are executed for crimes such as rape, murder, drug trafficking, homosexuality, and other forms of “spreading corruption on Earth.” Leaked reports and cell phone videos have shown rape of both men and women in the custody of law enforcement, as a means of degradation and punishment. Beatings and arrests of protesters who oppose the regime are the norm when citizens dare to take to the streets. (On a side note, the silence of the international community on the topic of atrocities committed by the Iranian regime on its own people is deafening.)
America has been at odds with Iran for over three decades – ever since the Islamic Revolution there in the late 1970’s. Years of Western sanctions have had little influence in changing its policies, but sanctions are still suggested by many world leaders as a means of pressuring Iran to discard their nuclear armament programs. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, a regular guest of the United Nations general assembly in New York, denies the holocaust just as he denies that his nuclear plans include using the bomb on Israel. Meanwhile, from the other side of his mouth, he threatens to wipe the Zionist State off of the planet.
Those concerned with Israel’s potential action to deter what is believed to be a threat to its very existence are debating whether we should believe Ahmadinejad or not. They claim that his words are being misinterpreted or that he doesn’t really mean what he says. Talk about speaking out of two sides of your mouth! (It is fascinating how people who claim to be concerned about human rights can be the very people who are so against attacking the abusive Iranian regime. Could there be any higher level of hypocrisy?) Jewish history has taught us that if a tyrant says that he intends to wipe us out, we should take his words very seriously. Individuals like Ahmadinejad need to realize that the Jewish people have good reason to be paranoid and they should make it their business not to be misunderstood when it comes to talking about wiping out the Jewish people and our country. At this point in history, the Jewish people have a strong army and the means to protect ourselves from the Hitlers of this generation. We will not go like the sheep to slaughter any more.
Israeli intelligence authorities need to assess the threats coming from Iran. This is not a public relations issue. Obama and the other world leaders can support or oppose our actions, but Israel will have to do what is best for the future and well-being of the Jewish State. No one else will do the heavy lifting for us. While we cannot diminish the possibility that Iran actually has the technology and the motivation to strike Israel, we also cannot afford to overlook other real and obvious threats to Israel.
At times, it seems that the Israeli campaign on the Iranian threat could be a distraction from the other threats to the State of Israel and lasting peace in the Middle East. While focusing on fears of what might come from Iran (or Hamas, for that matter), the public is distracted from the ongoing incitement coming from “moderates” like the Palestinian Authority’s Salem Fayyad and Jordan’s Abdullah, both of whom regularly convey threats to Israel. They might not have nuclear bombs, but they do have armies and other means of pushing Israel into a dangerous corner.
In the age of social media and the blogosphere, there are new types of threats to regional stability that we should not ignore. Leaders of Israeli security agencies should take note that incitement coming out of a basement in Chicago could be even more dangerous than Iranian nuclear aspirations and verbal threats. Provocation by an unemployed hate monger typing away at his keyboard in a clear effort to ignite the Middle East should get our attention, as well. Electronic Intifada blogger Ali Abunima spends his days and nights trying to bring the concepts of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion into cyberspace. Week after week, in a process of trial and error with different types of lies and incitement, he pushes for the incitement of physical attacks on Israel. Claims that Israel or Jewish activists planned to assault the Al-Aqsa mosque got minimal response. His web-based campaign in support of Islamic Jihadists’ hunger strike while in the custody of Israeli detention picked up more wide spread support. His potential success in causing a new real intifada, bringing people out into the streets within Israel and crossing the borders into Israel could grow be a greater threat than Iran to Israel, and should not be ignored.
It’s time to distribute our threat-evaluation more evenly, and then move from speculation on to decisive action.