“Israel does not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs.” That is more or less the reaction of Israeli officialdom to the unrest in Iran. Nobody questions this response. We have become accustomed to the fact that our response is not important. What does the oppression in China have to do with us? Why does the war in Chechnya concern us? Why is the slave trade in Sudan our business? And even more so, what does it matter what we think about Iran?
Every imbecile on the globe allows himself to interfere, express his opinion, create tension and propose himself as a negotiator in our small and troubled country. We roll out the red carpet for the British ambassador or for the French foreign minister when they land here, and then they run off to sympathize with our enemies in Ramallah and Gaza. We look on passively as the U.S. ambassador interferes in the dealings between Israel and its Bedouin citizens in the Negev or the Arabs in the Galilee. It seems clear to us: They have the right to tell us what to do, but we do not have the right to tell them what to do.
Why? Because when we decided to found the state of the Jews on Christian values – on the laws of England, Turkey and Rome – we left our Jewish ethics by the wayside. In effect, we told the nations of the entire world that they are the moral compasses, and they decide who is ethical and just. In truth, their interference in our affairs is our own fault. The flip side of that coin is our feeling that we have no moral right to intervene in ethical issues in other countries.
The Jewish state that will be created on the foundation of Jewish ethics will be a state whose destiny is the ancient Jewish destiny – “to perfect the world in the Kingdom of the Almighty.” Judaism certainly has a universal message and as soon as we revolutionize our mentality, we will no longer see ourselves as grasshoppers. And the world will not regard us that way either. On the contrary, the world will expect to hear the opinion of the nation that testifies to the existence of God.
What is the chance that there will be a true revolution in Iran? This is the stuff of speculation. What is far more important is Israel’s ethical stance regarding the events that are actually taking place. The Jewish response is that we are in favor of liberty. A Jew is a free person by his very essence. He is the servant of the King of Kings and testifies to His existence. Thus, it is impossible to truly enslave him. That is why absolute dictators always try to destroy the Jews. We are on the side of those who fight for liberty, wherever they are. And that is why we also favor the people fighting for their liberty in Iran.
Will the outcome of the struggle in Iran be good for the Jews? In the long term, yes. In the short or intermediate term, I do not think so. The uprising actually harms Israel, as it makes it more difficult for Israel to act against Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Who would attack Iran when it is possible that the evil empire will fall on its own?
The government that would, theoretically, replace the present regime in Iran would not be better for Israel. The opposition leader, Mir Hussein Moussavi, has a long history of radical declarations against Israel. In addition, his Western appearance is calming to Westerners, and that would help him make the Iranian nuclear threat a reality.
So are we for the revolution? Of course. Do we think that this potential revolution can remove the Iranian nuclear threat hovering over our heads? Not at all. That responsibility remains solely on the shoulders of Israel’s government.
Save the date: Manhigut Yehudit is planning a major conference at the New York Marriott East Side hotel in Manhattan on Sunday, July 26 from noon-2 p.m. (registration at 11:30 a.m.). The conference theme will be “no to a Palestinian state; yes to a strong and proud Jewish state.” For more information, call 516-295-3222 or e-mail USAevents@jewishisrael.org.