An Israeli Voice of Sanity on Iran

Avner Cohen asks exactly the right questions in a Ha’aretz editorial:

What if our leaders and pundits had reacted to the Iranian nuclear program in a completely different way than they actually have? What if they had not viewed an Iranian bomb as an “existential threat” and instead treated it as something that, even if it became a reality, would be a major global political problem, but not a military threat – because Iran (like every other nuclear state) would never be able to use a nuclear bomb as an operational military weapon?

What if Israel had treated Iran’s nuclear project as an exhibitionist, even childish, attempt by a nation mired in a deep identity crisis to exploit the prestige and mystique of nuclear power to create a national ethos of technological progress at home, as well as a diplomatic miracle cure that would enable it to challenge the West and move to the center of the international stage?

And his answers are spot on. Click here to read.

4 thoughts on “An Israeli Voice of Sanity on Iran

  1. nonaeroterraqueous

    This voice of sanity, ironically, can only be as sane as Iran, the nation that it discusses. Many made the same mistake just prior to WWII, attributing normal human sanity to a regime that did not exhibit such. The sanest response, then, would have been to assume that the other side did not think like we do. If the Iranian regime thinks like a Westerner, then, indeed, you are safe, but if the way they talk is any indication of the way that they think, then we can rule out that comfort.

    1. Shirin

      Those of us with real knowledge of Iran, as opposed to only what can be gleaned from popular propaganda, know that the Iranian regime is, in fact, quite sane, and has precisely the same impulses toward self-preservation as does anyone else, including “westerners”.

      This notion of the “other” who does not think like “us” is certainly a convenient barrier to making peace. My experience has taught me that at the core people all over the world are human beings who share the same basic needs, desires, and values. And one of the things we all do when repeatedly and seriously threatened by two enormous, powerful bullies is to 1) posture in the hopes that we can make ourselves look big and dangerous enough to discourage them, 2) arm ourselves as best we can in case our posturing does not work.

      In the mean time, Iran, should it eventually acquire a nuclear bomb or two, is no more likely to use it than is the United States or Israel. Oh wait! the United States HAS used nuclear weapons, hasn’t it? OK, Iran is a great deal LESS likely to use nuclear weapons, particularly given that as soon as it did Israel and the US would, as Hillary Clinton only slightly obliquely hinted, obliterate Iran. Contrary to popular propaganda, members of the Iranian regime do not wish to be responsible for the obliteration of their ancient country and its marvelous history and culture. They also are not eager to be obliterated themselves.

  2. James Just

    Howdy, I think you gotta be kidding! I am a mexican from sonora and I grew up reading and observing how the Muslims are always always always on a global quest to kill all you Jews. The only reason the Muslims have not succeeded before in annihilating the Jews is that they didn’t have the atomic bomb to use. Once the muslims get the a-bomb they are going to blast the Jews to kingdom come once and for all. nothing personal, but your blog reads like muslim propaganda. with Jews like you, Israel does not need enemies.

    1. Shirin

      I am most interested in your observations. Please tell us what you have observed that tells you that “the Muslims” are “always, always always on a global quest to kill all Jews”, and that they have only not succeeded because they didn’t have the atomic bomb to use. I would be particularly interested in how, based on your observations (and what you have read), you explain the following:

      – Pakistan, one of the most Muslim of all the Muslim countries, has had “the a-bomb” for more than a decade. It has a significant nuclear arsenal, and yet it has nor ibkt never attempted to annihilate all Jews or shown any inclination to do so, it has never seemed particularly interested in killing Jews at all. And all this despite being very, very, very Muslim.
      – Muslims have not annihilated the Jews who would be the easiest to locate and kill, those being the ones who live in and are citizens of Muslim countries. There have always been, and are still Jewish communities in the uber-Muslim countries of Iran and Pakistan, and in Arab/Muslim countries such as Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, and Bahrain, among others. I am even told there is still a tiny handful of Jews in Iraq who refuse to leave, though I have not confirmed that. As of 2001 there were even a couple of Afghan Jews still living in Kabul under Taliban rule. Oddly, “The Muslims” have not only not even tried to kill these Jews, they have maintained good enough relations, that these Jews have chosen not to emigrate when offered the opportunity. If “The Muslims” are “always, always always on a global quest to kill all Jews”, why would they not begin with those who are closest to them and most under their control, and therefore most vulnerable?
      – Thousands of Jews from other countries, primarily Europe, and the Americas, visit Muslim countries every year for tourism or business, or to work with NGO’s and aid organizations and live in Muslim countries as students, diplomats, and workers, yet “the Muslims” not only haven’t killed them, they don’t seem to be particularly concerned at all about the presence of foreign Jews in their countries.
      – Recently a group of American Jews, including a Rabbi, spent time in Iran for the specific purpose of visiting the Jewish community there. During their stay they met with Mahmoud Ahmadinajad. They received no indication at any time during that visit, including the meeting with Ahmadinajad, that “The Muslims” or the people or leaders of Iran had any desire or intention of killing them, the Iranian Jews, or any other Jews.
      – In the Middle Ages when Jews fled the Inquisition and other horrific expressions of European anti-Semitism, they sought, and received refuge mainly in the Muslim world. They seemed to be under the impression that it was European Christians, not Muslims, who were “always, always always on a global quest to kill all Jews”. One gets the impression that they were correct about that, yet you say your observations tell you the opposite.

      I am eager to hear how you explain the above apparently anomalous behaviour on the part of Muslims, given your observations that they are “always, always always on a global quest to kill all Jews”.


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