Iran vs Israel

David Hazony posts on FB:

Pop quiz: Which of the following is most likely to be true:
(a) The Iranian regime is increasing its hateful rhetoric because, in the event of a historic reconciliation with the West, they want to maximize the drama of their transformation so they can look like forgiving souls.
(b) The Iranian regime has no intention of using the nuclear deal to bring about a historic reconciliation with the West, and therefore is increasing its hateful rhetoric to show that if a deal is finally signed, it is another big victory on its march towards regional dominance. If it’s not signed, it’s because they stuck to their principles.
(c) The Iranian regime is incompetent, so it doesn’t realize that increasing its hateful rhetoric is not consistent with historic reconciliation with the West.
(d) All that hateful rhetoric was never really serious to begin with, and we’ve been misunderstanding them all these years.
The fate of the coming generation might just rest on answering this correctly.

Luke Ford: None of the above. Iran has fundamental conflicts of interests with some other nations and they will get the bomb no matter what the US or Israel does because they have rational reasons for asserting their power and influence.

Is Iran’s rhetoric any more hateful than the Book of Esther and the festival of Purim when we celebrate the slaughter of 70,000 of our enemies, or the Passover when we celebrate the slaughter of Egypt’s first born, or when we pray in the Amidah, “And for slanderers let there be no hope; and may all Your enemies be cut down speedily. May you speedily uproot, smash, cast, down, and humble the wanton sinners — speedily in our days. Blessed are you, HaShem, Who breaks enemies and humbles wanton sinners”, or when at the end of the morning prayers (Shacharit), we Jews say the Six Remembrances, including:

“You shall remember what Amalek did to you on the way, when you went out of Egypt, how he happened upon you on the way and cut off all the stragglers at your rear, when you were faint and weary, and did not fear G‑d. [Therefore,] it will be, when the L‑rd your G-d grants you respite from all your enemies around [you] in the land which the L‑rd, your G‑d, gives to you as an inheritance to possess, that you shall obliterate the remembrance of Amalek from beneath the heavens. You shall not forget!”?

All strongly identifying tribal groups tend towards negative feelings about out-groups. Why would Iran be at peace with its enemy Israel having nuclear weapons? As surely as Esav hates Yaakov, Yaakov hates Esav.

David Hazony: You know, when you have to go back two to three thousand years to find something as bad as what the Iranians are saying, it makes me think, “Yup, let’s lift those sanctions.”

Luke Ford: Along with a million other Jews, I just prayed this morning for the complete destruction of our enemies in the Amidah. Of course, our enemies are G-d’s enemies.

David Hazony: It strikes me that “believe all rhetoric” was not my point, so I’m not sure what question you think you’re answering. Rather: Judge actions first, and then figure out what the words mean after the fact. One set of rhetoric happens to be backed by (a) military expansionism and the explicit attempts to conquer neighboring regimes; (b) support for terror groups that try to take the rhetoric literally; (c) a human rights record befitting an expansionist totalitarian genocidal political regime; and (d) an explicit connection being drawn between the genocidal rhetoric and the building of a nuclear bomb. The other set is kinda sorta lacking in all that. Don’t you think?

Luke Ford: You make good points. Judge actions first. Iran nor Muslims in general have demonstrated much competency beyond sneak attacks. The last time Iran launched an invasion was in the 17th Century. They’re not exactly a formidable power. They’ve had a nuclear program since the 1950s, so they’re losers aka typically incompetent low IQ Muslims, for not being able to build bombs by now. Israel has the only nuclear program in the Middle East and the most powerful military in the region plus the backing of the USA, so Iran has rational reason to want to develop its own nuclear program. Iran has a human rights record that is common to Muslims with an average IQ of 84. Israel does not boast about using nukes to blow up their enemies, so you make good points. It is obviously in Iran’s interests to get nuclear weapons. It must be unbearable for them that the Jewish state has them and they don’t. How can they live with that humiliation?

“The fate of the coming generation might just rest on answering this correctly.” Which generation? The American? The Israeli one? Iran presents little threat to the USA.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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