Netanyahu, what a speech you gave at Munich Security Conference on Sunday. You even brought a piece of the downed Iranian constructed drone and threatened to attack Iran directly.
Allow me, Netanyahu, to interrupt your speech in retrospect.
You began by pointing out the historical echoes of Munich, with two anecdotes – first the more recent one, with the massacre of the Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972, but perhaps even more significantly for your argument, the Munich agreement of 1938. That pre-war agreement is often referred to as an ‘appeasement’, in that Germany was given legitimacy for its annexation of Czechoslovakian territory, which Germany named Sudetenland. You used this anecdote in order to refer to Iran. The logic is that appeasement of tyrants is just foolish.
“The concessions to Hitler only emboldened the Nazi regime and facilitated its conquest of Europe. Rather than choosing a path that might have prevented war, or at the very least limited its scope and its scale, those well-intentioned leaders made a wider war inevitable and far more costly.”
Well, you know, Israel is also receiving a whole lot of concessions on resolutions and international laws that it is simply being allowed to not comply with, and it’s not exactly leading to peace. But let’s get back to your speech and Iran, the supposed “Nazis”.
Ah, but “Iran is not Nazi Germany”, you noted. So what are the differences, Netanyahu?
“There are many differences between the two. Well, for one, one advocated a master race, the other advocates a master faith”.
So what you’re saying is, that whilst the Nazis were about race supremacy, Iran is about religious supremacy, right?
But Netanyahu, your state, the Jewish State, actually applies both aspects: a racial aspect entitling only Jews to national rights, and a religious attachment to the sense of “Jewish”. That’s a problem too.
Sorry for interrupting! Go on.
“Jews in Iran are not sent to the gas chambers.”
Certainly not, Netanyahu. In fact, even CNN noted three years ago (when you were trying to destroy the Iran deal at the US Congress), that the Ayatollah Khomeini had “issued a fatwa, a religious decree, saying that Iranian Jews were different to those in Israel and should be considered an integral part of the Islamic Republic”.
So Jews are actually protected in Iran. The Iranian regime is clearly anti-Zionist, but that doesn’t mean they’re anti-Semitic. Of course, you wouldn’t mention that, it’s a bit too complex for your simplistic message. But go on.
“And there are obviously many other differences… But there are also some striking similarities. Iran openly declares its intention to annihilate Israel with its six million Jews.”
OK stop there. I get it, the Holocaust card. But do they actually seek to annihilate six million Jews in Israel?
Let’s check it out. You know Netanyahu, the statements of Iranian leaders are often, actually quite systematically, mistranslated. I’m sure you’ll agree that one of the more vitriolic leaders was Ahmadinejad – but even there, his statements were being quite egregiously mistranslated. Professor Virginia Tilley wrote a piece on this, titled “Putting Words in Ahmadinejad’s Mouth”.
The most infamous quote, “Israel must be wiped off the map”, is the most glaringly wrong. In his October 2005 speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad never used the word “map” or the term “wiped off”. According to Farsi-language experts like Juan Cole and even right-wing services like MEMRI, what he actually said was “this regime that is occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.”
What did he mean? In this speech to an annual anti-Zionist conference, Mr. Ahmadinejad was being prophetic, not threatening. He was citing Imam Khomeini, who said this line in the 1980s (a period when Israel was actually selling arms to Iran, so apparently it was not viewed as so ghastly then). Mr. Ahmadinejad had just reminded his audience that the Shah’s regime, the Soviet Union, and Saddam Hussein had all seemed enormously powerful and immovable, yet the first two had vanished almost beyond recall and the third now languished in prison. So, too, the “occupying regime” in Jerusalem would someday be gone. His message was, in essence, “This too shall pass.”
So you might think I’m being semantic, Netanyahu. Because I’m pointing out that Iranian leaders are basically expressing a wish for regime change. Do you find that strange, Netanyahu? After all, in the last paragraph of your talk, you said this:
I am convinced that one day this [Iranian] regime will fall, and when it does, the great peace between the ancient Jewish people and the ancient Persian people will flourish once again.
Netanyahu, that’s just about a mirror-statement to the one from Khomeini and Ahmadinejad.
You brought in a piece of metal from the downed Iranian drone. I know, it’s a visual trick to make us pay attention. I don’t know whether that was better than your ridiculous bomb-cartoon presentation at the UN in 2012. You addressed the Iranian Foreign Minister directly:
Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should. It’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel’s resolve.
Ooh, scary. An Iranian-produced drone has supposedly entered Israeli airspace (never mind that the Golan is actually occupied Syrian territory). What about the American-produced airplanes that have repeatedly bombed Syria in the past years? And how silly would you think it would be, if Assad for example referred to the American-produced F-16 that was downed and told the Americans “don’t test our resolve”? Yes, Syria has an alliance with Iran, like you have an alliance with US.
Why does the Iranian regime deny its people hope and respect by jailing journalists and activists?
Well, why do you deny Palestinians hope by jailing children, as well as journalists and activists – even ones who are Israeli citizens?
You complain about Iranian executions. I agree, that should stop. But are you really going to stop the systematic extrajudicial executions of Palestinians, and is it going to have any consequence that even non-Jewish citizens can be extrajudicially executed, as in the case of Yaqub Musa Al-Qia’an, during the ethnic cleansing of his Israeli Bedouin village no less?
And if we’re speaking about executions, let’s speak about Saudi Arabia. That’s one of the biggest executioners in the world, and it employs beheading. In October, Amnesty International reported that “since July 2017, the Saudi Arabian government has been on an execution spree with an average of five people put to death per week”. Sometimes, the death penalty is used against political protests. And how do you feel about Saudi Arabia then, Netanyahu?
Now, there has been one positive consequence of Iran’s growing aggression in the region. It’s brought Arabs and Israelis closer together as never before.
Yes, we know. The media tells us it’s an “open secret” that the Israel-Saudi relations are flourishing, and have in fact been going on with direct meetings for “at least five years”. NBC reports, “Israel’s intelligence and transportation minister, Yisrael Katz, called on Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to invite Netanyahu to Riyadh to establish full diplomatic relations”. This is the same Katz who called for “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders, specifically Omar Barghouti. Katz would understand the Saudis very well… NBC also quotes Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman urging “full diplomatic and economic relations” with Arab states. Lieberman can understand the Saudis very well. He, too, has called for the beheading of “disloyal” Palestinians (as well as for their drowning in the Dead Sea, which is admittedly an option the Saudis do not possess).
But all that aside, you’re trying to prevent a Holocaust, is what I get from you.
We will never forget and we will never allow the rewriting of the historical truth.
Never mind that you rewrote history yourself on precisely that chapter, blaming Hitler’s ‘final solution’ on the Palestinian Grand Mufti. You even repeated your point in Hebrew:
“We will not forget; we will not forgive; we will always fight for the truth.”
And now you’re telling us that it’s about the threat of a global Holocaust:
“Because once armed with nuclear weapons, Iran’s aggression will be unchecked and it will encompass the entire world. Look at what they are doing now, before they have nuclear weapons. Imagine what they will do later if G-d forbid they’ll have them.”
Hey, wait a second. Israel fits in that box. It has nuclear weapons (can I say that already?). And look what Israel does when it has them. We don’t even need to imagine. Children in Gaza are massacred anyway– with 1-ton bombs. And yes, the fact of nuclear capacity has a deterrent effect upon anyone who would try to keep Israel in check. After all, you keep inculcating the world with the notion that you can “go mad”, “go wild”, “go crazy” and so on .
So Netanyahu, I’m not really convinced. You seem desperate to me, but I’m wondering about your motives, whether they are actually that sincere. I’m thinking that all this rhetoric might also somehow be related to your corruption scandals, and that it is a means of diverting attention from them.
I must say I’m a bit worried about what you might end up doing. Because leaders like you, who are that desperate, may just start a war and go a bit ‘wild’, now that all hell seems to be breaking loose on them.