Ayatollah Khomeini put it this way: “Whatever good exists is because of the sword and the shadow of the sword.”
Can we talk Iran out of wanting to kill every man, woman and child in Israel? That seems to be the question these days.
If Iran were a mental patient, in our psychiatric notes we would have to record the following:
On August 28, 2001, at a rally for Quds (Arabic for Jerusalem) Day, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a Tehran crowd that “the Zionist regime is the axis of unity among all the thieves and criminals of the world.” In 2005, he said, quoting the Imam Khamenei, Israel should be “wiped off the map.”
While the world was busy nit-picking the translation of those words, particularly Israel’s “good friend” Jonathan Steele of The Guardian, arguing Iran’s leader was just referring to a regime change of the evil expansionist Zionists now in power in Jerusalem, not physical annihilation of a sovereign state, Joshua Teitelbaum pointed out in his important rebuttal of these foolish semantics that Michael Axworthy, Britain’s consular officer in Tehran, testified that slogans draped over missiles in Iran’s military parades stated: “Israel must be wiped off the map.” Ahmadinejad’s own speech was peppered with “Marg bar Esrail” (Death to Israel).
On February 20, 2008, Ahmadinejad called Israel “a black and filthy microbe,” and in 2011 he likened Israel to “a cancer cell that spreads through the body,” stating that “this regime infects any region [and must therefore] be removed.”
As a psychiatrist, we would have to ask the patient: Why, when you have no border with Israel and your citizens are not affected in any way on a daily basis by anything that Israel does, are you filled with enough hatred to want to kill millions of men, women and children, most of whom are the treasured survivors of a nation decimated by mindless atrocities and slaughter only 60 years ago?
The most honest answer would require courage, honesty and some real insight, all three of which are in short supply in the present Iranian regime. However, Robert R. Reilly probably comes closest to the truth in his book The Closing of the Muslim Mind: “The fuel for the permanent war is the same for Islamism as it was for Marxism-Leninism and Nazism; it is hatred. Only the object of hatred changes – from race hatred in Nazism and class hatred in communism to hatred of the infidel in radical Islamism.”
As stated in the Koran (60:4) itself (and quoted by Osama bin Laden): “Battle, animosity and hatred – directed from the Muslim to the infidel – is the foundation of our religion.” Or, as Abdullah Azzam, bin Laden’s mentor, put it: “Glory does not build its lofty edifice except with skulls. Honor and respect cannot be established except on a foundation of cripples and corpses. Jihad and the rifle alone, no negotiations, no conferences and no dialogue.” Ayatollah Khomeini, the former supreme spiritual leader of the Iranian regime, put it this way: “Whatever good exists is because of the sword and the shadow of the sword.”
With the Internet, this “virtual community of hatred,” a phrase coined by Professor Jerrold M. Post, professor of psychiatry, political psychology and international affairs at George Washington University, is now almost exclusively and most murderously directed at the Jews, particularly the Jewish state. This has reached ludicrous proportions.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, in 2009, Iranian TV declared swine flu to be an Israeli conspiracy. In June 2008, an Iranian movie critic, Dr. Majid Shah-Hosseini, traced the origins of the film Saving Private Ryan to exalting the American- Jewish soldier: “Names may be selected for their rhyming value. Zion becomes Ryan.” Hasan Bolkhari, adviser to the Iranian Ministry of Education, wrote in 2006 that the cartoon Tom and Jerry was “a Jewish conspiracy to improve the image of mice because Jews were called dirty mice in Europe.”
Lest anyone point the finger at the Arab-Israeli conflict as the culprit for this mindless hatred, it should be pointed out that one of the first religious laws enacted in Iran in the late 19th century forbids Jews from going outdoors in inclement weather “for fear that the rain or snow carry their impurities to the Muslims” (The Jews of Islam by Bernard Lewis).
Still, the belief in the “talking cure” for Iran continues to be supported throughout the world.
Peter Beaumont, writing in The Observer on March 11, maintains that a rational dialogue with Iran is both possible and necessary. “Israel’s security concerns and its ever-louder threats to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities… far from illuminating what actually motivates Iran in its nuclear ambitions… has tended to obscure Tehran’s motives instead.”
Right. It’s Israelis who are irrational.
But the irrational views of one mediocre journalist would be of little import were they not echoed by Israel’s so-called “best friends.”
Barack Obama told the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference on March 4, “I firmly believe that an opportunity remains for diplomacy, backed by pressure, to succeed.” On March 7, the president of the United States stated even more clearly: “Diplomacy can still resolve the crisis over Iran’s possible pursuit of nuclear weapons,” accusing his Republican critics of “beating the drums of war.”
Echoing the president, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared in a joint press conference with Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib on March 9 that Washington wants “to begin discussions with Iran.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “We’ve been very clear: If there was an Israeli strike, we wouldn’t support them.”
Charles Krauthammer, a long-time friend of Israel, summed up the dangers of such a view in an article published on March 13: “These negotiations don’t just gain time for a nuclear program [over] whose military intent the IAEA is issuing alarming warnings. They make it extremely difficult for Israel to do anything about it (while it still can) lest Israel be universally condemned for having aborted a diplomatic solution.”
Israel’s enemies, it seems, have all the time in the world to dither. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen? As an Israeli, I can only feel chilled to the core that the idea of the Jewish state and all its inhabitants being wiped out doesn’t seem to terrify the West nearly as much as a preemptive Israeli strike to prevent it. Israel, it seems, is facing the madman alone.
If you Google “Is Iran Sane?” what you get is a stream of articles on the death of Sane Jaleh, who died instantly when he was shot by suspected Basij, the paramilitary wing of the Terrorist IR Regime during a demonstration in Tehran. According to Wikipedia, Sane, a Kurdish Iranian, was a film student at the Tehran Art University and a member of the national student union (Tahkime Vahdat).
“Eyewitness accounts suggest that between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. of the 14th of February Basij paramilitary thugs opened fire on demonstrators, shooting at them indiscriminately.” And thus, with his death, perhaps the only person who could legitimately be called sane in Iran (I refer to the leadership, and not some of the brave opponents of the regime) was buried.
For all of us who retain our sanity and our love for humanity and for Israel, it should be clear that dangerous mental cases like the Iranian regime should not be free to lie on the couch while their nuclear program churns out deadly weapons for them to fulfill their darkest and most insane fantasies.
This article was first published in the Jerusalem Post on 23 March, 2012.