I have mixed feelings about the terror attack in Iran today which claimed 103 lives (so far). I know they will try to pin it on Israel. Already the Vice President of Iran has blamed it on “Israel’s supporters.” Yadayadayada.
Frankly, it’s not our style. Something to do with our religion and culture. We aren’t interested in mass deaths, only fighting actual terrorists with blood on their hands. And while this unavoidably sometimes produces collateral damage, especially in a Hamas-dominated terror world where civilians are used as human shields to hide behind, and schools, hospitals, kindergartens and apartment buildings as places to hide beneath, we never knowingly target civilians for revenge or for the hell of it.
That is not to say that a certain part of me doesn’t view with equanimity Iranians experiencing first-hand the terror they export and mobilize all over the world.
A much more likely scenario for what happened today in Iran is that internal opposition to the mullahs has struck at the heart of the terror-supporting regime by targeting the anniversary celebrations and homage to the dead Qasem Soleimani, who was Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s right hand man. What better way to stick it to the regime which ruthlessly and indiscriminately opened fire with Kalashnikov-style assault rifles and handguns on protesters following the September 16, 2022 death of 22-year-old Mahsa (Jina) Amini in the custody of Iran’s abusive “morality police?”
As reported last year by Ali Alfoneh of The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, D.C., “the failing legitimacy of the Islamic regime in Iran has seen these protests grow ever more violent” as the mullahs grasp on to power with their fingernails. Moreover, after the “heavily manipulated election that secured Ebrahim Raisi’s path to the presidency in 2021, Iranians have been increasingly boycotting elections due to the lack of real choice, and there appears to be a correlation between the decline in political participation and an increase in street protests.
“The 2022-23 protests have hitherto claimed the lives of 592 protesters and 73 government personnel, more than the combined number of fatalities in the six previous major protests in Iran since June 1981.”
This week provides yet another anniversary of sorts. The parents of Gil-ad Shaer, one of the three teenagers abducted and murdered in 2014 by order of al-Arouri, Hamas second in charge who was assassinated by Israel yesterday in Beirut, were interviewed today by Ynet.
“There is a great deal of symbolism that our son’s birthday comes out this week. We have finally come full circle with al-Arouri, whose despicable, perverted ideas and planning caused [our son’s kidnapping and murder],” said Gil-ad’s mom Bat-Galim.
Asked whether it was something they’d been waiting for all these years, father Ophir Shaer answered: “I think it’s eternal proof that we know how to hold to account those who murder Israelis. When a murderer like that is no longer with us, there is a very great sense of relief.” Bat-Galim had this to say: “It wasn’t something that occupied our thoughts over the years. We decided instead to concentrate on doing good things.”
The family created the non-profit “Matok Ba’Lev” to commemorate their son’s love of sweets. Every year they bake cookies and sell them, turning over the profits to soldiers and the residents of the Gaza envelope settlements. “It’s incredible where the strength of our people comes from,” Bat-Galim continued. “We are in the midst of a long and meaningful struggle, but everyone understands that it is our unity that gives us strength and love and healing.”
She’s right. There is a new trend among soldiers who are uploading videos of themselves to social media in which they tell Israeli politicians and newscasters: “If what you’re saying doesn’t contribute to unifying our people, shut your mouths.”