The enthusiastic media response to the election of the “moderate” and
“reformist” Hassan Rohani is reminiscent of the unrealistic drivel which greeted
the “Arab Spring.” Indeed, there was perhaps greater justification for the
misplaced optimism over the downfall of despotic Arab leaders than in the
election of this mullah, one of eight candidates approved by Ayatollah Khamenei
from a pool of 686.
While Rohani is far more sophisticated than his
predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (a Holocaust denier who continuously called for
Israel to be wiped off the map), he is no moderate. In the past he sought to
cover up Iranian nuclear development, and during the recent elections reiterated
that he remains adamantly committed to Iran’s nuclear project. In 1999 he
supported the brutal suppression of the Iranian student protest. As a member of
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, he was also fully au fait with Iranian
global terrorist attacks including the 1994 bombing at the Buenos Aires Jewish
community center (AMIA) which killed 85 and wounded hundreds of others. Rohani
still unhesitatingly refers to Israel as the “great Satan.”
There are, in
fact, grounds for believing Rohani was the ayatollah’s preferred candidate, on
the grounds that his appearance of moderation could ease Western sanctions and
reduce the threat of military action.
Besides, there is no doubt that the
ayatollah will continue to call the shots on this and all major policy issues.
In 1997 Muhammad Khatami’s election on a reformist program was greeted as a
turning point by the West, but merely resulted in stylistic changes, while the
basic policies and structure of the radical Islamic regime remained
Western leaders are already falling for the ploy: White House
chief of staff Dennis McDonough referred to Rohani’s alleged “moderation” as “a
potentially hopeful sign,” and EU foreign policy spokesman Catherine Ashton
suggested that the president-elect, who would not be taking office until August,
be granted time to appoint new negotiators.
President Barack Obama and
other Western leaders, reluctant to resort to military action to prevent the
Iranians from becoming a nuclear power, will likely use Rohani’s cosmetic
moderation to justify indefinite “ongoing negotiations.”
Binyamin Netanyahu warned the international community “not to become caught up
in wishful thinking and be tempted to relax the pressure on Iran to stop its
nuclear program,” urging that Iran be judged by its actions and, if it continued
to develop its nuclear program, that it be stopped by “any means.”
as we witnessed during the “Arab spring,” a thin line divides naive optimism
from delusion when the West grasps at straws to convince itself that Islamic
fanaticism can be managed diplomatically.
While Israelis have now largely
accepted the true nature of Islamic extremism, the Western world remains largely
in denial. This is highlighted by the ongoing chant that “Islam is a religion of
All religions, including Christianity and Judaism, include texts
which can be interpreted to justify violence and intolerance. However, while
many, if not the majority, of Muslims seek to live in peace, today it is the
Islamists who are empowered, and are imposing their fanaticism, intolerance and
violence on their own people and seeking to do likewise to those in the
There is no difference between extremist Shi’ite and Sunni
millennial ideologies committed to violent global conquest. Their leaders all
loathe the West, are pathologically anti-Semitic and yearn for the global
imposition of Sharia law. Most Westerners fail to internalize that these
concepts represent the core values of the jihadi movement.
overall, the region is like a scorpions’ den in which Islamic fundamentalists
reign supreme or are becoming stronger, there are variations. States with
residual secular roots are less burdened with oppressive regimes. Thus Turkey is
currently less oppressive than Iran, Saudi Arabia or Egypt despite Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vicious anti-Israel rhetoric, designed to foster
popularity in the Arab world.
Some describe his regime as Muslim
Nevertheless, Erdogan’s regime is becoming
increasingly authoritarian, as evidenced by the recent brutal suppression of
demonstrations, and by the fact that Turkey has proportionately more journalists
in jail than any other country.
Unfortunately, the West and the US
administration in particular continue to pursue a disastrous policy of appeasing
the Islamists. Since Obama’s Cairo speech, his abandonment of Mubarak “to
promote democracy,” and his outreach to Iran and rogue states, it has all been
Middle East specialist Barry Rubin even accuses the US of
entering into an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood – in all its pristine
evil. Yet American liberals bury their heads in the sand, characterize Islamic
fundamentalist leaders as “moderates” and ignore the evil anti- Western,
anti-Christian and anti-Semitic ideological foundations upon which the Islamist
regimes are built.
Hamas is a direct offshoot of this poisonous
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is strengthening the
Brotherhood’s control of Egypt and, despite the huge financial support he
receives from the US, responds contemptuously to American concerns regarding
increased human rights abuses. Tunisia’s “Arab Spring” has led to intensified
repression. US intervention on behalf of the anti-Gaddafi rebels in Libya
culminated in the murder of its ambassador.
Yemen is a breeding ground
for al-Qaida, and in Afghanistan the US is engaging in direct negotiations with
the murderous Taliban! The long-standing bipartisan love affair between the US
and Saudi Arabia has enabled the global export of Wahhabi ideology, resulting in
the emergence of clusters of Islamic fundamentalists and even homegrown
terrorists throughout the Western world. Yet the fact wealthy Saudi Arabians are
exporting jihad is kept off the radar.
Of course, Syria represents the
ultimate abomination, where the obscene bestiality of Islamist barbarians is
displayed in the atrocities perpetrated by Assad and the Shi’ites, backed by
Iran and Hezbollah as well as the Sunnis supported by the Saudis, Muslim
Brotherhood factions and other extremists, including offshoots of
Until now, the US has seemed undecided on whether to stand
aside and enable the Iranian-backed Assad regime, which only two years ago it
considered a potential ally, to annihilate its enemies, or to provide military
support to Sunnis which include terrorist bodies like al-Qaida that are likely
to turn these weapons against the West. In the meantime 100,000 Syrians have
been butchered, with many more to follow if the conflict continues.
this constellation, if Iran becomes a nuclear power, it will either completely
dominate the region or ignite a wild race among these unstable Islamic countries
to also achieve nuclear status.
We invite disaster if we succumb to
Iran’s timetable by remaining inactive following the election of a president who
follows instructions from the bitterly fanatical Ayatollah Khomeini, who has
never responded positively to any diplomatic overture.
It is no
exaggeration to state that this situation impacts on the future of Western
civilization. We in Israel are on the front line. Our role must be to persuade
the world that confronting Iranian and Islamic fundamentalism is not merely an
The challenge facing the West is no less critical than
the battles fought to prevent Nazism and Communism from achieving global
domination. Democracies led by the US must devise a realistic strategy including
the option of employing force in order to deter terror and efforts to undermine
our social and democratic order.
This is no time for “hoping for the
best.” It is time to face reality.
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