When Israelis say Iran is eager to destroy Israel even at the cost of its own
destruction, I think that says more about Israelis than it does about
Civilizations don’t resolve to commit suicide. It goes against
the laws of nature, against evolution.
There have been crazy
civilizations, crazy religions, crazy leaders, but to decide on a move that
guarantees the annihilation of your country, your people – nobody’s ever done
that. I can’t imagine anybody would, certainly not the leaders of a country of
75 million people, of one of the oldest, proudest civilizations on
I agree – Ahmadinejad, the mullahs and many millions of Iranians
hate Israel, they’d love to see it disappear, and they are fanatic ideologues.
But so fanatic that they will cause Iran and its 5,000-year-old culture to be
wiped out in return for the privilege of wiping Israel out? This is the goal
they’re working towards, this is what’s in the front of their minds as they go
through the day, this is what looms ahead of all their little plans for
tomorrow, for the weekend, for the holidays – auto-genocide?
Uh-uh. It’s an
irrational understanding of the Iranians, of any nation. But this is the
understanding that’s shared probably by most Israelis, and it seems to be the
view that’s driving our reaction to Iran’s nuclear program.
And this craziness, if it leads us to start a war with Iran, will have
WHATEVER AHMADINEJAD once said or didn’t say,
whatever weird Shi’ite doctrine might have been written down by someone over
1,000 years ago, why do Israelis believe the Iranians don’t just hate us, but
hate us so much that they’re eager to become extinct just so they can make us
One reason – nothing new here – is the sense of eternal victimhood
at the core of Israeli identity; if we stop believing that our enemies are
committed to our destruction, no matter the cost, we won’t know who we are, and
then we’ll have to find a new identity.
Another reason for this
hysterical reading of Iran’s intentions is that it leaves us only one option –
attack – which removes the stress of uncertainty, and the inability to handle
the stress of uncertainty, I figure, lies behind countless wars.
there’s one more reason that I don’t think has been discussed – Israeli
egocentrism, especially in relation to our Muslim enemies.
When we say
the Iranians value our nation’s death more than they value their own nation’s
life – boy, we must really be something! Love us or hate us, they sure think
about us, don’t they? Positive or negative, we are one hell of a “significant
other” to these people, aren’t we?
Has any nation ever paid a compliment to
another nation like the Iranians, with their designs for doomsday, are paying
us? Never. Iran is obsessed with Israel like no country has ever been obsessed
with any other country in world history.
How cool is that?
But then we
shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, what else do they have in their lives? What do
they have to compare with Israel for stimulation? What could they possibly care
about more than they care about us?
Most Israelis see the 1.5 billion Muslims of
the world as one giant, seething mob. They don’t love their children, they’re
incapable of creating anything, all they do from morning til night is plot
maniacally against the Jews.
We don’t think of them as people like us. We
think of them as scorpions.
I’m not saying they’re wonderful – not
Iranian society, not Muslim society at large. In fact, I’m not wild about Muslim
society. I’ve never wished I’d been born an Arab in Saudi Arabia, I’ve never
dreamed of being able to emigrate to Libya. I understand very well that that the
Muslim world is beset by severe pathologies – violence, fanaticism and tyranny –
and I know Iran is a particularly terrible, dangerous part of it.
bad as they may be, the Iranians, finally, are a human society, too, and as such
they are guided by the collective instinct to survive, which is why I don’t
believe they’re planning to nuke this country. If we didn’t have nuclear
weapons, that might be a different story, but we have them, and this makes all
the difference in the world.
It’s fair to say that all Muslim countries
have a deep antipathy to Israel, all would like to see the Jewish state
dismantled, and some might even like to physically wipe us out. And yes, we take
up a disproportionate amount of their thoughts. But not all of their
Muslims, including Iranians, actually think about things
besides how much they hate Israel. They think about their health, their
families, their livelihood, their future. They’re not going to throw all that
away forever, even to get rid of their worst enemy. That’s not how human
Like Israelis, the Iranians have their own lives, their
own civilization, to get on with. Auto-genocide isn’t worth it to them. Sorry,
but they’re just not that into us.