We should not be blind to Israel's ambitions
By Babak Fani
August 22, 2001
Your opinion piece, "Just
wondering" has clearly touched a nerve among not only the Iranian
community but apparently among some in Israel as well. I must say that reading
your analysis of Iran's security concerns in the context of the question
you posed reminded me of the "asb-e assari" complaining about
the flies sitting on its nose while being led with blind folds. This analogy
is not meant to minimize the issues you raise, but taking the position of
"beh maa cheh" with respect to Israel in view of Israel's dominance
and influence in the region is nothing short of having blind folds on.
Mr. Rastegar's response, "It
is our business", eloquently addresses why as Iranians (whether
as a nation living in Iran or a community spread across the rest of the
globe), we must not only be concerned with but be vigilant and informed
about the actions of the state of Israel. One need not go further than the
well documented lobbying efforts by AIPAC that resulted in instituting the
US sanctions against Iran and its subsequent efforts to periodically renew
the sanctions bill (an initial draft copy of the sanctions bill introduced
by Alfonse D'Amato, the then senator from N.Y., was reportedly found on
Israelis consulate stationary).
The issue here is not one of Jew versus Moslem, though that is often
resorted to as an easy explanation for the ills of the region. Rather, it
is the age old lesson we must have learned from our thick history books.
What did all the memorizing of those dates of wars and conquests, names
of kings and dynasties teach us if not the powerful's desire to conquer
more riches and perpetuate its dominance. With that in mind, let's engage
in a simple exercise in logic:
2: Iran has one of the largest oil reserves in the world and the second
largest reserves of natural gas. If not checked, Iran can easily become
the number one power in the region to contend with, and potentially a significant
player in the world economy.
2: Israel has nothing to gain and a lot to lose from a strong and economically
viable Iran. It has very little to gain because with the annual $6 billion
combined military and non-military foreign aid it receives from the U.S.
and its heavy nuclear arsenal, it simply doesn't need a strong Iran as an
ally. It has a lot to lose because a strong Iran can jeopardize its dominance
in the region. Not to mention the fact that any overt alliance with Iran
would undermine the very excuse for billions it receives in military aid
(Iran of course being the rouge state that sponsors regional terrorism).
2+2: From the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act all the way back to Israel's role
in providing military intelligence and supplies to both sides during the
Iran-Iraq war to perpetuate the deaths and destruction that war brought
upon us, there is ample evidence to support the only conclusion that can
be drawn from this simple exercise in logic.
It must be added that both logic and a basic sense of justice is indeed
in short supply when it comes to those who bemoan Israel's lack of moral
superiority yet advocate a "Friendly
stance" while invoking the Persian concept of "daad"
no less. The parallel that Mr. Amir attempts to draw with the European powers
engaging the government of Iran is plainly not applicable when it comes
to Israel. Iran is not occupying other people's land, Israel is, and in
the process it is inflicting the kind of atrocities upon a defenseless lot
that its own people more than any other should abhor. If one were to draw
any parallels, Mr. Amir's prescription for a friendly stance with Israel
is akin to Reza Shah's affinity for the Nazi Germany after their occupation
All would agree that conflicts are not resolved by perpetuating anger
and violence. But it is perhaps the curse of our time that more easily than
ever more and more of our minds are being shaped to see the anger and violence
as defined by another. Ultimately, the responsibility to seek the truth
rests squarely on our own shoulders. Below are a few more sources of information
on the Middle East that might help balance, if ever so modestly, the vastly
lopsided coverage that is provided by the mainstream media.