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Sinners preaching the gospel
IRI vs. Israel: The pot calling the kettle black

By Shahriar Zangeneh
August 28, 2001
The Iranian

The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the supporters of its policy toward Israel invariably base their justification on morality and pursuit of justice. It's the defense of the aggrieved that compels IRI to forfeit Iran's national interest, become a target of "the worldwide Zionist media", the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) and a possible future military attack. It's the duty of "the first religious government on earth" to defend the interest of the oppressed and the downtrodden. The unending pogroms of the Palestinians are making IRI to bankroll half a dozen freedom movements. It's the right thing to do.

On the face of it, it all sounds good. It makes one to be proud of having been sired in such a land, a beacon of morality and justice. Advocacy of the oppressed is a deeply satisfying noble quality.

The purpose of this writing is not to defend the indefensible, i.e. the violation of Palestinians' civil rights by Israel. Nor is it intended to recount the daily horrors administered to them (Palestinian and Israeli civilians) in the name of national security of Israel. Other intertwined issues of Middle East are also avoided for the sake of brevity. Every other issue except IRI's pursuance of morality and justice as a foreign policy objective is intentionally overlooked.

Morality, whatever it means, and justice, to be effective, have to be applied across the board and without exception. One can not be a sinner and preach the gospel to the neighbor. That would be hypocrisy. So is to be living in an expropriated house and admonishing someone else for doing the same.

Supporters of IRI's policy never get tired of recounting the horrors befallen the Palestinians at the hands of Israel or her local lackeys, as though they are the only ones privy to the publicly available information. What they invariably fail to mention is that the IRI is no better, if not worse than Israel in committing the very same egregious crimes. They fail to appreciate that it is the case of the pot calling the kettle black. They need to reflect on the saying, cheraaghy keh beh khaaneh ravaast beh masjed haraam ast.

One of the main reasons for the IRI's failed Palestinian policy is its domestic policies and as a consequence the lack of credibility at home and abroad. It would be one thing if a Scandinavian country preached Israel and quite another when Tehran does it.

The moral high ground that the IRI is claiming to occupy is nothing but a figment of its supporters imagination, so is its pursuit of justice for the Palestinian. The actions of the IRI toward its own subjects clearly demonstrate this. It is becoming harder and harder for the apologists to explain away or sweep under the rug. There isn't a rug big enough to cover it all. That leaves the age old hypocritical command of do as I say and not as I do.

Another reason for the IRI's failed Palestinian policy again goes back to the nature of the regime itself. To be blunt, it scares away the potential sympathizers. Not many nations and individuals who are in full command of their faculty, would want to be publicly identified with a cause that its biggest supporters are the IRI and Saddam Hussein. The Hawks in Israel like the Shas Party have picked up on this and use it to cow the burgeoning domestic peace movement. Ayatollah Khamenei and his minions' shameless anti-Semitic speeches serve as an unlimited ammunition depot for the supporters of Israel's policies.

The last reason for the failure of the IRI is its relentless pursuit of a tried and failed policy. Calling Israel a cancerous tumor that needs to be taken out only reveals to the world the dearth of IRI's policy. Unfortunately the history of the Jewish diaspora clearly shows a need for a safe haven for human beings who have chosen to be adherents of Judaism. When the chips been down they have been the first ones to be targeted with nowhere to take sanctuary. Any plausible settlement in the Middle East has to take this need as a given, something that the IRI adamantly refuses to do so and, interestingly enough, the Palestinian leadership has publicly announced that it does.

Saddam Hussein's announced policy of chemotherapy (gassing the cancerous Israel) and the IRI's scare straight policy of a suicide bomber around every corner, only serve to harden the resolve of the Israelis. They simply have nowhere else to go, and when cornered they fight to survive with all the rules of a decent society being their first victim.

The fallacy of IRI's desire for justice is put on gruesome display every time a misguided youth blows himself and other innocent civilians to bits. Where is the justice in killing youth for their parents' "crime"? What sort of morality dictates taking advantage of an impressionable youth, pumping him with promises of drop dead gorgeous naked "hoors and ghalmaans" impatiently awaiting his arrival in the afterlife?

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Shahriar Zangeneh


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