70 thoughts on “Phone Call Heard Round the World – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. i don’t see what you have against Bibi warnings about a nuclear Iran. this is the same country that is funding the terror organisations that attack Israel and Israelis – so for them to have such a weapon could be catastrophic. i see perfect logic about that. and this also shows why we don’t trust them yet. it’s not just about the weapons.
    and who do you think will take the hit and live under threat – you in Seattle? maybe your commentators in France? we are affected by your policies in the middle east (do i need to mention the 1st Iraq war? or the big and small devils?) at least as much as the jewish and pro israel orgs are affecting you. you have an entire ocean as a natural defence system we have a few km of desert – so no we are not in the midst of jubilation over any announcement made by the Iranian Pres. the situation in the middle east is extremely fragile and can tip over very easily – just a few weeks ago we were on the brink of war and now we are talking about world peace.
    and the ongoing blaming of the AIPAC etc. influencing your leaders – instead of blaming Israel protecting it’s interest you should talk about your leaders growing a pair and stop letting a country of 7 mil to run the strongest country in the world.

    @ oui, it’s shabat so there will be no official statement from Israel until the evening (probably around 8 pm israeli time) or even maybe tomorrow. you’ll have something to post then don’t worry.

    1. Interesting viewpoint you hold on terror, when I distinctly remember something about motorycycles, magnetic bombs, and dead nuclear scientists in Iran.

      And nice omission of the little fact that Israeli nuclear missiles are pointed at Iranian cities right now. Nothing theoretical about it; talk about ‘living under threat’…

      1. @ lifelong,
        there was a time when Israel-Iran ties were very strong. in fact. Iran was probably the closest Muslim country to Israel in the region. mmm… but guess what event changed all that….? and where did it occur?
        my family fled from Iran after the revolution – some came to israel and some to the us. in almost a heart bit the relations went sour and never to recover until present day. it is the iranian leaders who made the choice whom to support. they’ve decided to fund terror orgs that would fight Israel – it’s not the other way around.

        and if you think for a moment that israel’s WMD are not a necessity well you have history reminding you otherwise. you talk about threat – Israel’s weapons are in storage and they are the hail Mary in case we would be pushed to it. Israel is the one surrounded by either enemy states or states that are unstable in which popular belief is that Israel has no right to exist. i never heard an Israeli leader not mention the name Iran because they are not worthy of mentioning and that Iran doesn’t have a place on this earth. there is no ‘Quds Day’ which turned into a hate parade against Israel – do you think that these kind of propaganda doesn’t sink in to younger generations and will affect the leaders of the future? that ritual began in Iran in 1979 long before the motorcycles and scientist being assassinated.

        1. Sorry, but again what a conveniently simplistic way of seeing things. Did Iran force Israel to occupy Lebanon once they expelled the PLO? That and that alone is the reason for the existence of Hezbollah today. Shia muslims in Lebanon supported the Israeli troops when they first invaded, and there wouldn’t have been a problem if the Israeli’s had left once the job was done. But Israel decided to stay, and now 30 years later, they’re still paying the price for it.

          So please be careful when you bring up ‘history’, since Hamas is similarly rooted in an Israeli cockup and again has pretty close to nothing to do with Iran. The immortal ghosts of Tel-Aviv aren’t that smart, and they aren’t half as good as Israel wants the world to think they are… And your comment about Israeli WMD’s, it just shows how ingrained the arrogance of the Israeli nation is. You’re basically stating that Israel has the right to defend itself, but Iran does not! You don’t think the US invading Iraq and Afghanistan, the Taliban slowly taking over Pakistan, the Fifth Fleet positioned in Bahrain and Israel on a weekly basis threatening the use of force is a cause for concern? How stable are Iran’s neighbours right about now, and who’s fault is that??

          And just as a bit of friendly advice: if you base your arguments on double standards as you did above, you can’t be taken seriously.

        2. @ Noam: Yes Israeli ties with Iran were strong under the Shah. In fact, the Savak was trained in torture techniques by the Mossad. It’s real badge of honor & sign of Israel’s humanitarian services to humanity!

          As an Iranian immigrant to Israel you’re in the same boat as Meir Javedanfar. YOu haven’t been to Iran in decades. You only know the ignorant prejudicial statements about it you hear in the Israeli media/ You’re like the Cuban dissidents in Miami who dream of overthrowing a regime which they view as poisoning their lives. When real Cubans merely want to get on with their lives.

          If you’re an Iranian immigrant why does your nickname & e mail address contain “Noam Frankfurt?” I hope you have a good explanation for this because I do NOT like poseurs or frauds here.

          Israel’s WMD IS a necessity if it insists on continuing to be the regional bully it has been & is. Israel’s weapons are in storage??? Really? Is that why nuclear-weaponized Israeli submarines are patrolling just outside Iran’s waters? You know nothing about the IDF if you think its weapons are in storage. That doesn’t even pass the laugh test!

    2. @ Noam: Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapon. It isn’t even close to having one. ANd even if it did have one (which it doesn’t) it would not assemble it for use unless under existential attack. Israel has 200 such weapons right now some pointed at Tehran & they’re assembled & ready to go at a moment’s notice. And you have the chutzpah to say Israel is entitled to do to Iran what no country did to Pakistan, North Korea or all the other nations which have nuclear weapons? That’s not only hypocrisy, it’s offensive. Israel doesnt’ have the right to rewrite the rules for conduct among nations just because it’s convenient for it to do so.

    1. There are loads of pictures of Rouhani shaking non-muslim hands. I have had a Jewish man refuse my handshake on the other hand, and that certainly had to do with “rules of maintaining ritual purity”.

      1. @ Elisabeth,

        a religious man won’t shake a woman’s hand even if she’s jewish (unless she’s his wife or family). it’s called “shmirat negiaha” – that has nothing to do with your race or religion. so i’m afraid you are point is meaningless.


          1. Richard,
            I was born ino a modern orthodox home and have spent much of my 58 years in and around Orthodox Jews from modern orthodox to ultra orthodox.

            I have never heard of the practice of a male Jew being forbidden to shake hands with a gentile man.

            As to Elisabeth the man did not shake your hand because you are not a closely related woman. Wife daughter,sister,mother,aunt,grandchild etc. Doesn’t matter if it is a hug or a handshake.
            This man likely would not even hug his sister in law. The only time ritual purity is a issue is w ith any woman he is planning to have intercourse with. Generally that issue is only with his wife.

          2. @ Ya shove: There are certainly ultra-Orthodox men who would prefer not shaking hands with a non-Jew (& perhaps even a non-Orthodox Jew). Not to mention that myriad Orthdox beliefs & practices confirm a sense of Orthodox Jewish superiority over non-Jews.

        1. Noam, J.J. tried to insinuate that Rouhani refuses to touch non-muslims because he sees them as unclean, which is easily disproven, while the refusal of orthodox Jewish men to shake my hand is real.

          I never said it had anything to do with my race or religion so I don’t understand why you brought that up. The refusal to shake my hand clearly had to do with my sex, but to you as a man that is perhaps ‘meaningless’?

          Before people try to make someone else’s religion look bigoted they should honestly look at their own religious traditions as well; that is what I tried to make J.J do, even though I agree with Jay that J.J. seems a hopeless case.

          You rather patronisingly referred me to a Wikipedia article. Why? What did you try to prove with that? Is that quote from Leviticus (“You shall not approach a woman in her time of unclean separation, to uncover her nakedness”) supposed to convince me that refusing to shake my hand had nothing to do with “rules of maintaining ritual purity”? You will have to do better than that.

      2. Elisabeth,

        having tried to engage J.J. in a frank intellectual discussion unsuccessfully, and having glanced at J.J.’s other postings, it is my suggestion that it is perhaps best to disengage J.J.. There are several reasons for this, but the most pertinent ones are:
        a) he/she has, or projects to have, very shallow intellectual depth,
        b) he/she is more interested in agitation rather than a discussion,
        c) his/her comments, particularly on this site where a degree of critical analysis and engagement is involved, is likely to carry little weight or content, and perhaps more importantly,
        d) disengaging him will enable the rest of the participants to devote more time to meaningful discussion of topics.

        Of course this is merely a suggestion – I admire your attempt to provide J.J. a more well-rounded education on these topics.

      3. I’ve had Jewish women refuse to shake my hand (and I could care less).

        If Rouhani is shaking non-muslim hands than that shows that he’s more progressive than his spiritual mentor, the Ayatollah Khomeini.

        BTW. On his return to Iran Rouhani was met with protestors throwing eggs and shoes at him.

        1. @ J.J.: You’re dredging up old news. The non-meeting was nearly a week ago. Obama & Rouhani had a historic phone call yesterday which you’re entirely glossing over. Please, I’m rapidly losing patience with this nonsense. Stop wasting our time with old news.

  2. Has Iran’s worldview changed since the 21st of August Sarin attack?

    The Iranian leadership doesn’t exactly hang on the opinion polls, but following Saddam’s use of chemical weapons in the Iran/Iraq war, a very large number of Iranians have witnessed the use of chemical weapons and a significant number will have lost a relative or friend.

    If support for Assad is seen as risky or distasteful in Qom as well as Tehran, then there’s not a lot of future in the strategy which Iran was pursuing up till then. So they must be looking for a way out of simply supporting enemies of their enemies, as it were.

    At the same time, the West’s failure to wade into Syria, guns blazing, when presented with a gross provocation, may have caused even the Iranian clergy to reassess their view of the West. In which case, the world has much to thank David Cameron’s startling lack of political judgement for, because his failure to convince Parliament to support military intervention allowed America, after a couple of day’s Brit-bashing irritation, to pursue a much more considered policy on the matter.

    Tehran seems to have perceived this as a chink of light, even if the Kremlin saw it as a chink in the West’s armour, to be immediately exploited.

    But in the absence of any constitutional reform in Iran, a lasting deal requires a very high degree of consensus between the political and theological power structures and the general public. If revulsion at Assad’s methods is strong enough in Iran, that consensus could be there.

  3. If the Security Council has voted to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, why no mention of destroying Israel’s chemical weapons? There will be no progress until the sauce for the goose is also the sauce for the gander.
    However, reading the comment by Noam above, I don’t hold out much hope for anything if he is typical.

    1. “However, reading the comment by Noam above, I don’t hold out much hope for anything if he is typical.”

      yes blabber, it is my views that kept the peace talks with Iran from going forward up until now, and killed all hope…
      can’t think of anyone else? no… a guy always wearing a beige coat? nice beard maybe? repeats the word ‘zionists’ a lot?
      doesn’t ring a bell?

      you’ll get it eventually i’m sure

      and about the WMD, you really see no difference between the two countries?? one as protests with 1 million people which doesn’t turn out to be a bloodbath. one has elections the other has not even the preferred son of a late leader as a ruler (sounds familiar with another country, two words the first one is North…) etc. i’m not even getting in to the ‘who used Sarin gas issue’, but one thing is for certain people in Tel Aviv are not dropping like flies because of it. so there’s your reason.

  4. @Blabbaer

    What does Syria’s gassing her own people have to do with Israel?
    Goosie, goosie gander notwithstanding, I don’t see the linkage.

    1. Typical response.

      If no one else in the area has WMD, or has signed/are willing to sign treaties against the proliferation of WMD, then why doesn’t Israel?
      Why the reluctance to allow inspections of the known nuclear weapons and the dimona site?

          1. If Kyle lives in the United States than he’s lives under the aegis of nuclear deterrence and should move his own country to disarm before asking Israel to do the same.

            I could care less where Kyle lives so long as he’s not being hypocritical.

          2. @ J.J.: Most of us are in favor of nuclear disarmament. How does living in country that has nuclear arms disqualify us from criticizing Israel for having them & being the most belligerent nation in the region??

  5. A world of difference, Iran’s official press and the criticism coming from Israel’s Jerusalem Post – Rouhani meets mixed reception upon return to Iran from UN General Assembly
    Hardliners throw eggs, chant “Death to America, Israel.”

    It should have been Israel and PM Netanyahu to look for an opening for dialogue with Rouhani of Iran. No, Israel was a lone voice to mock the Iranian newly elected president. The global news headlines are: “Obama Reaches Out” and “Netanyahu Mocks Rouhani.” Netanyahu instructed Israeli delegates to walk out during Rouhani’s UNGA speech. There are hardliners (read: warmongers) in each nation. By chance (Kerry’s remark) Obama is ahead of the curve and Israel is lagging.

    Juan Cole has a thoughtfull piece: “Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks”.

    1. ““Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks”.

      Rouhani returned to Iran and was pelted with eggs and shoes.

      I think the ‘hawks’ are in Teheran.

        1. Thousands welcomed Rouhani as he arrived home from the airport. In interviews, citizens expressed hope of a better relationship with the US. There was a group of 60 hardliners who critizised the rapprochement to the West. Of course the Jerusalem Post and even the BBC reported the acts of the 60 hardliners. Apparently under the motto: “The Iranians are an unreliable and irrational people, a danger to engage with.” It’s a joy to read Ms Glick in her opinion piece at the Jerusalem Post today. All certainties are falling apart, with Obama’s power to engage with Rouhani and Teheran, Israel will lose a boogeyman. In the absence of Avigdor Liberman, Netanyahu himself has taken the task of Israeli foreign policy minister. A true disaster for Israel.

  6. RE: “Peripheral fallout from this development, should it eventually be successful, is that Israel will be rendered ever more marginalized from the Middle East as a region and within the scheme of U.S. foreign policy.” ~ Uri Avnery

    SEE: “Why Rouhani Is a Nightmare for the Mossad”, By Uri Avnery, Progressive.org, 9/27/13

    [EXCERPT] . . . Even before Rouhani could open his mouth after his election, he was condemned outright by Binyamin Netanyahu.
    A wolf in sheep’s clothing!
    A real anti-Semite!
    A cheat out to deceive the whole world!
    A devious politician whose devilish aim is to drive a wedge between Israel and the naive Americans!
    This is the real Iranian bomb, far more threatening than the nuclear one that will be built behind the smokescreen of Rouhani’s sweet talk!
    A nuclear bomb can be deterred by another nuclear bomb. But how do you deter a Rouhani?
    Yuval Steinitz, our failed former Minister of Finance and at present responsible for our “strategic thinking” (yes, really!), exclaimed in despair that the world wants to be deceived by Iran.
    Binyamin Netanyahu called it a “honey trap.”
    Commentators who are hand-fed by “official circles” (i.e., the Prime Minister’s Office) proclaim that Rouhani is an existential threat.
    All this before he had uttered a word.

    When Rouhani at long last made his Grand Speech at the UN General Assembly, all the dire forebodings were confirmed.
    Where Ahmadinejad had set off a stampede of delegates from the hall, Rouhani packed them in. Diplomats from all over the world were curious about the man. They could have read the speech a few minutes later, but they wanted to see and hear for themselves. Even the United States sent officials to be present. No one left.
    No one, that is, except the Israelis.

    The Israeli diplomats were instructed by Netanyahu to leave the hall demonstratively when the Iranian started to speak.
    That was a stupid gesture, as rational and as effective as a little boy’s tantrum when his favorite toy is taken away.
    Stupid, because it painted Israel as a spoiler, at a time when the entire world is seized by an attack of optimism after the recent events in Damascus and Tehran.
    Stupid, because it proclaims the fact that Israel is at present totally isolated. . .

    LINK – http://www.progressive.org/rouhani-nightmare-for-mossad

  7. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. It takes some nerve for Israel to demand Iran not develop nuclear and chemical weapons, considering Israel’s considerable stockpile. I think if one had to choose between Iran and Israel, I’d feel safer with Iran having them. So long as Israel and the U.S. have them, why not let everybody in the world develop them. Or better yet force Israel to destroy every last one it doesn’t admit it has. That’s the only way to discourage Israel from bullying and threatening and even on occasion using chemical weapons against civilians.

    1. did you feel safer when the syrians had WMD’s? a prosperous peaceful country…
      you think that the same scenario can’t happen in Iran and with the same connections (or even stronger) to Hezbollah and others what’s to come of their weapons?

      get over the hypocrisy, it’s old and it’s irrelevant, and please GET REAL!

    2. “I think if one had to choose between Iran and Israel, I’d feel safer with Iran having them. So long as Israel and the U.S. have them, why not let everybody in the world develop them”

      Yeah, why not?
      Why not give some nuclear devices to Al Qaeda. I bet they’ll find what to do with them…

      1. “he never even fooled me once!!”
        Give this man a cookie!
        He wasn’t fooled by Bibi, only by the Kims of N Korea. Good for you.

        I pray to god that Bibi is wrong and there’s a real change not only in Iran’s state of mind, but also its actions.
        But it will be stupid, naive and dangerous for me (and for you… I can’t understand how you ignore the threat to other countries as well) not to consider the alternative and its implications (again, like it was played by the Kims) while carried away by the wind of (sudden) change.

  8. @ Richard,
    “If you’re an Iranian immigrant why does your nickname & e mail address contain “Noam Frankfurt?” I hope you have a good explanation for this because I do NOT like poseurs or frauds here.”

    you do realize that my last name is after my father’s right? and in order for me to be born i need a mother also. which happened to be an Iranian. you want my entire family tree? her last name was salamthbad – couldn’t make it up if i wanted to.

    “Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapon. It isn’t even close to having one. ANd even if it did have one (which it doesn’t) it would not assemble it for use unless under existential attack.”
    how do you know if it would be assembled or not? what the hell are you talking about? if they don’t have any than i guess the supreme leader wouldn’t talk about what to do with an imaginary bomb…. unless they plan to get it and that’s the problem. it doesn’t matter how early they are in the process if they are planning to get one eventually. imagine the future conflict against Hezbollah – which was declared a terror org this year – when its funder has a nuke? it changes everything.
    and what will happen in a few years when an even more extreme regime takes over? than what? you can not predict how these countries will act. and who will lead them in a few years.

    “And you have the chutzpah to say Israel is entitled to do to Iran what no country did to Pakistan, North Korea or all the other nations which have nuclear weapons? That’s not only hypocrisy, it’s offensive.”

    well they have my sincere apologies. i don’t care about hypocrisy. look around you, can you point to one country that isn’t and has a major role in the world? i’ve lots of examples from the muslim and arab world. and because the world has made a mistake with these countries you mention than it needs to do that again? great argument. by the way need i remind you that although israel was point leader in the Iran nuke subject we are not in it alone.
    i have the chutzpa because Iranian leaders are mentioning us in their speeches (well up until now not directly) not recognising our right to exist and funds our enemies. oh, and Israelis are known for their sense of chutzpah.

    “Yes Israeli ties with Iran were strong under the Shah. In fact, the Savak was trained in torture techniques by the Mossad. It’s real badge of honor & sign of Israel’s humanitarian services to humanity!”
    really Richard? you think that this part of the world actually needs us to teach them about torture? it would have been funny if it wasn’t so sad.

    “YOu haven’t been to Iran in decades.”
    partly true – never been there – born in the lovely Israel.
    “You only know the ignorant prejudicial statements about it you hear in the Israeli media/ You’re like the Cuban dissidents in Miami who dream of overthrowing a regime which they view as poisoning their lives”

    i said it in your blog once and i’ll say it again. frankly my dear, i don’t give a damn who rules Iran. i don’t care if they have gay rights, don’t care if they have the freedom of religion, don’t care if they are democratic elections or not, don’t care about the women’s right issue over there. don’t care – that’s for the Iranian people to decide for themselves how they want to live their lives. all i care is for them to stop throwing money to our enemies and stop being a threat (especially nuclear) to my country that’s all. a part from my mother’s family being from Iran and knowing a few words i have no relations with it.

    1. If you stop being a threat to them, they’ll stop being a threat to you. Your own leader has threatened to attack Iran on MANY occasions. That’s provocation enough for Iran to consider Israel a very dangerous enemy. It has a right to defend itself against Israel with whatever weapons it chooses. Just as Israel has such weapons which are far more offensively designed than Iran’s.

      1. @ Richard, ‘our leader’ has been on and off in power since 1996.
        the funding of hezbollah started in the early 80’s! the extreme shift in their relation toward israel and the west is from the early 80’s and it was one sided. nothing is new, it’s all there in the open, you just refuse to see it. you try to convince yourself that Bibi is at fault and if he had acted differently all was great here in the middle east playground.
        you just can’t wrap your head around the fact that Iran doesn’t want us here. all their actions suggests that and they are not even trying to hide it – well maybe up until the current president. do you think that Bibi wants to eliminate Iran?? you know that’s not true – there’s no secret plan, stoping Iran’s nuclear plan is not a step to eventually overtake their land – they know it and you know it. all of this is just plain extreme-muslim ideology.

        1. The use of nuclear arms against Israel would mean killing, maiming and poisoning all people between the Jordan and the sea indiscriminately. I do not think that would go over very well even in the most extreme circles. Iranian leaders have certainly called for regime change in Israel, but never threatened nuclear annihilation.

          1. “killing, maiming and poisoning all people between the Jordan and the sea”

            The risk of harming their fellow Palestinians never stopped Hamas or Hezbollah from launching rockets to areas populated not only by Israeli Jews.

            “but never threatened nuclear annihilation.”
            You are absolutly right. They’ve never said they’ll nuke Israel. But that’s the only thing was right in your statement.

          2. Funny, if you read your own comment again it seems that you actually agree with everything I said, except that nuking Israel would not go over well, even in the most extreme circles.

            You have to be joking: Do you seriously think Hamas and Hezbollah would favor nuking Israel?

        2. Here you go again with your ‘Hezbollah falling out of the sky in the 80’s for no reason whatsoever’ argument. Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon! What fantasy world do you live in where you believe that Israel is exempt to repercussions to its actions?

          And also please, over the last 30 years, tell me how many Palestinians and Lebanese have been killed by Israeli’s VS how many Israeli’s have been killed by these same bloodthirsty terrorist muslims. If you want to paint a picture of a victim nation, back it up with numbers.

          And buddy, no offence, but 80% of the world doesn’t think Israel should be where it is. Might be time to accept that and move on.

          1. @ lifelong,
            i ment to re-comment on you previous comment but i’ll just do it here.

            no one said hezbollah came out of thin air, please read carefully- and i guess you realise (or not) that israel didn’t go to war in the south of Lebanon for no reason either right?
            what was Iran’s business there that’s my question – serval years prior to that everything was peachy mostly – we exchanged weapons and technology, their were commercial flights between the 2 countries, now all of a sudden Iran funds and trains anti israel militants? once again what changed? you know the answer at least partially because you fail to mention the roll Iran has in inner Lebanese and Syrian politics through groups like hezbollah, it’s not all about Israel – you can not blame the start of the sour relations between the Iran and Israel on Bibi – that’s simply not true.

            “where you believe that Israel is exempt to repercussions to its actions?”
            every terrorist has some ideology he follows or some unfolding of events that made him that. are you saying that all terror groups have the right to exist because of that – or just the ones that are against Israel?

            “tell me how many Palestinians and Lebanese have been killed by Israeli’s VS how many Israeli’s have been killed by these same bloodthirsty terrorist muslims.”
            lovely, love that lefty argument… the classic ‘our bombs aren’t has efficient has yours so it’s ok if we fire them’…
            let put it to you this way – if Israel and the Syrian armies would have been equals – and the Syrian army was the one who won the war – how do you think they would have treated the local Jewish population? please think hard about it – and you know, keep in mind what they are doing to each other right now. now you see what why we think we have to be stronger.

            “80% of the world doesn’t think Israel should be where it is. Might be time to accept that and move on.”
            don’t know who’s the 80% but i guess it’s most likely from Jordan eastward – lovely fellas… so mrs. lifelong where do we move on to? do you have an extra room?

      2. “If you stop being a threat to them, they’ll stop being a threat to you”

        The usual anti-Israeli rhetoric. Replacing the reason with the cause.
        You always declare that you are fact driven. Please supply the evidence showing that Iran started developing nuclear weapons AFTER it was threatened by Israel.

          1. That’s a fun game!
            My turn.
            Please supply the evidence that the UN, US and EU sanctions against Iran were just for fun or just because of Bibi’s charm.

          2. I really, really hate snark. Especially when it’s annoying, not funny, or just plain obnoxious. As you are. You are moderated.

            Comments must be on-topic, directly related to the post & substantive. Read the comment rules.

        1. @ Hasbarist settler: Israel is the cause of violence in the region, not the consequence. That’s not anti-Israel, that’s fact.

          Iran hasn’t developed nuclear weapons so there’s nothing to prove or debate. And I don’t respond to taunts from commenters like the one you issued. It’s my blog, not yours.

  9. You call Israel belligerent. I believe the best defense is a good offense and that deterrence is a good thing.

    Having nuclear arms doesn’t disqualify us from criticizing Israel, but it does disqualify you from asking Israel to disarm if you won’t disarm yourself.

    BTW. India and Pakistan haven’t signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty either. Where is the criticism to these two powers who’ve come a lot closer to a throwing war than Israel ever has.

    1. Having a “good offense” is a guarantee of war, many of which Israel has initiated over the decades going back to 1967.

      You’re a total nutter if you believe a policy of my country which I oppose disqualifies me from demanding the same of Israel. I’m not my country. I’m a citizen of it & disagree with many of its policies. I find this view of yours deeply offensive.

      When you announce Israel should bomb India & Pakistan unless they rid themselves of their weapons as you believe it should do to Iran if it gets the bomb, then I’ll criticize them. Besides, India & Pakistan are off-topic. Stay ON-TOPIC.

  10. @Noam: you’re jumping all over the place. Israel invaded Lebanon to fight the PLO, yes we’ve covered that, and we don’t care whether it was justified or not. What you’re not explaining is why Israel stayed once the job was done. There was no valid reason to occupy Lebanon, and you’re playing naive when you know full well that occupation creates resistance.

    And funnily you ask, what was Iran’s business there? Israel was killing Shia’s. All of this started when an Israeli soldier shot dead a Shia during an Ashura parade. But again, in your fantasy world it’s ok for the US to support Israel and arm them to the teeth, but it’s not ok for Iran to support the Lebanese, and in turn arm them. Lebanon has no right to defend itself, and Israel should be allowed to violate its airspace 9’000 times (actual statistic since 2006 ceasefire) whenever it feels like it. Iran has no right to defend itself either, since only Israel has security concerns that need to be addressed with chemical, biological, and nuclear weapon programs… and of course, Bashar is a madman, but the leaders of Israel are a light that shine on humanity when dropping cluster bombs on Beirut, or shooting hellfires into schools in Gaza… Seriously, you can’t possibly be this shallow.

    As for your favourite argument of the left: how about you try explaining why the IDF was bombing Lebanese milk factories when their supposed aim was the eradication of Hezbollah? Honestly, let’s see together what security concerns were addressed by cutting off the milk supply to Tripoli and Beirut…. and since you like to twist my words, I’ll answer your question: Israel with its 22’000 square km’s could be moved into pretty much any western country tomorrow (bar Switzerland and a few others). How about an upgrade to North Dakota? I’m pretty sure the three people living there now wouldn’t care, and you would get 180’000 muslim-free square km’s you can prosper in…

    1. @lifelong
      If Israel continues to swallow up bits and pieces of Palestine at its current rate it will soon have all of it. And where will Israel expand to then?

      Please, not Idaho. Or any part of the United States. At the moment California seems a safe distance from Idaho, but with all that natural growth how long could it be before the Jewish state of Idaho naturally expands across Nevada to cover my little piece of America? And while we are happy to have a large number of Israelis living here now, legally and illegally, at least they are expected to abide by U.S. law rather than Israel’s. Perhaps since they clearly don’t want to live in Israel, they might find Birobijan more appealing.

      If Israel needs more room for growth, there is already a thriving Jewish state just waiting for its people to return home:
      And there’s even a desert waiting for somebody to make it bloom.

  11. @Hasbarist Settler: you’re clearly not too versed in how these things work: the burden of proof is on the prosecution. You accuse someone of having a weapons program? Prove it.

    If you don’t have any evidence, game over.

  12. @ lifelong,

    i can’t see why you are trying to get me off topic every time… you know that i’m closer to being moderated (if i’m not already have no idea who Richard wrote to in the blue comments) than you because our ‘difference’ of opinions…
    i didn’t say Hezbollah came out of thin air and i didn’t say Israel was a saint… but the topic of this thread is IRAN not the 1st lebanese war – if it was i would be happy to engage a discussion with you about the causes and after effects… which of course we are feeling up to the present. what my comments say is why IRAN all of a sudden was involved in anti Israel terror groups and how you can’t just blame the current situation between the 2 states souly on one person or just the last 5-10 years…that doesn’t make any sort of logic to you?

    you claim Iran are funding hezbollah is because of an “Israeli soldier shot dead a Shia during an Ashura parade.”
    remember that i said that israel was no saint – i’m sure it’s not the 1st one we’ve killed (i’m sure that in 67 maybe even 73 some shia’s died) so i don’t think that’s a really a valid argument maybe an excuse.
    the fact of the matter is that the revolution leaders expressed their hatred toward Israel and the old regime relations with it (and the US) before they took power, and before Hezbollah was conceived. why aren’t you talking about that? are you so afraid to admit that there’s a thing called Muslims extremists? do you deny it’s existance?

    “in your fantasy world it’s ok for the US to support Israel and arm them to the teeth, but it’s not ok for Iran to support the Lebanese, and in turn arm them.”

    well, i wonder how the lebanese would feel about the way you just put lebanese interests and hezbollah’s as the same (as Richard not everything revolves around Israel)…and i live in a fantasy world… now back to the real world.. Iran is arming and training hezbollah – it’s not the name of the lebanese army… and it’s not a special ops unit name either… it’s a military wing (which was declared as a terrorist org) of a political party by the same name (and not the governing one either)… the political party is actually an Iranian proxy and a way to influence politics in the region. sounds healthy to you?
    so there you go about on topic issue – Iran’s involvement in the middle east.

    just as a note, don’t think – if it crossed your mind – that i haven’t got the answers to the accusation you wrote… let’s wait until it comes up

    @ Mary and lifelong
    hope you know that there were jews living in this region for centuries.. hope you know that all over Israel there are relics and monuments that indicated the powerful connections the jews have for this place. in almost every prayer Jerusalem is mentioned… saying that we should go away from here is ignorant, mainly but not entirely, because we tried it – look how that turned out. you can argue about how the land is divided, and you can argue about who’s responsible and why etc etc, and not reach an agreement but our right to be here and the connection to this land is irrefutable. and saying it’s not puts you right there with the company of men that i’m sure you share nothing in common with…

    @ Richard,

    if you are a pro-israeli in you own way as you claim than i guess this is sort of the right time to intervene. do you think we have a right to live here (of course you don’t agree with everything but as a principal) or maybe we should take Mary’s advice? or lifelong’s… although it already didn’t sit straight with Mary… kind of proves the point of staying right here in Israel doesn’t it…
    what would have happened if i’d suggest the Palestinians go to Jordan? or Lebanon… or the US?
    i’m not saying that to confront you or put you on the spot- i’ve been here long enough to know that you don’t like it when commentators tell you that but still… it seems to me that you are willing to tolerate this kind of comments towards Israel and not the other way around… i’ve seen you moderate extreme lefties but they had to be far far more extreme than the others….that’s my take and i can give you examples but i’m sure that won’t be necessary.

    1. Look at it this way: the US supports ‘Jewish’ interests in the region and the new Islamic Republic of Iran supports ‘Shia’ interests. The US, and more recently the EU, denounce Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. Iran, supporter of Shia interests, denounces Israel as a terrorist organisation. It’s really not that complicated when you look at it objectively: throwing around the word ‘terrorist’, I can assure you the populations of Gaza and Lebanon are much more terrorised by F-16 flyby’s, than the Israeli population is by Katyusha’s. That’s the definition of terrorism, so using your own words, Israel is just as big (if not a bigger) terrorist as the other sides. And don’t get me wrong, nobody here is defending suicide bombings, nor attacks on civilian populations, but it’s not even close to being as one-way as your type would be inclined to entertain.

      That above is one thing righties will never understand about most of those inclined to the left: we never call for murder or for war, have never stated that Iran has the RIGHT to build nukes, nor justify the murderous actions of anybody. You have in several of your comments justified the Israeli disproportional use of force, their possession of a ridiculous arsenal of WMD’s, and their continued ‘terrorising’ of neighbouring populations as NECESSARY to the survival of its population. If you can’t see how wrong that is, then there’s really nothing left to discuss.

      And since you keep bringing up Iran ‘out of nowhere’ supporting anti-Israel groups, that forces us to go back to the core of the issue. Where do these groups they support come from, and why do they exist? You’re obviously talking about Hezbollah which is why I keep bringing up the first Lebanese war, and the core reason for their existence: to protect the Shia population of Lebanon in the south since the maronites and the Sunni’s couldn’t care less what happens to them, and fight to keep Israel out. You can’t just scuff this to the side as irrelevant, since it’s extremely relevant to the population they protect, feed, house, and educate. Putting a tag on them doesn’t change why they exist, nor make Iran responsible for the extreme situation that does exist in the region… If it was up to me, I’d vote to cut off resources to everyone in the region (weapons & money), cripple Israel with sanctions, and force them to sit down and make concessions.

      As for whether or not you have the right to live in Israel, that’s not up to me to decide. I never said you should ‘move on’ from Israel. I said you should finally accept that the majority of this world does not believe that Israel should exist in its current form, and it needs to change to include the Palestinians in the process. That’s not offensive, it’s realistic. And personally, if you believe that Palestinians should go to Jordan, good for you. But, even if that happens, you’ll still be here complaining about your security situation and how you need nukes to defend yourself against all the crazies in your neighbourhood… That’s the reality of Israel being where it is, and those that chose to place it there knew exactly what they were getting themselves into.

  13. @ elisabeth
    J.J tried to insinuate that Rouhani refuses to touch non-muslims because he sees them as unclean and you insinuated that because you met this one random jewish guy that didn’t shook your hand that it’s somehow relevant to disproving it and getting him back…along with the pictures you described…

    “The refusal to shake my hand clearly had to do with my sex, but to you as a man that is perhaps ‘meaningless’?”
    1st it applies to women as well as men so it has nothing to with me being a guy…
    2nd i don’t think it’s meaningless in general i actually think it’s sort of permeative… and too many times it is taken to the extreme in my view.
    3rd that part of your comment was meaningless to prove your point – that’s what i tried to say and still think

    “Before people try to make someone else’s religion look bigoted they should honestly look at their own religious traditions as well”

    i agree 100%

    and last, i apologise for coming off as condescending (not being cynical just to be clear). the way i understood your comment misled me to believe that you didn’t know about the subject.

  14. @Noam
    Where did I suggest Israelis leave Israel? Notwithstanding the fact large numbers of Israelis have already chosen to ove elsewhere, most Israelis apparently choose to stay there, and some people are even moving there (Only Jews are allowed to do that of course.) I have no problem with Israelis living in Israel, so long as they live in Israel. What I have a problem with is Israelis living (without asking permission) in Palestine and Lebanon and Syria. What I would like is for Israelis to confine themselves to living in the part of Palestine they were granted the right to share in the 1947 agreement. I have seen plenty of empty land in Israel, but if it isn’t enough then I am just suggesting that some or all Israelis might want to move to their other homeland.

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