Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Hope Betrayed?


By Victor Sharpe

The continuing existence of the Jewish people during the 2,000 years of the post-biblical era is surely a miracle, an enigma, and an astonishing phenomenon. For all of those long years the Jews lived in almost perpetual danger of extinction because they were stateless and at the mercy and whims from those within whichever nation they could find refuge.

Despite all oppression and misery, the People of the Book, defenseless and powerless, despised and persecuted, nevertheless survived in the fiery crucibles of Christian Europe and the Muslim Arab world. The two daughter religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, though meting out horrific slaughters upon the Jews, nevertheless could not exist were it not for Judaism or Israel. And the world, be it religious or secular, has been forever touched by Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Spinoza, Freud, Einstein, and by so many others who have sprung from this remarkable people.

Yet another miracle occurred to the remnant of the Jewish folk who survived the Holocaust. They arose like a phoenix from what the European continent had become: one giant Jewish cemetery. They fought back against a cruel world and against incredible odds until the ancient 2,000-year-old dream of rebuilding and reconstituting the ancestral, biblical homeland in Israel became a reality.

Yet with all the long and blood soaked history that the stateless Jews endured during their dispersion, there are Israeli Jews in leadership today who would give away yet more of the biblical homeland, which many of their parents and grandparents gave their lives to redeem.

Binyamin Netanyahu, who is the leader of the Likud party in Israel, has stated that, "Today, in light of our abandonment of Gaza and the Hamas takeover there, it is clear to anyone who considers himself a 'State of Israel lover,' and not just a 'Land of Israel lover,' that if we give away more territory, it will be taken over by Iran and its appendages."

Netanyahu was Israel’s Prime Minister some ten years ago and at the time was responsible for giving to the Arabs, who call themselves Palestinians, the city of Hebron, one of the four holy Jewish cities – the others being Tiberias, Safed and, the jewel in the Jewish crown, Jerusalem.

Netanyahu nevertheless claims that unlike his abandonment of much of the ancient Jewish city, the present leadership of Ehud Olmert, and his possible successor as Prime Minister, Tzipi Livni, are obsessed with a death wish of giving even pre-1967 land to the Palestinian Authority.

Indeed they seem possessed of a psychotic need to bribe an insatiable enemy with any and all Jewish land, and for what? Peace? Never in a million years will the Arabs and the Muslim world accept peaceful coexistence with a Jewish state or any other state for that matter if it is not Muslim and Arab.

Netanyahu, for his part, responds that the real debate between him and the Left, as represented in part by Olmert and Livni, is about " ... the little Land of Israel ... We're not talking now about annexing Ramallah, but rather the fate of the Jordan Valley ... about the abandonment of areas with no Palestinian presence.”

Netanyahu implies that Olmert and Livni, and so many Israelis who have lost their sense of Jewish history,”... want to give away as much of ancestral Israel as possible, and we want to retain as much as possible in areas that are saturated with both historic significance and security significance for us."

For those in Israel and the Diaspora who have forgotten the bloodstained pages of Jewish history during the long night of Israel’s dispersal, it would be instructive for them to be reminded of the price a people pays for statelessness.

Those rushing to bribe and placate the relentless hatred and aggression of the Arab world by giving to them the reclaimed Jewish birthright in its ancestral homeland – including eternal Jerusalem - should read the following words from the searing passion of their ancestors.

Kalonymos ben Yehuda wrote this poem about the first Crusade which took place in 1096, and about the slaughter of the defenseless Jews in Europe.

“Yea, they slay us and they smite, vex our souls with sore affright; All the closer cleave we, Lord, to Thine everlasting Word; Not a line of all their Mass, shall our lips in homage pass; Though they curse and bind and kill, the living God is with us still; We still are Thine, though limbs are torn, better death than life foresworn; The fair and young lie down to die, in witness of Thy Unity; From dying lips the accents swell, Our G-d is One, O Israel.”

Ephraim of Bonn wrote in 1190 about the second Crusade.

“In the year 1146 the Jewish communities were terror stricken. The monk, Rudolph, who shamefully persecuted Israel (the name often given for the Jews of the Diaspora, ed) arose against the people of God in order, like Haman of old, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish.”

In 1793, Isaac D’Israeli wrote about the slaughter of the Jews of York, England, in 1190.

“When Richard 1 ascended the throne, the Jews brought their tributes to honor him. Many had hastened from remote parts of England and, appearing at Westminster, the Court and the mob imagined they leagued to bewitch His Majesty. A rumor spread rapidly that the Jews were to be massacred and the populace at once murdered the devoted Jews.”

Sadly, news traveled north to the city of York and the townsfolk soon imitated the people of London. A cruel multitude, united with the soldiery, forced the Jewish residents to seek shelter in York Castle. The Jews held out as long as they could against the fanatical mob that by now were roused to extremes of murder and plunder. But in the end, the survivors chose to die by their own hand rather than see their loved ones slaughtered before their eyes by the mob.

Just as the Church did in its canon law, Islam instituted many prohibitions against members of other religions. Some of the Islamic restrictions resembled the anti-Jewish laws imposed throughout the Christian world. The severest punishments – usually death – were meted out to any who dared question the writings and sayings of Mohammed.

With the decline in the medieval period of the Islamic empire through the ascent of Christian Europe, the Muslim masses turned upon the hapless Jews who were increasingly forced to live as dhimmis (inferior and third class citizens) among them.
Periodic persecutions and slaughters took place against the Jews, they were forced to wear distinctive clothing, often absurd and humiliating, and live in ghettoes similar to those they endured in Christian Europe.

Though the ever present danger of Muslim fundamentalism could break out at any time (for example the 12th century Almohads) Islamic persecutions of the Jews paled against those they suffered at the hands of the Church. However, the yearning for relief from discrimination or worse, and the desire to return to Zion and the ancestral homeland, was as compelling for the Jews in Arab lands as it was for their brethren in Europe.

On August 3rd, 1492, the ancient Jewish population of Spain was driven out in the infamous Expulsion. Jews who refused to convert to Christianity were expelled, forced to leave all that their ancestors had built in Spain over centuries, and walk in a long trail of the dispossessed to the seaports. Here are a few lines from the long poem by Emma Lazarus called, The Exodus, written in 1883.

“The hoary patriarch, wrinkled as an almond shell, bows painfully upon his staff. The beautiful young mother, ivory pale, well nigh swoons beneath her burden; in her large enfolding arms nestles her sleeping babe, round her knees flock her little ones with bruised and bleeding feet. ‘Mother, shall we soon be there?’

“The halt, the blind, are amid the train. Sturdy pack horses laboriously drag the tented wagons wherein lie the sick athirst with fever. Noble and abject, learned and simple, illustrious and obscure, plod side by side, all brothers now, all merged in one routed army of misfortune.

“They leave behind the grape, the olive and the fig. the vines they planted, the corn they sowed, the garden cities of Andalusia and Aragon, Estremadura and La Mancha, of Granada and Castille; the altar, the hearth, and the grave of their fathers.

“Whither shall they turn for the West has cast them out and the East refuses to receive?”

Heinrich Heine wrote this poem in 1824 about Jewish suffering in Germany.
“Break forth in lamentation, my agonizing song; That like a lava torrent, has boiled within me long; My song shall thrill each hearer, and none so deaf but hears; For the burden of my song, is the pain of a thousand years; It melts both gentle and simple, even hearts of stone are riven; Sets women and flowers weeping, they weep, the stars of heaven.”

This, from Solomon Shechter, 1903.

“I remember when I came home from the religious school, bleeding and crying from the wounds inflicted upon me by the Christian boys, my father used to say: ‘My child, we are in exile and we must submit to God’s will.’ And he made me understand that this was only a passing stage in history, as we Jews belong to Eternity, when God will comfort His people. However, my real suffering began later in life when I emigrated from Romania to so-called civilized countries and found there what I might call the higher anti-Semitism, which burns the soul though it leaves the body unhurt.”
Mary Antin wrote in 1911 about the horrors inflicted upon the Jews of Russia especially at Passover.

“The Passover season, when we celebrated our deliverance from Egypt was the time our gentile neighbors chose to remind us that Russia was another Egypt. They made it a time of horror for the Jews. Somebody would start up that lie about murdering Christian children and the stupid peasants would get mad about it, fill themselves with vodka, and set out to murder the Jews. They attacked them with knives and clubs, and scythes and axes, killed them or tortured them, and burned their houses. This was a pogrom. Jews who escaped came with wounds on them and horrible stories of little babies torn limb from limb before their mother’s eyes. People who saw such things never smiled again.”

In Russia, the Jews endured centuries of such pogroms. Lucien Wolfe wrote the following in 1912, titled, Under the Romanoffs.

“The plaything of a heartless bureaucracy, the natural prey of all the savage elements in society, loaded with fetters in one place, and in another driven out like some wild beast, the Russian Jew finds that for him, at least, life is composed of little else than bitterness, suffering and degradation.”

In 1920, Nahum Sokolow wrote about the Massacres in the Ukraine.

“For this cold murder of whole communities, not Heaven itself, nor all the mercy of the angels, could find palliation. There is no instance that shows so much as this, the ghastly descent of human character into primitive brutality and cannibalism. This is a deed, which in its horror and wicked purposelessness should have stunned the world.”

But these few examples of the many frightful persecutions and slaughters that the Jews experienced in their 2,000 year old exile are but a series of fearsome dress rehearsals before the great Destruction: the German Nazi Holocaust of the Jews.
In the mid Twentieth century, perverted science and German efficiency, along with the age old evil that is Jew hatred, combined to systematically exterminate nearly all of European Jewry – reducing the world Jewish population from 18,000,000 to barely 12,000,000 in less than a decade.

Now, in the first decade of the 21st century, a new Hitler is spewing the same familiar poison against the Jews, which the world has wallowed in for all the previous centuries. Iran’s Ahmadinejad is promising to murder yet another six million Jews; the Jewish population of Israel. He has declared that the Jewish state will be exterminated and is feverishly working towards that end with nuclear weapons.

But it should also be understood that Ahmadinejad, speaking in late September, 2008 at the United Nations, exposed his belief that in time the United States would bow down to Iran. The megalomania of Iran’s president should lie to rest any belief that what he says is just foolish posturing and babbling. A terrible mistake was made once before about a man who uttered similar rants. That man was the German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler.

It is against the backdrop of the threats of this new Hitler of our time, and with the historical memories of the 2,000 years of unbearable suffering that the Jews experienced as stateless refugees, driven out from one land only to be persecuted in another, that those Israelis who today plot to give away the one and only Jewish homeland should take note.

Their foolish and prideful claims to speak for the Jewish and Israeli people in matters of security are invalid. Worse still, their betrayal and ignorance of Jewish history in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora is breathtaking in its enormity.

Prime Minister Olmert, who still remains in office in a caretaker capacity, only a short while ago told his cabinet that he was willing to even give away the Jordan Valley itself to the Arabs. He and his supporters should be reminded of the great Zionist poem – The Watch on the Jordan. Here are a few selected lines from that epic written by N.H. Imber.

“Like the crash of the thunder which splitteth asunder the flame of the cloud. On our ears ever falling, a voice is heard calling from Zion aloud. Let your spirits, desires, from the land of our sires, eternally burn. From the foe to deliver, Our own holy river. To Jordan return.
“And in pride of our people we will fearlessly face the might of the world. When our trumpet is blown and our standard is flown, then set we our watch.
Our watchword, The sword, of our land, and our Lord. By Jordan then set we our watch.”
Through heroic toil and immense sacrifice in blood, the sovereign and modern State of Israel was restored and Jewish patrimony once again brought alive in its ancestral land.

Is it now to be thrown away in stages by an ignorant and fraudulent leadership who would thus consign the nation to yet another inevitable dark and tragic exile? Is it to experience once again an existence as a stateless people at the mercy of strangers?

The words in Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, the Hope, include the following:
We have not lost our Hope, of two thousand years, to be a free people in our land, Land of Zion and Jerusalem.

Let us hope that Israel’s leaders, now and in the future, do not forget those words. Let us pray that they are reminded of the horrors of exile and, in so doing, never lose the hope of two thousand years to truly be a free and sovereign people in its own land: Zion and Jerusalem.

Let us also pray that they forever resist betraying Hatikvah: The Hope.



Victor Sharpe is the author of: Politicide – The attempted murder of the Jewish state.

Copyright © Victor Sharpe 2008

Mirage in the Desert.

 

By David Solway

The Small Dictionary of Middle East Stereotypes posted online by the Metula News Agency is not far south of the truth when it defines “Palestine” as “A small piece of paper stuck on Arab maps and atlases to hide Israel.” The Palestinian fiction has even been admitted by the Palestinians themselves. In a 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw, Zahir Muhse’in of the PLO Executive Committee confirmed that the “Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity…Only for tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.”

Hollywood, too, has contributed to the fiction. Director Paul Haggis’ anti-war film, In the Valley of Elah, locates the contest of David and Goliath in Palestine, when no such entity existed. Haggis may have been ignorant of his biblical history, but his well-known leftish inclinations suggest a specific design at work. It is highly appropriate that In the Valley of Elah was filmed in Hollywood, an illusion factory that is about as “real” as Palestine. It is no exaggeration to suggest that the concept of “Palestine,” the simulacrum of the “Palestinian,” is, when all is said and done, not much more than a Tinseltown movie, an empty fabrication—the historical grounding is absent and the sense of a cohesive national identity has been artificially generated by a political cabal working in tandem with the international media. The fact of the matter is, to adapt a current catch phrase, that the Palestinians are all keffiyeh and no sheep.

The same applies to the Palestinian Authority itself, a crypro-political construct invented by the West with Arab backing that has necessarily proven incapable of governing, controlling its bellicose factions and creating the conditions for peace and normal civil life. The irony of the situation is especially mordant: the chief obstacle to peace is the very institution that was formed to facilitate its accomplishment. A synthetic contrivance improvised in Oslo, it has in the current circumstances no alternative but failure. In point of fact, Jordan is the only visible nation state of the Arabs of Greater Palestine, problematic as it may be. Let us remember once again that when Britain defied the terms of the League of Nations in 1923 and created the protectorate of TransJordan from the territory earmarked for Israel, it artificially established a de facto Palestinian state which the West Bank was never intended to be a part of. And when the United Nations proposed its 1947 partition plan, further dividing up the Israeli allodium, it was rejected by the Arabs who responded by launching a massive attack against the fledgling Jewish state. Implausible as this may sound in the present circumstances, another Palestinian state in one shape or another may come to exist one day, but I suspect it would prove to be little more than the result of a process of political taxidermy.

Certainly, there is no usable template in the rest of the Muslim Middle East to serve as a pattern for emergent statehood—even Turkey, the presumed beacon state, remains unstable. The Palestinian mirage suffers from an even more debilitating version of the Arab debacle which, as the Lebanese-American scholar Fouad Ajami points out in The Dream Palace of the Arabs, derives from the connate failure of Arab society in absorbing democratic values and incorporating the principles of the modern nation state. The problem, I would suggest, is that in the Arab mindset, there is no tertium quid or intermediate structure between the tribe, which commands the practical loyalty of the individual, and the ummah, which invokes a mystical allegiance to the far-flung Islamic collective. The nation state is neither one nor the other, too dispersed and abstract an arrangement to create a sense of intimate union, and yet insufficiently numinous and “spiritual” to bind the individual to the transcendent body of the people. Until this changes—which is highly doubtful—the Arab “state” will remain a synthetic contrivance to be exploited in the interests of the ruling tribe or family and is thus condemned to be perennially mercurial.

Indeed, what Albert Camus said of Algeria in his 1958 Actuelles III, that it was only a “virtual nation,” is mutatis mutandis true of “Palestine”—as it is, for that matter, of Iraq. The latter is not a real nation but three tribal regions, or Ottoman vilayets, cobbled together in the aftermath of the First World War and now, predictably, sinking into a quicksand bog of internal strife and indiscriminate slaughter. At best, it will be a magpie nation, assembled from disparate materials, always threatening to come asunder, and held together by American strength of will and concrete support. It may manage to survive, as has Algeria, but, politically, it will remain an active volcano. Camus’ skepticism of “Arab demands” and raw emotionalism applies equally to “Palestine,” which is not a genuine nation but an internally riven enclave of competing jihadist cliques that will likely prove incapable of unified and constructive self-government. It does not take much in the way of aculeate insight to arrive at this conclusion; it is a bit like predicting the past. In the circumstances, it would be foolhardy to dismiss the Shakespearian adage from Henry VI, Part 3, “that Beggars mounted, run their Horse to death.”

David Solway is the award-winning author of over twenty-five books of poetry, criticism, educational theory, and travel. He is a contributor to magazines as varied as the Atlantic, the Sewanee Review, Books in Canada, and the Partisan Review. His most recent book is The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity.

 

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2008 ISRAEL HAS ACCOMPLISHED THE FOLLOWING:

 

1. Scientists in Israel , found that the brackish water, drilled from underground desert aquifers, hundreds of feet deep, could be used to raise warm-water fish. The geothermal water, less than one-tenth as saline as sea water, free of pollutants, and a toasty 98 degrees on average, proves an ideal environment.

2. Israel i-developed designer-eyeglasses, promise mobile phone and iPod users, a personalized, high-tech video display. Available to US consumers next year, Lumus-Optical’s lightweight and fashionable video eyeglasses, feature a large transparent screen, floating in front of the viewer’s face that projects their choice of movie, TV show, or video Game.

3. When Stephen Hawkins visited Israel recently, he shared his wisdom with scientists, students, and even the Prime Minister. But the world’s most renown victim of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, also learned something, due to the Israel i Association for ALS’ advanced work in both embryonic and adult stem cell research, as well as its proven track record with neurodegenerative diseases. The Israel i research community is well on its way, to finding a treatment for this fatal disease, which affects 30,000 Americans.

4. Israel i start-up, Veterix, has developed an innovative new electronic capsule that sits in the stomach of a cow, sheep, or goat, sending out real-time information on the health of the herd, to the farmer via Email or cell phone. The e-capsule, which also sends out alerts if animals are distressed, injured, or lost, is now being tested on a herd of cows, in the hopes that the device will lead to tastier and healthier meat and milk supplies.

5. The millions of Skype users worldwide will soon have access to the newly developed KishKish lie-detector. This free internet service, based on voice stress analysis (a technique, commonly used in criminal investigations), will be able to measure just how truthful that person on the other end of the line, really is.

6. Beating cardiac tissue has been created in a lab from human embryonic stem cells by researchers at the Rappaport Medical Faculty and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology’s biomedical Engineering faculty. The work of Dr. Shulamit Levenberg and Prof. Lior Gepstein, has also led to the creation of tiny blood vessels within the tissue, making possible its implantation in a human heart.

7. Israel ’s Magal Security Systems, is a worldwide leader in computerized security systems, with products used in more than 70 countries around the world, protecting anything from national borders, to nuclear facilities, refineries, and airports. The company’s latest Product, DreamBox, a state-of-the-art security system that includes Intelligent video, audio and sensor management, is now being used by a major water authority on the US east coast to safeguard the utility’s sites.

8. It is common knowledge that dogs have better night vision than humans and a vastly superior sense of smell and hearing. Israel ’s Bio-Sense Technologies, recently delved further, and electronically analyzed 350 different barks. Finding that dogs of all breeds and sizes, bark the same alarm when they sense a threat, the firm has designed the dog bark-reader, a sensor that can pick up a dog’s alarm bark, and alert the human operators. This is just one of a batch of innovative security systems to emerge from Israel, which Forbes calls ‘the go-to country for anti-terrorism technologies.’

9. Israeli company, BioControl Medical, sold its first electrical stimulator to treat urinary incontinence to a US company for $50 Million. Now, it is working on CardioFit, which uses electrical nerve stimulation to treat congestive heart failure. With nearly five million Americans presently affected by heart failure, and more than 400,000 new cases diagnosed yearly, the CardioFit is already generating a great deal of excitement as the first device with the potential to halt this deadly disease.

10. One year after Norway’s Socialist Left Party launched its boycott Israel campaign, the importing of Israel i goods has increased by 15%, the strongest increase in many years, Statistics Norway reports.

In contrast to the efforts of tiny Israel to make contributions to the world so as to better mankind, one has to ask what have those who have strived to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth done

 



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Iran's Economy Runs Out Of Steam

by Michael Rubin

As markets floundered amid the credit crunch, Iran's leadership celebrated the West's economic crisis. On Oct. 11, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared, "The claim that the free market manages all things is a huge lie and benefits only thieves and criminals." Two days later, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei decreed that the West's financial crisis was a sign of "the ineffectiveness of liberal democracy-based policies."

The Iranian leadership may rue their words. Ahmadinejad has run Iran's economy into the ground. On Oct. 11, just a day after Ahmadinejad declared prices in decline, the Central Bank reported inflation above 30%. Such figures are still likely low. Both Shahab News and Aftab-e Yazd have noted the tendency of Iranian officials to pull numbers from thin air.

Parliamentarians and journalists might complain but, as the Islamic Republic reverts to a Soviet-style command economy, regime intolerance toward technocratic expertise grows. Hojjat al-Eslam Ha'eri Shirazi, the Supreme Leader's personal representative in the city of Shiraz, explained, "The banking system wants to demand interest rates in exchange for loans to the people. We will not let them do so. And should a couple of banks go bankrupt as a result, so what? What is worse anyway, closure of factories or banks?"

Non-oil sector production is stagnant. Factories may remain open but many do not pay workers. On Oct. 2, for example, tire factory workers staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Labor seeking six months' unpaid wages. In recent weeks, wild cat strikes have occurred in Tehran, Isfahan, Qazvin and Sanandaj. Purchasing power has plummeted.

To mitigate such trends, the government has imposed price controls. On June 11, the daily Resalat reported that the paramilitary Basij, a subdivision of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, would enforce low prices. Over subsequent days, the Iranian press featured photos of Basij beating merchants whose prices were too high.

The combination of high liquidity, sparked by Ahmadinejad's arbitrary decree lowering interest rates to single digits, no-interest banking and inflation has led wealthy Iranians to pour money into real estate. Housing costs have skyrocketed; Tehran real estate prices rival New York's. The average Iranian family now pays 60% of its income for rent, while the Ministry of Housing estimates 1.5 million Iranians are homeless.

To fight economic malaise, Ahmadinejad has raided Iran's foreign reserves. In the past two months alone, Iranian papers have reported more than $15 billion in withdrawals from the reserves to import refined gas and several additional billion dollars to subsidize industrial schemes. Ahmadinejad's reinstatement of subsidies has meant Iran once again must import 40% of its refined petroleum needs.

He will need to continue spending. Last winter, Iran ran out of gas. Food prices more than doubled and the Revolutionary Guards had to deploy on the streets of towns and cities to keep order. On Oct. 1, the Parliament's Energy Commission predicted another "severe gas shortage" again within months.

As oil prices plummet, Iranian pessimism grows. In 2006, Tehran planned its budget assuming an oil price of $60/barrel. High oil prices masked Ahmadinejad's incompetence. While Iran's budgetary process has grown more opaque, it appears that Ahmadinejad constructed his budget with the assumption of oil price stability. Now that oil has plummeted, the Islamic Republic is in trouble.

On Oct. 7, Asr-e Iran asked, "How much did we save from the period when oil price was up to $130 per barrel? Did we build up a foreign exchange reserve? The authorities don't provide us with a clear and official answer about the foreign currency reserve ... and there is some fear that the entire reserve has gone to imports of junk." The paper's fear is justified.

While Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait now boast Sovereign Wealth Funds worth hundreds of billions of dollars, on Sept. 15 an unreleased Central Bank report leaked by an Iranian parliamentarian estimated the Islamic Republic's own future fund to be only $7 billion.

Iran's strategic challenge and nuclear ambitions will be the most immediate foreign policy challenge facing the new administration. The National Iranian American Council, Tehran's de facto lobby in Washington, urges a relaxation of sanctions. So too does the Council on Foreign Relations. Condoleezza Rice offers a defiant Tehran financial incentives.

Such strategies are wrong. Throwing an economic lifeline to a terror-sponsoring regime dedicated to the acquisition of nuclear weapons capability would be nothing short of diplomatic malpractice on a Carter-esque scale. Not only has the Islamic Republic squandered billions on nuclear weapons, destabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan, and sponsoring terrorism, but it has also pitched itself to countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Sudan and Senegal as a pillar of an ideology that will defeat liberal Western democracy. Nothing would be a more powerful signal to those applauding Ahmadinejad's rhetoric than watching the Islamic Republic collapse under the weight of its own follies.

Michael Rubin, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

 

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

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