NY Times: Anything to promote the anti-Israel agendaMonday's New York Times publishes an op-ed by Roger Cohen who describes his meetings with the Jewish community during a recent trip to Tehran.
I asked Morris Motamed, once the Jewish member of the Majlis, if he felt he was used, an Iranian quisling. “I don’t,” he replied. “In fact I feel deep tolerance here toward Jews.” He said “Death to Israel” chants bother him, but went on to criticize the “double standards” that allow Israel, Pakistan and India to have a nuclear bomb, but not Iran.What did Cohen think? That people were suddenly going to come and tell him the truth because he is a reporter for the New York Times? The fact that thousands of Jews have left Iran - many of them crossing the border by foot into neighboring countries in the dark of night to avoid being caught - speaks much more loudly than those who remain who pretend everything is alright out of fear of the regime.
Double standards don’t work anymore; the Middle East has become too sophisticated. One way to look at Iran’s scurrilous anti-Israel tirades is as a provocation to focus people on Israel’s bomb, its 41-year occupation of the West Bank, its Hamas denial, its repetitive use of overwhelming force. Iranian language can be vile, but any Middle East peace — and engagement with Tehran — will have to take account of these points.
Green Zoneism — the basing of Middle Eastern policy on the construction of imaginary worlds — has led nowhere.
Realism about Iran should take account of Esfehan’s ecumenical Palestine Square. At the synagogue, Benhur Shemian, 22, told me Gaza showed Israel’s government was “criminal,” but still he hoped for peace. At the Al-Aqsa mosque, Monteza Foroughi, 72, pointed to the synagogue and said: “They have their prophet; we have ours. And that’s fine.”
Anything to promote the anti-Israel agenda, eh?