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Friday, August 31, 2012

Iran: Embarrassed but a victor nevertheless

Iran had to weather some embarrassing moments from two of its most prominent guests: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy, but at the end of the day, Iran won a massive victory due to the turnout for the Non-Aligned Movement conference in Tehran. This is from the first link by Max Boot.
The ayatollahs had made much of the attendance of President Mohammad Morsi of Egypt–the largest Arab state–and of Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon of the United Nations. But they could not have liked what they heard from the two prominent visitors. Morsi openly came out in support of the revolt being waged by the Syrian people against Bashar Assad–Iran’s closest ally in the regime. “The Syrian people are fighting with courage, looking for freedom and human dignity,” he said prompting the Syrian ambassador to walk out.

Ban also denounced the repression carried out by the Syrian government with Iranian help. Then, even better, he upbraided the Iranian leadership for threatening to annihilate Israel and for denying the Holocaust. “I strongly reject threats by any member state to destroy another or outrageous attempts to deny historical facts, such as the Holocaust,” he said.

The Iranian news media apparently did not report Morsi’s or Ban’s remarks but it seems certain that they will be become widely known within Iran, thus presenting a strong counterpoint to the propaganda line of the regime.
But what the conference proved is that Iran is not isolated. That's a massive victory for Iran. This is from the second link by Herb Keinon.
When Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy blasted Syria's government at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Conference in Tehran on Thursday, his comments prompted Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem to storm out. But when Iran's Supreme leader Ali Khamenei slammed Israel, labeling it a state of "ferocious Zionist wolves" which controls the world media, nobody moved.

The silence of the world in the face of these charges is chilling. It also must be emboldening for the Iranians. They can trade in virulent anti-Semitism and the representatives of the world sit in their seats quietly, listening politely as the words are translated form Farsi to their native languages.

Nobody walks out. Nobody heckles. Nobody protests.

Granted, nobody in Israel is expecting much of Bangladesh, Cuba or South Africa. But how about those countries with whom Israel has strong ties – such as India, Colombia and Thailand? Why did they sit still, and what does that say? Only UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he "strongly rejects" threats by one UN state to destroy another, or to deny historical facts, such as the Holocaust. But these words were far outweighed by his very presence at the parley.

It is obviously over-simplistic to say that the attendance of representatives from 120 countries at the NAM Conference was a vote of confidence in Iran or its polices. It was certainly not.

But still, their presence in Tehran at this time – no matter the reason – emboldens Iran. Their presence makes Iran look – and feel – a respected member of the fLinkamily of nations at a time when the goal of Israel, the US and the West, is to make them look and feel isolated, like a pariah state.

The argument the world is using in trying to dissuade Israel from any type of military actions is that all it is asking, is to give diplomacy a chance. "The sanctions are biting," this argument runs. "Iran is feeling the heat, it is feeling isolated. Just give us more time."

Isolated? Really? Two kings, 27 presidents, numerous foreign ministers and the UN Secretary-General does not send a message of isolation – not to Iran, not to its people, and not to the rest of the world.
Read the whole thing.

At the end of the day, the NAM meeting could come back to bite Iran. If Iran is not isolated, then Israel is. And if Israel is isolated then it must understand that it has no choice but to act. There is no one - other than God - on whom it can rely. As the Torah says, "For [the Jewish people] is a nation that dwells alone and is not counted among the nations." Ironically, that phrase was uttered by a non-Jew - the evil Bilam - when God took control of his mouth.

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