This may sound wild and crazy, but the more we examine Iran's president's actions, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that in today's reality, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - who would have been better left off the stage - is good for the Jews.
Indeed, the ridiculous farce of the Tehran Holocaust-deniers convention stimulated a series of irritable responses around here, as well as fears it will boost global Anti-Semitism, yet the conference was counter productive: Another wave of sympathy to Israel around the world, as well as a vote on whether the conference was a criminal act.
If the initiatives to bring Ahmadinejad to justice at The Hague will get underway, they will enjoy significant global support. Then, perhaps, this odd man will realize he shot himself in the foot, or rather, "set the ball up for a slam dunk" by Israel and the Jewish people.
The Foreign Ministry and institutions such as the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum would be able to wisely use this as effective material for boosting the fight against anti-Semitism, which has been raising its head at several locations around the world.
The deniers' convention, the refusal to halt the nuclear race, and the ruler's overall conduct since he was elected only reinforced the international community's support of Israel and the realization it needs to be assisted.
This was well reflected in Prime Minister Olmert's visit to Europe. We can be pleased about the good natural chemistry between Olmert and Chancellor Merkel, but this relationship only tightened in the face of Ahmadinejad's campaign and extermination threats. And who should be sensitive to this if not Berlin?
Apparently, the harsh Iranian words also contributed to the creation of a common language and the warm reception Olmert received from his Italian counterpart and the Pope.
Thank you, Mahmoud
There's no doubt that "counting the days" to the State of Israel's demise contributes to a boost in the sympathy it enjoys among leaders and nations. Yet the most interesting and important response is the one coming from various circles in the Arab world. This time we're not only seeing certain leaders protesting, but also intellectuals, media figures, and even sections of the public that often give Israel the cold shoulder. Even they feel that Ahmadinejad went a step too far.
Practically, he causes them damage, because such twisted attitude to Israel undermines the chances to advance the affairs of the countries in conflict with us - such threats lead to seclusion and refusal to respond to any gesture due to genuine, justified existential anxiety.
The diplomatic dividend has already been collected, and every declaration such as the last one ("Israel will disappear like the Soviet Union") will only provide excellent tailwind for the continued diplomatic activity around the world. Moreover, if Israel decides to one day "upgrade" its nuclear ambiguity policy, these declarations may provide it with legitimacy for change, which will apparently be seen as a reasonable self-defense move.
However, the Iranian "assistance" does not come only in the diplomatic arena, but also in the intelligence-gathering theater – Only veterans of intelligence organizations realize the great expense of gathering and research efforts invested in order to understand enemy intentions. Usually, these efforts fail.
Yet here, Ahmadinejad's explicit declarations regarding the need for Israel to disappear from the map soon made his intentions unequivocal. The backing of this declaration through the broad, diverse development of nuclear capabilities, just like the complete unwillingness to reach a compromise on this matter, does not leave room for hesitation.
Make no mistake about it: Iran's strategy toward Israel was apparently no different in essence since Khomeini's revolution. It was even hinted at on occasion by previous presidents. Yet nobody declared it out loud like this in such a clear, explicit manner. And so, we got it for free. So thank you, Mahmoud. You made life much easier for Israel.
Brigadier General (Ret.) Yossi Ben Ari served in senior intelligence posts