Renovation of Jewish apartment in east Jerusalem
Photo: AFP
Riots in Tehran
Photo: Faramarz Hashemi
A tale of two cities
Why is world silent over Tehran, ‘outraged’ about Jerusalem?

A world consensus is building. Not about Global Warming, AIDS, the global economic recovery, or nuclear proliferation. And tragically it’s most definitely not about standing in solidarity with the heroic Iranian people struggling against its corrupt regime.


No, the Russians, EU, UN, France, and the United States all agree on the pressing need to put an end to building nurseries for Jewish newborns in east Jerusalem! Russian Foreign Minister Nesterenko is appalled by a plan to build 20 housing units in an east Jerusalem neighborhood near Mount Scopus. French Foreign Minister Kouchner damns the erection of even one structure as a threat to the roadmap to peace. And Ruprecht Polenz, head of the German Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, warns that any construction runs the risk of Israel “gradually committing suicide as a democratic state.” So it’s nurseries and apartments—not suicide bombers and missiles —that threaten the annihilation of the Jewish State!


Curiously, when the Jerusalem Municipality which has removed unauthorized Jewish settlements also ordered demolition of homes being built without permit in east Jerusalem - by Palestinians - Sweden’s president declares that action “further threatens the chances of peace.” But when word leaked that al-Jazeera celeb and suicide bomber promoting cleric Sheik Youssef al-Qaradawi was working in parallel with Hamas to stop Jews from living in east Jerusalem while enabling Hamas to “broaden its base in the city,” the international community was silent.


Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reflected: “Imagine what would happen if someone were to suggest Jews could not live in or purchase (property) in certain neighborhoods in London, New York, Paris or Rome. The international community would certainly raise protest. Likewise, we cannot accept such a ruling on east Jerusalem . . . Israeli Arabs are not forbidden from buying houses in west Jerusalem and Jews must be granted the same right in the eastern part of the city.”


What’s going on here?

Meanwhile, back in Europe, governments did precious little to indicate they give a damn about the Twitter revolutionaries in Tehran. Two of the continent's business giants - Germany’s Siemens partnering with Finland’s Nokia - provided the mullahcracy with the technological means to suppress young Iranians using the phones and social networking to promote cyber-age democracy. Nothing - not the beating of civilians on the streets, nor Tehran’s headlong rush to develop nuclear weapons - has slowed the stream of European firms happy to prop up the Iranian regime for a few million Euros.


And many on the Continent are slipping back into nasty habits. London observer Robin Shepherd wrote about a rising tide of elite hostility demonizing Israel and delegitimizing English Jews, Norway is spending millions to rehabilitate a Nazi collaborator who had presented his Nobel Prize to Goebbels in 1943, calls for anti-Israel boycotts abound in academic circles throughout Western Europe, and newly elected three-piece suit Far-Right MEPs mingle, too comfortably, in the halls of the European Parliament.


What’s going on here? Not the “fog war of war” in which democracy’s soldiers shoot each other by mistake. In Europe before World War II, losses to “friendly fire” didn’t begin in 1939 on the battlefield. It happened earlier when French conservatives shouted “Better Hitler than Blum,” and England with France allowed Hitler to gobble up Czechoslovakia’s people like sheep for the slaughter. Prime Minister Chamberlain’s signature umbrella provided no protection against the killer fog that had already disabled the United Nations’ predecessor - the League of Nations - in the face of Japanese and Italian aggression.


Distortion, appeasement and denial

The recent offer by Washington of a Mideast “nuclear umbrella” will make no one in Kuwait, Cairo, Abu Dhabi or Tel Aviv sleep more securely - not if it means the Obama Administration is treating an Iranian nuclear bomb as a fait accompli. This is not the Cold War where mutually guaranteed destruction served as deterrent. The world is looking at the nuclear button in the hands of religious fanatics who believe the 12th Imam is about to usher a cleansing apocalypse that will subject Iran’s neighbors to blackmail by uranium and bring to fruition their goal of “wiping off the map” the “Great Satan,” America, and the “Lesser Satan,” Israel.


Israelis survived this long because they have squarely dealt with reality. In 1981, they bucked the entire international community and took out Saddam’s nuclear facility. After over 160 Palestinian suicide bombings, they finally halted the carnage by building a security fence. Stability and peace in the Middle East is a crucial priority, but a two-state solution will never be achieved if “friends” are seen as forcing Israel back to its 1967 “Auschwitz borders,” and validating Palestinians’ delusions they can deny the Jewish people’s historic rights to its eternal capital of Jerusalem .


As for Iran, the brave Iranian young protesters like Neda, who gave up their lives because they understood that “talks without preconditions” would not alone move the mullahs, should have taught us all a lesson. Seven decades after Munich, there is no doubt that appeasing Ahmadinejad will fail to thwart nuclear weaponizing or to answer the pleas of a people that has had enough of the mullahcracy.


Everyone prefers effective sanctions to war with Iran - but where is the game plan to thwart Tehran’s evil designs? Where is the funding for pro-democracy groups in Iran? Where are the calls to bar Ahmadinejad from returning to the UN podium this September? When will democracies signal the multi-national companies in bed with Tehran - do business with them OR us?


The longer the EU and the US are befogged by distortions, appeasement, and outright denial that causes the world to view Jerusalem rather than Tehran as the real threat - the more certain that military action against Iran will be ultimately required.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian, is a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center


פרסום ראשון: 07.30.09, 16:37
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