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Cole writes: "Iran and European Jewry were both treated horribly in the 19th and 20th centuries by the major European imperial countries."

Foreign policy commentator Juan Cole. (photo: Informed Comment)
Foreign policy commentator Juan Cole. (photo: Informed Comment)


5 Surprising Ways Iran Is Better Than Israel

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

27 February 15

 

think I’m one of the few Americans who has been to both Iran and Israel. I like both countries and have a lot in common with thinkers in both. I love What I know of Tel Aviv’s cafe culture and the searing honesty and high ethics of the Israeli thinkers I have talked to (so different from the strident and almost cult-like cheerleaderism of right wing Jewish Americans on Israel). It is said that Israelis’ favorite philosopher is Spinoza. I approve. Iranian intellectuals are less able to speak their minds in Iran’s unfree media than their Israeli counterparts (though there is a price to too much frankness in Israel, as well), but one on one they are also level-headed and clear-eyed. I suspect Iranians’ favorite philosopher is Rumi. If so, again, I approve. In fact, I think Rumi and Spinoza would have gotten along famously. Unfortunately contemporary Iran and contemporary Israel don’t get along at all politically, which sets the stage for the Washington melodrama planned for March 3, when Israel’s belligerent prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, will address Congress in a bid to undermine President Obama’s diplomacy with Iran on their civilian nuclear enrichment program.

Iran and European Jewry were both treated horribly in the 19th and 20th centuries by the major European imperial countries. Obviously, proportionally Jews suffered much more than Iranians did; about a third of Jews were murdered in the Nazi genocide. But Iran also suffered significant loss of human life and property. Tsarist Russia fought two wars with it in the early nineteenth century, and annexed from it substantial territory. Britain and Russia forbade Iran from constructing a railroad in the late 19th century, robbing it of a key tool of economic advance; that probably killed a lot of Iranians if you think about its implications. The British and the Russians opposed the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911 and helped make sure Iranians did not get liberty and a rule of law. Britain backed the rise of the Pahlevi dictatorship in the 1920s, if it did not in fact simply impose it. The US overthrew the elected government of Iran in 1953 because it had nationalized the oil industry and imposed the megalomaniacal Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on that country. Ultimately Iranians, outraged at constant interference in their domestic affairs, overthrew the shah and instituted a revolutionary regime based on indigenous Iranian culture, especially religious culture. Although the Jewish response to the European genocide against Jews was not immediately religious (most Zionists were secular), over time religion has come to play a bigger and bigger part in Israeli life. In a sense, Israel and Iran are both reactions against European nationalism and imperialism, though Israel has now allied with the West, whereas Iran continues to oppose many Western policies.

The conflict between Israel and Iran is in part driven by their history with European repression. Israelis, mauled by European “Aryan” nationalism and its mass murder of Jews, do not want an enemy state like Iran to be in a position even to think about constructing a nuclear weapon. Iranians, oppressed by imperialism to the point where they couldn’t have a railroad until the 1920s, are damned if they are going nowadays to let someone else dictate to them how they make electricity.

It is natural that Westerners should find Israel more simpatico than Iran, given the Israeli government’s alliance with the West and Iran’s antipathy. But here are some differences between the two that are in Iran’s favor, which I point out just to balance out the unfair way the two are covered.

  1. Iran does not have a nuclear bomb and is signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Despite what is constantly alleged in the Western press and by Western politicians, there is no evidence that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program; and, the theocratic Supreme Leader has forbidden making, stockpiling and using nuclear weapons. In contrast, Israel refused to sign the NPT and has several hundred nuclear warheads, which it constructed stealthily, including through acts of espionage and smuggling in the United States, and against the wishes of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. And, its leaders have more than once implied they are ready to use it; then prime minister Ariel Sharon alarmed George W. Bush when he intimated that he’d nuke Baghdad if Saddam tried to send SCUDs tipped with gas on Israel.

  2. Iran has not launched an aggressive war since 1775, when Karim Khan Zand sent an army against Omar Pasha in Basra in neighboring Iraq. Though, whether that was a response to Ottoman provocations or actually an aggressive act could be argued. Who started a war is always a matter of interpretation to some extent, but if we define it as firing the first shot, then Israel started wars in 1956, 1967 and 1982. If the principle of proportionality of response is entered into the equation, then you’d have to say 2006, 2009, and 2014 were also predominantly an Israeli decision.

  3. Modern Iran has not occupied the territory of its neighbors. Iraq attacked Iran in 1980 in a bloodthirsty act of aggression. Iran fought off Iraq 1980-1988. But after the hostilities ended, Tehran did not try to take and hold Iraqi territory in revenge. The UN Charter of 1945 forbids countries to annex the land of their neighbors through warfare. In contrast, Israel occupies 4 million stateless Palestinians, who are treated as any subjected, colonized population would be. Nor is there any prospect in my lifetime of those Palestinians gaining citizenship in their own state; they are going to live and die humiliated and colonized and often expropriated.

  4. All the people ruled over by Iran can vote in national elections and even Iranian Jews have a representative in parliament. In contrast, of the 12 million people ruled by Israel, 4 million of them have no vote in Israeli politics, which is the politics that actually rules them.

  5. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is not trying to undermine the Obama administration’s negotiations with his country, aimed at making sure Iran can have nuclear electricity plants but that it cannot develop a weapon.

Iran’s government is not one I agree with on almost anything, and it is dictatorial and puritanical. I wish Iranians would get past it and join the world’s democracies. Israel is better than Iran in most regards– for Israeli citizens it has more of a rule of law and more personal liberties. But just to be fair, there are some ways Iran’s policies are better than Israel’s.

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+73 # Merlin 2015-02-27 14:13
Now you have done it Juan. Every Zionist shill will be all over this thread… Brux may even reappear.
 
 
+20 # bmiluski 2015-02-27 14:15
Yeah.......wher e has Brux been?
 
 
+22 # ritawalpoleague 2015-02-28 08:27
Reply to Merlin's #1 great comment - Juan has indeed 'done it', and done it very well.

Truly, evil ain't nothin' new, and today's Zionist Israel, with NET and YAHOO in the lead, is an evil 'greed and need for power over all' shame to each and every good/godly Jew.

Each and every member of congress who is present at this 1% ploy of 'Nasty Net's' appearance before U.S. Congress, is obviously an AIPAC bought off pol..

BOYCOTT THE 'NASTY NET', CONGRESS !
 
 
+89 # Thinking 2015-02-27 14:16
Thanks for a balanced look at the matter.
 
 
+65 # Jayceecool 2015-02-27 14:48
Thank you, Juan, as this analysis is not likely to appear in American mainstream media, which is more evidence of American corruption.
 
 
+44 # reiverpacific 2015-02-27 15:13
Excellent balanced article.
I've never been all over the world but to neither of these countries although I've long wanted to visit the Persian Palace of Persepolis and it's magnificent bull-collumns.
Also glad that the cultural riches of each nation is addressed. It's a little known fact that there are many women poets as well as males continuing the written poetic riches of Omar Khyaam and Rumi and look at all the great musician that the Jewish people have bequeathed us and are still active.
Also like the statement "so different from the strident and almost cult-like cheerleaderism of right wing Jewish Americans on Israel" which includes RSN's very own occasional, almost fanatically deranged "Israel rah-rah-rah" club.
Pity both countries are run on one hand by a theocratic set of Mullahs, tempered recently by the election of the more moderate President Haasan Roumadi (sp?) and the other by a fascist warmonger supported to the hilt by big bro' USA.
Pity their cultural leaders couldn't take over both and exchange their respective riches instead of threats.
 
 
-11 # Torvus 2015-02-27 15:39
Very interesting article, and gently adjusts the perceptional balance. I hadn't known about the past Russian/British interference in Iran. Incidentally, you mention "The UN Charter of 1945 forbids countries to annex the land of their neighbors through warfare." This forbiddance doesn't have any teeth, has it? The latest instance is I suppose Putin's attack on Ukraine.
 
 
+35 # Helen Marshall 2015-02-27 15:56
Putin did not "attack Ukraine." Kindly provide some evidence (meaning reference to actual satellite photography or other verified material showing a Russian attack). There is none.
 
 
-15 # Torvus 2015-02-27 17:07
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Russian+Troops+Parachuting+in+Ukraine&Form=VQFRVP#view=detail&mid=20FD806E8D4A1E7B638F20FD806E8D4A1E7B638F

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Ukraine+Russian+Invasion&FORM=RESTAB#view=detail&mid=2062EA39340991B7B5A72062EA39340991B7B5A7

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Ukraine+Russian+Invasion&FORM=RESTAB#view=detail&mid=2062EA39340991B7B5A72062EA39340991B7B5A7

http://nypost.com/2014/09/21/leaked-transcripts-reveal-putins-secret-attack-in-ukraine/
 
 
+23 # Anonymot 2015-02-27 22:41
I just looked. In #1 there's NO comment about "parachuting" The rest is about American fears of an invasion.
#2 says Russian troops came in trucks at Sebastapol airport where their navy base is then left. But there is a good video about hot Ukranian women in the same little collection. Yours, Torvus?
#3 is a rerun of #2 A day later with an addition of Yanukovitch saying that the US & EU are responsible for this problem.
#4 is a New York Post article that no other newspaper repeated, probably because it's as phony as it sounds.

I wonder if you really actually saw all of this and if so if you thought about it.
 
 
+10 # jsluka 2015-02-27 16:29
Putin's attack on Ukraine? D'oh.
 
 
-71 # Seadog 2015-02-27 15:44
Yea, Juan Iran is just filled to over flowing with love for humanity ( if you happen to be a Shia Muslim that is.) Now the big ? Juan if you absolutely had to pick one of the two to live in, which would it be? I think we all know its not going to be Iran where you would find yourself pretty quickly in a Revolutionary guard prison hung up on a wall being tortured as an American spy.
 
 
+61 # dickbd 2015-02-27 16:27
He already said that Israel had the advantage in many ways. This was a truly balanced article that gave both countries their due, but you react in an almost Pavlovian manner.

Are you one of the Zionists that was predicted or just an ignorant red neck?

And I'm sorry for the name calling on my part, as I much prefer civil discourse, but it really seemed as though you hadn't read the article and just reacted to the title.
 
 
+31 # Billy Bob 2015-02-27 17:27
Seadog only read the headline. What did you expect?
 
 
+32 # Anonymot 2015-02-27 22:47
And Israel is just overflowing with love for humanity unless you happen to be a Palestinian. You're out to sea, seadog.
 
 
+41 # NAVYVET 2015-02-27 15:45
Thanks for a fine, balanced article. I too have known people from both countries, and I consider all of them to be cultured and highly intelligent. As a historian with an MA in theology I've read and studied the Qu'ran and the Jewish Scriptures and books analyzing them. In American towns that lack mosques and synagogues Muslims and Jews who are troubled by Fundamentalism in their own faiths sometimes attend Unitarian Universalist churches (or fellowships or meeting houses, etc.) because, like them, we don't believe in the divinity of Jesus, we are always willing to listen and learn, and we are courteous to people of all faiths or none, so as a UU I've probably met more Muslims than most persons raised Christian. Consider also that Iran and the whole Palestine seacoast, especially Israel, contain priceless ancient bones and archaeological treasures, which both nations have treated respectfully.
 
 
+69 # breakingthesilence 2015-02-27 15:54
Unfortunately, the most important facts have been left out. Even US journalists who try to be progressive dare not mention that non-Jewish "citizens" of Israel have substantially fewer rights than do Jewish citizens. And all the Israeli Jewishpolitical parties have agreed that the small Palestinian parties will never be part of any Israeli government. Democracy? Surely you're joking. But even more important is the fact that every inch of Israel is stolen Palestinian land. You cannot steal 78% of another people's homeland, expel the rightful inhabitants and have a legitimate nation on that stolen land. Israel, a thoroughly racist and racially supremacist state is brutal, expansionist, and highly militarized— that's the definition of political fascism. All of Israel is occupied Palestinian territory and the refugee nightmare and theft make Israel rightfully despised throughout the world except in the colonialist west and in the US in particular. The US overthrew the Iranian secular democracy in 1954 & installed the hated Shah. The US supports racist, settler-colonia list Israel which has illegal nuclear weapons that the US dares not openly discuss. That's the real situation!
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2015-02-28 10:12
Quoting breakingthesilence:
Unfortunately, the most important facts have been left out. Even US journalists who try to be progressive dare not mention that non-Jewish "citizens" of Israel have substantially fewer rights than do Jewish citizens. And all the Israeli Jewishpolitical parties have agreed that the small Palestinian parties will never be part of any Israeli government. Democracy? Surely you're joking. But even more important is the fact that every inch of Israel is stolen Palestinian land. You cannot steal 78% of another people's homeland, expel the rightful inhabitants and have a legitimate nation on that stolen land. Israel, a thoroughly racist and racially supremacist state is brutal, expansionist, and highly militarized— that's the definition of political fascism. All of Israel is occupied Palestinian territory and the refugee nightmare and theft make Israel rightfully despised throughout the world except in the colonialist west and in the US in particular. The US overthrew the Iranian secular democracy in 1954 & installed the hated Shah. The US supports racist, settler-colonialist Israel which has illegal nuclear weapons that the US dares not openly discuss. That's the real situation!

1953 and it was the UK who pushed the US into it on behalf of the Anglo-iranian Oil Company, now BP.
In 1954, the US was hard at work overthrowing Jacobo Arbenz's similarly popularly elected democratic regime, plunging yet another nation into decades of chaos.
 
 
+37 # Helen Marshall 2015-02-27 15:55
in addition I believe it was the US that encouraged Iran - under the Shah - to develop a nuclear power industry.
 
 
-73 # Dennis Newman 2015-02-27 16:19
Cole, of course, has written a patently-false screed rooted in what can only be termed -- politely -- a particularlist animus toward the Jewish state. A few of the bigest lies: Iran is enriching uranium in order to produce power (which power it of course doesn't need as an oil giant), not nukes; Iran is not going for nuclear weaponry (the putting together bomb mechanism and delivery vehicle with highly-enriched U, once you've got it, while not trivial, is easily and quickly done, and difficult to interdict, as all bright college engineering and poly-sci students know; the Ayatollah and mullahs forbid nuclear weaponry when he is in fact they have long been rabidly pursuing it; Israel started three wars (arguably, maybe, it got dragged into war by Britain and France in '56, but that's as far as one can go and be balanced); Iran does not make war or occupy (when Iran-financed, terrorist Hezbollah and HAMAS are killing and undermining in others' lands near and far); and the ultimate Orwellian mirror-image lie, that the repressive theocracy of Iran is democatic, while the human- and civil-rights honoring parliamentary democracy that is Israel is not. Cole betrays his animus, finally, in denying the one particle of truth that he had to mention in passing so as to maintain a shred of credibility (though it is buried in the last graf): "Israel is better than Iran in most regards." Of course, so many hard-left and Israel- and Jew-hating ideologues (whether they admit or not) love it.
 
 
+32 # ericlipps 2015-02-27 18:41
Quoting Dennis Newman:
Iran is enriching uranium in order to produce power (which power it of course doesn't need as an oil giant), not nukes . . .

By that logic, of course, America's own uranium enrichment facilities have nothing to do with nuclear power . . . which I'm sure would come as news to the folks desperately trying to get U.S. nuclear power plants shut down.

After all, America is an "oil giant" too, and a coal giant, and a natural-gas giant, so what do we need nuclear power for?

Of course, America actually DOES have nuclear weapons, and I wouldn't be surprised if Iran wants them too, faced as it is with an Israel bristling with them and increasingly bellicose toward Tehran. But that doesn't constitute proof.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2015-02-28 10:09
@ D. Newman;
"Israel, Israel, rah-rah-rah"!
 
 
+3 # Billsy 2015-02-28 13:13
Your animus is showing :)
 
 
-1 # rhgreen 2015-03-19 19:09
Mr. Newman, that is totally absurd! You need to see a psychiatrist. Let's see, we should ignore how many UN resolutions Israel has ignored, we should ignore Israel's nuclear weapons and delivery systems, we should ignore Israel's refusal to let the International Atomic Energy Agency in to check, and we'll ignore the hilarious phrase "the human- and civil-rights honouring parliamentary democracy that is Israel". Please give us a break, Mr. Newman. The US is also a quasi-democracy , and God knows that it has been responsible for much aggression and many human and civil rights violations, both at home and abroad.
 
 
+47 # wordly 2015-02-27 17:14
Breakingthesile nce notes: "You cannot steal 78% of another people's homeland, expel the rightful inhabitants and have a legitimate nation on that stolen land."

How,pray tell, did the United States of America come to be? Or do Native Americans not count?
 
 
+39 # Peace Anonymous 2015-02-27 17:33
Quoting wordly:
Breakingthesilence notes: "You cannot steal 78% of another people's homeland, expel the rightful inhabitants and have a legitimate nation on that stolen land."

How,pray tell, did the United States of America come to be? Or do Native Americans not count?


Exactly!! Great point. "Manifest Destiny" resulted in the destruction of many aboriginal cultures in the name of "progress." They were forced onto reserves and denied any rights whatsoever. And then basically imprisoned on their open-air prisons called reservations. I see the similarities between Israel and Gaza.
I have been following "Breaking The Silence" for some time and commend them for their willingness to step up and do their impersonation of Edward Snowden. I thank you for a much more thorough version of the "truth" than the one we receive courtesy of the mainstream media.
And I also commend Juan for a balanced perspective, which is what I always thought journalism was supposed to be about.

Again I honestly believe that if all Americans were shown the truth, and were actually willing to honestly LOOK AT IT, the world would be a much different place.
 
 
+16 # nogardflow 2015-02-27 21:45
The problem is, they are not 'willing to honestly look at it'. As a matter of fact, if you even question their beliefs of how things are, or the greatness of America, you will be branded unpatriotic and will be given the option, in this case, to move to Iran.
 
 
+3 # Ray Kondrasuk 2015-03-01 03:49
Freshly updated statistics as of late February, 2015:

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/
 
 
+2 # cymricmorty 2015-03-01 10:44
Thanks! Wish I'd known about this site earlier.
 
 
+21 # ericlipps 2015-02-27 18:44
Quoting wordly:
Breakingthesilence notes: "You cannot steal 78% of another people's homeland, expel the rightful inhabitants and have a legitimate nation on that stolen land."

How,pray tell, did the United States of America come to be? Or do Native Americans not count?

So should the Palestinians just let themselves be marched off to reservations in the most inhospitable land Israel can find for them? Past abuses which can't be rectified in any practical way are no excuse for present abuses which perhaps can.
 
 
+51 # Peace Anonymous 2015-02-27 17:57
How many time in history have we heard an American politician rant about communists and dictators in other countries? And how many times has America orchestrated coups which have toppled DEMOCRATICALLY elected governments which were trying to function in the best interests of their respective nations. Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama, Nicaragua, Chile, Indonesia, and Iran all represent nations where an excuse was found - or created - to justify overt, or covert, American intervention. All in the name of profit for a handful of politically well connected individuals.

You may blame the actions of foreign leaders all you want, but how many of you have any idea what we have done to millions of people all over the world? Who would tell you? FOX??? Children in Yemen have a better understanding of American foreign policy than most American adults because they see it everyday. When will we learn that the wealth in other countries belongs to the citizens in those countries, not to the shareholders of corporate America? We have a long history of killing for profit. Can we continue as we have, or must we change?

Thanks Juan. Your pieces are always enlightening.
 
 
-30 # whatdidimiss 2015-02-27 18:52
I'll be sure to make my aliyah to Iran. Not.
 
 
+3 # Ray Kondrasuk 2015-03-01 03:56
With delightful wit and candid criticism, let Iranian-America n author Hooman Majd take you to that complex Persian culture while comfortably settled in your favorite armchair.

See "The Ayatollah Begs to Differ" and "The Ministry of Guidance Invites You To Not Stay".
 
 
+21 # progressiveguy 2015-02-27 20:42
It was the United States that gave Iran its first nuclear reactor in the 60's. We helped overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran in the 50"s.
 
 
+20 # Activista 2015-02-27 20:58
Timely article to educate US before the Netanyaho comes in front of US congress with his lies/war against Iran propaganda.
Let send this article to "our" congress - so they know.
 
 
-18 # Shmegetti 2015-02-27 21:08
Israel did declare war first in 1967, but why? Egyptian Prime Minster Emil Nasser was putting his Army into the Sinai, prepping for war. He was declaring that "they were going to drive the Jews into the sea". If the Israelis had waited for the 4 countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq (who were all gathering their forces)to declare war first it would have been a greatly different contest. By destroying their enemies fighter jets on the ground which lead directly to the extreme shortening of the war, they actually saved lives on both sides.
Iran has treated not only their Jewish citizens but people of the Bahia faith terribly. It has persecuted them. It's why most Iranian Jews and Bahia have fled.
Iran has put prices on people's heads for writing books (Salaman Rushdie).
Women in Iran cannot travel by themselves without written permission from their husbands. And if they are not dressed "properly", the religious police can stick their hands into bags full of cockroaches.
All candidates for office have to be approved by the head Mullahs.
In Iran you cannot criticize the government openly as those arrested for the "green movement" can tell you.
Iran may not have officially started wars but they use Hezbolah and Hamas, both of which it funds to keep conflicts brewing.

Israeli PM Netanyahu is a right wing Ass, but I would rather live in Israel where I can speak my mind, vote for whom I choose, publish what I want, and wear what I want, than in Iran any day.
 
 
+15 # Activista 2015-02-27 21:45
So we bomb Iran to bring them to "democracy" - we did it to Iraq (also WMD) ...
and war of 1967 - it was war started by Israel by choice - Israel's attack on Egypt in June '67 was not 'preemptive ...
www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/.../israels-attack-on-egypt-in-june-67-wa...
Jul 4, 2010 - Yet this historical interpretation of the war is not sustained by the .... its war on Egypt in 1956 was a war of “choice” and that, “In June 1967 we ...
look at the map of shrinking Palestine - www.jvpchicago.org/resources/brief-history - take a look what happened after 1967 ..
 
 
+8 # ccairns 2015-02-28 06:58
A quibble concerning Juan Cole's statement that the Iranians "…instituted a revolutionary regime based on indigenous Iranian culture, especially religious culture." Actually, the theocracy was imposed as a counter-revouti on to the popular and largely secular revolution that overthrew the Shah. The theocracy immediately executed the leaders of the revolution that overthrew the Shah and imposed an iron fist over the whole country. The gains of the revolution have been pretty much wiped out, although I guess it's better than it was under the Shah.
 
 
+3 # geohorse 2015-02-28 07:39
This has never been covered in US media to the extent that it's common knowledge, has it?Quoting ccairns:
A quibble concerning Juan Cole's statement that the Iranians "…instituted a revolutionary regime based on indigenous Iranian culture, especially religious culture." Actually, the theocracy was imposed as a counter-revoution to the popular and largely secular revolution that overthrew the Shah. The theocracy immediately executed the leaders of the revolution that overthrew the Shah and imposed an iron fist over the whole country. The gains of the revolution have been pretty much wiped out, although I guess it's better than it was under the Shah.

Quoting ccairns:
A quibble concerning Juan Cole's statement that the Iranians "…instituted a revolutionary regime based on indigenous Iranian culture, especially religious culture." Actually, the theocracy was imposed as a counter-revoution to the popular and largely secular revolution that overthrew the Shah. The theocracy immediately executed the leaders of the revolution that overthrew the Shah and imposed an iron fist over the whole country. The gains of the revolution have been pretty much wiped out, although I guess it's better than it was under the Shah.
 
 
-22 # WaaDoo 2015-02-28 09:08
This guy Juan Cole is smoking dope.
Just consider #2. No war waged by Iran.
Supporting and paying for terrorism around the globe is not a war !!??

Blinded and illogical.
 
 
+16 # reiverpacific 2015-02-28 10:07
Quoting WaaDoo:
This guy Juan Cole is smoking dope.
Just consider #2. No war waged by Iran.
Supporting and paying for terrorism around the globe is not a war !!??

Blinded and illogical.


The last phrase describes you personally to a tee.
Where DO you get y'r information-and history? Y'r line three is the oldest neocon card in the deck!
You might consider changing y'r nom-de-plume to "Yahoo".
 
 
+9 # itchyvet 2015-02-28 23:26
WaaDoo, you really need to be able to provide substantiating EVIDANCE to support your claims regarding Iran, and stop repeating the unsubstantiated propaganda your being spoon fed from the cradle.
 
 
-13 # Shmegetti 2015-02-28 09:13
To Activista
I read the article in fpj and they left out certain facts: In 1967, From the Golan heights Syria intensified its bombardment of Israeli settlements across the border, and Israel struck back by shooting down six Syrian MiG fighters in Israeli airspace. Syria alleged in May 1967 that Israel was massing troops along the border, Egypt mobilized its forces and demanded the withdrawal of the U.N. Emergency Force from the Israel-Egypt cease-fire lines of the 1956 conflict. Hardly what one who wants peace does. The U.N. peacekeepers left on May 19, and three days later Egypt closed the Strait of Tiran to Israeli shipping.Isolat ing Elat. On May 30, Jordan signed a mutual-defense treaty with Egypt and Syria, and other Arab states, including Iraq, Kuwait, and Algeria, sent troop contingents to join the Arab coalition against Israel. And if one wanted peace one wouldn't make belligerent statements, like Nasser did.
The reason there weren't peace treaties after the 6 day war, was that in order to get the land back the Arab countries had to recognize Israel's right to exist.In the late 1980's When Egypt signed the peace treaty, they got the Sinai back.
 
 
+11 # Activista 2015-02-28 11:34
look at the map of shrinking Palestine - www.jvpchicago.org/resources/brief-history - take a look at the occupation that happened after 1967 .. now populated by illegal settlements ...
Cole article is on time - USraeli mass media are ramping their anti Syria, anti Iran war propaganda just before Netanyaho speech to US congress. Guess what the speech will be about - bombing Iran ..
 
 
+7 # elizabethblock 2015-03-01 09:20
ISRAEL poses a GENUINE existential threat to IRAN. Israel has nuclear weapons, and Israeli politicians, e.g. Netanyahu, have declared their intention to destroy Iran. In those circumstances, who wouldn't want a nuclear weapon for deterrence? (Remember how, after North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb, the Bushies stopped threatening it.)
 
 
+3 # ronnewmexico 2015-03-01 09:55
It is not related but I thought I may add to this…" In contrast, of the 12 million people ruled by Israel, 4 million of them have no vote in Israeli politics"

In that great spreader of democracy, america….in most states in which natives held any large contingent, the american southwest ARizona New Mexico and those places…natives were not allow to vote in state and local elections until the mid to late 1940's….politic s, which also greatly concerned them.
 
 
+5 # SBader 2015-03-01 13:34
Mr. Cole omits the main difference. While Iranian "hostility" if any, takes the form of resisting pressure from the same old oppressive Imperialists, the Zionist regime is based on disenfranchisin g people who were NOT their oppressors and an attempt to hegemonise a part of the world in order to appease those very same oppressors and get to keep their wealth after all.
 
 
+4 # Walter J Smith 2015-03-01 22:11
Excellent article on clearly important and poignant issues!

Two suggestions for clearing possible confusions in the writing.

"The US overthrew the elected government of Iran in 1953 because it had nationalized the oil industry and imposed the megalomaniacal Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on that country." The subject of that verb "imposed" is not clear. Of course, it was the US, but it could easily be read the way it is written, as if that were Iran.

This phrase, "Israel occupies 4 million stateless Palestinians," needs clarification.

How does Israel occupy those Palestinians?

Some of us are aware that Israel occupies their territory and effect apartheid conditions as well as genocide against the Palestinians. The writing sounds as if Israel occupies the individual Palestinians.

Thank you for your published writings. You are one of the few most well-informed, clear headed, courageous, and sober journalists we have writing on International Affairs.

And right now, nothing in the International arena (though US belligerance in Ukraine & imperial adventurism in Syria & Iraq are close) needs attention more than our very expensive and usually fruitless favoritism toward Israel.
 
 
+2 # Relax57 2015-03-02 13:04
So... "Iran has not launched an aggressive war since 1775"? But what about all the logistical and financial support they have given to
Hezbollah and HAMAS against Israel? what about the all the disruption they have caused in Lebanon and Syria?
 
 
+2 # pinkmondy54 2015-03-02 14:24
Democracy Now!on Tues.2/24/15, reported Al Jazeera began publishing a series of leaked spy cables from the world's top intelligence agencies. Isreali spy agency Mossad contridicts PM Netanyahu's own dire warnings about Iran's ability to produce a nuclear bomb within a year. democracynow.or g/2015/2/24/as_ netanyahu_tries _to_stop_us
 
 
+1 # kenrogers 2015-03-02 14:48
@Dennis Newman
"Cole betrays his animus, finally, in denying the one particle of truth that he had to mention in passing so as to maintain a shred of credibility (though it is buried in the last graf): 'Israel is better than Iran in most regards.' Of course, so many hard-left and Israel- and Jew-hating ideologues (whether they admit or not) love it."

What's "it", Dennis? Animus toward Zionazi behavior?
 

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