Israel = Iran?

A policeman shoots a psychopath holding a child hostage.  A psychopath shoots a child hostage. Moral equivalence:  guns are evil.

A woman pushes an old man out of the path of a speeding bus.  A woman pushes an old man into the path of a speeding bus.  Moral equivalence:  pushing is bad.

Israel, a pro-western democracy defending itself from annihilation, inspires the wrath of those who want it annihilated.  Iran, a radical theocracy on the verge of possessing a nuclear bomb capable of annihilating Israel, threatens world stability.  Moral equivalence:  both are "rogue states, even pariahs."

The third argument was made today by Stephen Kinzer, foreign correspondent for the New York Times and Boston Globe, and author of many books critical of U.S. foreign policy, in response to the Gaza flotilla incident:

In one intriguing sense, Israel and Iran pose similar dilemmas to the world. Both are widely seen as rogue states, even pariahs. Both behave in ways that have earned them many enemies in the Middle East and in the wider world. The impulse to punish one or the other, or both, is easy to understand. But without the cooperation of both Israel and Iran, there will be no progress toward the urgent goal of Middle East peace. Denouncing, threatening, and sanctioning Israel and Iran may redeem emotions, but it intensifies passions rather than calming them.

In one "intriguing" sense, Kinzer advocates moderation toward Israel.  But the price of accepting the moral equivalence of Israel and Iran is that "denouncing, threatening, and sanctioning" soon-to-be nuclear Iran is proscribed. Never mind military action against Iran; Kinzer opposes verbal protests through diplomatic channels.  As if refraining from saying bad things will make Iran cooperate with Israel.   Ahmadinejad has no interest in "Middle East peace" that includes a Jewish state in what he sees as Muslim lands.   His only wish for peace with Israel is the peace of the grave that will follow the nuking of Tel Aviv.
A policeman shoots a psychopath holding a child hostage.  A psychopath shoots a child hostage. Moral equivalence:  guns are evil.

A woman pushes an old man out of the path of a speeding bus.  A woman pushes an old man into the path of a speeding bus.  Moral equivalence:  pushing is bad.

Israel, a pro-western democracy defending itself from annihilation, inspires the wrath of those who want it annihilated.  Iran, a radical theocracy on the verge of possessing a nuclear bomb capable of annihilating Israel, threatens world stability.  Moral equivalence:  both are "rogue states, even pariahs."

The third argument was made today by Stephen Kinzer, foreign correspondent for the New York Times and Boston Globe, and author of many books critical of U.S. foreign policy, in response to the Gaza flotilla incident:

In one intriguing sense, Israel and Iran pose similar dilemmas to the world. Both are widely seen as rogue states, even pariahs. Both behave in ways that have earned them many enemies in the Middle East and in the wider world. The impulse to punish one or the other, or both, is easy to understand. But without the cooperation of both Israel and Iran, there will be no progress toward the urgent goal of Middle East peace. Denouncing, threatening, and sanctioning Israel and Iran may redeem emotions, but it intensifies passions rather than calming them.

In one "intriguing" sense, Kinzer advocates moderation toward Israel.  But the price of accepting the moral equivalence of Israel and Iran is that "denouncing, threatening, and sanctioning" soon-to-be nuclear Iran is proscribed. Never mind military action against Iran; Kinzer opposes verbal protests through diplomatic channels.  As if refraining from saying bad things will make Iran cooperate with Israel.   Ahmadinejad has no interest in "Middle East peace" that includes a Jewish state in what he sees as Muslim lands.   His only wish for peace with Israel is the peace of the grave that will follow the nuking of Tel Aviv.

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