Mon May 8th, 2006 at 08:01:53 PM EST
The problem with Iran by Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist based in Washington: Washington Post Writers Group, Published May 8, 2006,,,,,the article is a haunting one
For 2,000 years, Jews found protection in dispersion--protection not for individual communities that were routinely persecuted and massacred, but protection for the Jewish people as a whole..............Hitler put an end to that illusion. He demonstrated that modern anti-Semitism married to modern technology--railroads, disciplined bureaucracies, gas chambers that kill with industrial efficiency--could take a scattered people and "concentrate" them for complete annihilation.
The establishment of Israel was a Jewish declaration to a world that had allowed the Holocaust to happen--after Hitler had made his intentions perfectly clear--that the Jews would henceforth resort to self-protection and self-reliance.
Mr. Krauthammer sees obvious parallels and fears that history may be repeating itself.
But, in a cruel historical irony, doing so required concentration--putting all the eggs back in one basket, a tiny territory hard by the Mediterranean, 8 miles wide at its waist. A tempting target for those who would finish Hitler's work.
His successors now reside in Tehran. The world has paid ample attention to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed. Less attention has been paid to Iranian leaders' pronouncements on exactly how Israel would be destroyed "by a single storm," as Ahmadinejad has promised.
Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, the presumed moderate of this gang, has explained that "the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam." The logic is impeccable, the intention clear: A nuclear attack would effectively destroy tiny Israel, while any retaliation launched by a dying Israel would have no major effect on an Islamic civilization of a billion people stretching from Mauritania to Indonesia.
As it races to acquire nuclear weapons, Iran makes clear that if there is any trouble, the Jews will be the first to suffer.
"We have announced that wherever [in Iran] America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel," said Gen. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani, a top Revolutionary Guards commander.
It's easy to believe that if one were a Jew living in Israel, that one could see the following as a realistic appraisal of Iran's motives, and recent events.
Last month, Bernard Lewis, America's dean of Islamic studies who just turned 90 and remembers the 20th Century well, confessed that for the first time he feels it is 1938 again. He did not need to add that in 1938, in the face of the gathering storm--a fanatical, aggressive, openly declared enemy of the West, and most determinedly of the Jews--the world did nothing.
When Iran's mullahs acquire their coveted nukes in the next few years, the number of Jews in Israel will just be reaching 6 million. Never again?