The ADL Motto: If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it!
Engaging Iran (New York Times) 03/16/09
Letters to the Editor
The New York Times March 16, 2009
To the Editor:
Re "Iran, Jews and Pragmatism," (March 16), Roger Cohen portrays himself as a reasonable interpreter of Iran in comparison to fanatical Israelis and ex-pat Iranian Jews.
In fact, in his determination to depict Iran as pragmatic, no matter the facts, it is he who paints things in black and white terms, not his critics. Iran as a nuclear threat? Absurd, he says, because the Iranians are rational players and know the consequences of a nuclear attack on Israel. But it is his view that is absurd.
Serious Israelis do not deny a level of rationality in Iranian leadership but they also have to contend with the irrational, extreme ideological side of Iran, not only represented by Ahmadinejad but by Rafsanjani who has said that all of Israel can be destroyed by one nuclear weapon. If Israel's very existence could be at stake, its leaders would be irresponsible to ignore, as does Cohen, both sides of Iranian thinking.
With regard to Iran and the Jews there is an element of Iranian Jewish life that is normal and recognized by all, but that doesn't in any way negate the point that three-quarters of the Iranian Jewish population has fled Iran and most of the rest would do likewise if they could. Cohen ought to take a trip to Argentina and interview members of the Buenos Aires Jewish community who have suffered two deadly terrorist attacks, on the Israeli embassy and the Jewish community building, that have been determined by Argentinean authorities to have been organized and implemented by that "pragmatic" regime in Teheran.
Cohen is a poor guide to how we should be dealing with Iran. If we are to engage them, as the Obama administration plans to do, we need to go in with open eyes and not through the dangerous rose-colored lenses of a Roger Cohen.
The Anti-Defamation League