@ CK MacLeod:
Calling someone Satan means you know they're bad and you know your audience knows they're bad. No Iranian leader has ever said anything about the peace process, to my knowledge. Why on earth would Iran be interested in the peace process? You don't make peace with a state that has no right to live.
@ CK MacLeod:
Not everything in the world is symmetrical. Iran's leaders are not neo-cons with a minus sign in front of them. If they depict Israel as the leading edge of the democratic capitalist invasion of their world, it hasn't been reported. Rather, their speeches take it for granted that those on their side already know that Israel has to be destroyed. Reasons? Who needs them? It's obvious.
@ CK MacLeod:
"a 'suicide state' (like us)."
A willingness to take risks is not the same as an eagerness to die. American leaders and American citizens don't talk about the reason to prefer death (except for Patrick Henry).
It is very important to remember that the most dangerous hatred is unmotivated hatred. Iran has no quarrel with Israel. Iranians typically don't like Arabs. Iran's mullahs hate Sunnis.
The first member of the trio "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is life. The other two members are about this world, not the world to come.
By "that one," I assume you mean Rafsanjani. If one has made a relevant point that has gone unheeded, it makes sense to repeat it. The fact that Rafsanjani's statement about turning Iran into a suicide bomb was made in a very long speech that included many other subjects doesn't negate the fact that he made it. There is no reason to assume he wasn't serious.
Ahmadinejad is subjecting Iran to sanctions in order to pursue his nuclear ambitions. Does he have anything to gain for himself and his country by doing so? It is not clear that he does. His statements about eliminating Israel ought to be considered in the light of his policies concerning nuclear weapons.
Rafsanjani was probably correct when he said that a single nuclear bomb could defeat Israel. Certainly two bombs could. If he was willing to risk enormous casualties among his own people, why should Ahmadinejad be different. Unlike Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad is no moderate.
Suicide bombers are a dime a dozen. Couldn't a leader choose to turn his country into a suicide nation?
I see that Abbas supports the Gaza blockade. This is the same guy whose Ph.D. dissertation denied the Holocaust.
As far as lynch mobs are concerned, Rafsanjani said in 2001 that a single nuclear weapon could destroy Israel.
Starting in 1965, I used to sit occasionally at a table on the Columbia campus labeled "Independent Committee on Vietnam" and distribute handouts to passers-by who came over to look or chat. For a variety of reasons, such as the boat people, I have changed my views about opposing the war in Vietnam. But at that time, I got to know some other people at the table. In May of 1967, when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and ordered the UN Security force to leave (which it promptly did), some of the people I knew were overjoyed. They began expressing extremely hostile sentiments about Israel. Once the Six-Day War started, they continued more frequently than ever.
I assumed it was a fluke--a small number of people I happened to have come in contact with. But then around the time of the Labor Day Weekend in 1967, the National Conference for the New Politics took place. Lots of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments were expressed at the conference. In 1968, the teachers' strike took place in New York, and the sentiments expressed were simply anti-Semitic and had nothing to do with Israel. On March 6, 1969, my first political article was published: "The Left Is Soft on Anti-Semitism." It appeared in the Village Voice.
For a long time, the distinction between leftists and liberals was clear. What is different now is that liberals seem to be turning into leftists.
James Carroll, in his book CONSTANTINE'S SWORD, suggests that the reason for anti-Semitism in Christianity, Islam, and Marxism is supersessionism. The philosophies that are descended or partly descended from Judaism have to show that it was important for them to break away from their ancestor, and so they have to show their ancestor was bad.
Israel has given independence to Gaza. It has given autonomy to the West Bank--enough autonomy to enable the government there to execute Arabs accused of collaboration with Israel. Although there are unresolved issues of borders, especially as far as Jerusalem is concerned, Israel is ready to leave most of the West Bank. Israel and the Palestinians are not fighting over territory. The issue is whether Israel should exist.
Hitler obviously antedated Israel. He was obsessed with removing Jewish genes from Europe and perhaps the world. What was wrong with Jews? They did things like own retail stores. The Horror! Nowadays, Israel has an army, and wars kill people. That gives anti-Semites a more tangible reason to oppose Israel. But it all goes back to Carroll's theory: Jews gave the world three doctrines, each of which claims to possess all the truth.