The U.S. government once insisted, as a precondition for talks, on the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Why blame Israel for doing the same?
The U.S. Worries about “Hardliners” in Israel—but Not, Evidently, in Iran
The shakeup of Israel’s government and the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as defense minister drew a bland statement from the U.S. State Department—followed, writes David Horovitz, by “a little foray into what might be considered internal Israeli politics” as the department spokesman invoked “‘legitimate questions about the direction [the Netanyahu government] may be headed in, and what kind of policies it may adopt.’”
Although himself a strong critic of Lieberman, Horovitz contrasts Washington’s response to events in Jerusalem with its fastidious silence a day earlier concerning the “dramatic political developments in Iran—where, coincidentally, a hardliner was being elevated in somewhat different circumstances to a yet more powerful position.”
On Tuesday, a day before Netanyahu and Lieberman signed their deal, Iran’s Assembly of Experts chose Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati as its new chairman. The assembly oversees the actions of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and come the day, will select Khamenei’s successor. That makes Jannati one of the most powerful figures in Iran, arguably the most powerful.
Jannati, widely described as the most radical of Iran’s senior clerics, is not a nice man. He opposes any notion of Iranian political reform. He backs the execution of political dissidents. He insists that Iran’s women cover up beneath the hijab. Needless to say, he loathes Israel. And he loathes the United States. . . .
Given that the United States last year led the diplomatic process that culminated in an agreement to rein in (but not dismantle) Iran’s rogue nuclear program; given that President Barack Obama has been urging Iran to “move toward a more constructive relationship with the world community”; given that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and a regional troublemaker; given that Iran continues to develop its ballistic-missile program, you might be forgiven for thinking that the selection of the radically hostile Jannati would raise “legitimate questions about the direction” in which Iran may be headed, “and what kind of policies it may adopt.”