Amalek and a hinge of history
In an interview to Jeffrey Goldberg Bibi Netanyahu said that Iran's desire for nuclear weapons represents a hinge of history.
“Iran has threatened to annihilate a state,” he said. “In historical terms, this is an astounding thing. It’s a monumental outrage that goes effectively unchallenged in the court of public opinion. Sure, there are perfunctory condemnations, but there’s no j’accuse — there’s no shock.” He argued that one lesson of history is that “bad things tend to get worse if they’re not challenged early.” He went on, “Iranian leaders talk about Israel’s destruction or disappearance while simultaneously creating weapons to ensure its disappearance.”
Mr. Netanyahu doesn’t believe that Iran would necessarily launch a nuclear-tipped missile at Tel Aviv. He argues instead that Iran could bring about the eventual end of Israel simply by possessing such weaponry. “Iran’s militant proxies would be able to fire rockets and engage in other terror activities while enjoying a nuclear umbrella,” he said. This could lead to the depopulation of the Negev and the Galilee, both of which have already endured sustained rocket attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah.
More broadly, he said, a nuclear Iran “would embolden Islamic militants far and wide, on many continents, who would believe that this is a providential sign, that this fanaticism is on the ultimate road to triumph.”
Next follows Goldber's "analysis":
To understand why Mr. Netanyahu sees Iran as a new Amalek, it is essential to understand two aspects of his intellectual and emotional development: The scholarship of his father, and the martyrdom of his older brother.
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“Amalek,” in essence, is Hebrew for “existential threat.” Tradition holds that the Amalekites are the undying enemy of the Jews. They appear in Deuteronomy, attacking the rear columns of the Israelites on their escape from Egypt. The rabbis teach that successive generations of Jews have been forced to confront the Amalekites: Nebuchadnezzar, the Crusaders, Torquemada, Hitler and Stalin are all manifestations of Amalek’s malevolent spirit.
Source: The New York Times
The Arab version of the interview goes like this:
So when Netanyahu and Goldberg say that Iran is Amalek, the metaphor cuts both ways. Not only are the Persians considered to be the mortal enemies of Israel, but the Israelites are bound by God’s law to eradicate them, to “utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” What we’re talking about here is genocide by divine decree.
Source: The Human Province
Labels: The Shape of the Arab Mind
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