What Israel Can Learn From Iran

Like Israel, Iran will apparently not heed the words of the world. But does Israel want in any way to resemble Iran?

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
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Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy

Iran will apparently have an atom bomb, and that is very bad news. It is a country that sows evil. There is no need to add words about its dreadful threats or its dark regime - the Israeli media does so more than enough.

At the same time, other questions are not being raised - questions about the double standards of the West and of Israel. The nations of the West know how to discriminate between countries. They shut their eyes to certain nuclear countries, some of them dangerous, while making a tremendous fuss about how Iran is arming itself. For its part, Israel is turning to the international community for help in fighting the Iranian nuclearization but rudely ignores the decisions of that same community whose help it is desperately seeking now. In both cases, this is hypocrisy. The world lives in peace with nuclear arms as long as they are in the hands of the great powers. It's okay that America has nuclear weapons even though it is the only country that has ever used them (in monstrous fashion ). It is even okay that Russia and China have nuclear weapons - who can stop them? It is also doubtful whether the West would go wild if other members of its club, or its proteges, equip themselves with the bomb. After all, these countries are members of the family of cultured nations, and so they are allowed. In other words - discrimination.

There are countries that have permission and others for whom it is prohibited. Some of the enlightened countries have already sent threats in the past, either explicit or implicit, that they are likely to use their nuclear power under certain circumstances. It was in enlightened Europe that that terrible war took place.

The nuclear powers also ignore the fourth chapter of the treaty for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons that calls for dismantling them. They are permitted to ignore it. The world lives in peace too with the fact that 189 countries have indeed signed the treaty but that there are four, including Israel, that have not. The world has learned to live with the North Korean and Pakistani bombs even though this is a danger that is no smaller than that which Iran poses. True, Iran is threatening Israel and the United States, but in Pakistan too the bomb could fall into terrible hands, and the North Korean regime could also use the doomsday weapon if it were to feel threatened. The world learned to live with that, after its leaders divided the countries on the globe into bad ones and good ones, and in particular into those that have permission and those that do not. There division is quite arbitrary.

Israel, which has not signed the treaty, is in the same company as North Korea, Pakistan and India - that is, very dubious company. No one asks why, no one asks for what reason, not in Israel and not in the rest of the world.

According to the assessments of the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are another 40 countries at present that are capable of developing nuclear weapons of their own. The fact that the world acts with such hypocrisy could be one of the motives and impetuses for them to do so and to join in the crazy arms race.

There is a great deal of hypocrisy in Israel's attitude toward the world. All of a sudden, the international community is a factor not only to be taken into account but even to turn to for help. All of a sudden, there is an international organization whose word we trust and whom we want to enlist. The UN is "Um-Shmum" [a derisive term coined by the first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion] and UNESCO is anti-Semitic, and only the International Atomic Energy Agency's word can be trusted.

Perhaps now that Iran is threatening us, Israel will begin to understand the importance and strength of the international community. Perhaps thanks to Iran, it will finally sink in that it is impossible to disregard the world all of the time, again and again, and only in times of distress to call on it to help. Perhaps thanks to Iran we shall understand that it is impossible forever to ignore the positions of most of the countries of the world and to remain isolated and despised in this community of nations forever.

In recent years the world has said definitive things about Israel's steps, in the name of a sweeping and very solid majority. Israel did not take heed. After all, it is not important what the world says; it is important what Israel does. But now, suddenly, the world is important to Israel.

Like Israel, Iran will apparently not heed the words of the world. But does Israel want in any way to resemble Iran?

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