Jewish Journal

Talking While Saying Nothing

by Ariel Blumenthal

September 28, 2013 | 11:26 pm

This past Tuesday Iranian President Hasan Rouhani gave CNN’s Christian Amanpour an introduction on how to say nothing while speaking: “Whatever criminality they [the Nazis] committed against the Jews, we condemn” he said.

A day earlier Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas performed a “condemnation without condemning” when asked about the recent incidents of Palestinian terrorism, saying that he “...Condemns all acts of violence against civilians”. Anybody has a problem with condemning all acts of violence against civilians? That’s what I thought. Easy.

Abbas immediately continued to compare the two killings of IDF soldiers (one shot by a sniper in Hebron; The other lured by a Palestinian friend to Kalkiliya in order for him to be murdered), to the killing of 3 Palestinian youths in Kalandyia on August 26th.

I agree with Mr. Abbas that death, loss, tears and sorrow are all tragically equal. The only use we, human beings, have in these situations is our ability and willingness to prevent these deaths. The 3 Palestinians were killed as a result of a violent incident (shown here) between a few Israeli soldiers and no less than 1,500 Palestinians, while the Israelis were killed in two pre-meditated efforts to create violent incidents.

The issue of intent does not appear in the Palestinian lexicon, hence the total lack of understanding of the meaning of terrorism and the insurmountable moral problems associated with perpetrating it for the past 8 decades.

On the subject of intent, I’d like to call the attention of Hasan Rouhani: Those who develop nuclear weapons while boasting their intention to annihilate Israel, a horror that can be achieved by nuclear weapons, cannot go on the UN podium and call for the proliferation of the Middle East. You’ll need a bit more than a 3-day charm offensive, the Persian edition, to gain this kind of moral ground. As a start, your alleged peaceful intentions should be expressed at least as explicitly as the regular Iranian lines of war, hatred and violence.

One reason why Israel (and the US and others) may hold this kind of weapon and Iran cannot, is the same reason why I can use scissors while my 3-year-old can’t. But this allegory is incomplete as it doesn’t reflect the issue of intent. Yes, the class bully who intends to hurt other kids should face restraints that good students don’t.

Class bully Bashar Al-Assad takes complete disregard to intent to the next level: After stabbing another student in class, he now demands that all the other kids, who had only math books and lunch boxes in their school bags before he showed up, surrender their knives if he’s to do so.

The sole reason for Israel to hold nuclear weapons is preventing Assad and his ilk, people who for generations clarify their intention to annihilate Israel and its Jewish inhabitants, from using their weapons to do just that, pretty much right out of the assembly line. The toxic combination of ill-intentions, unrestrained hatred and middle-ages-style moral boundaries disqualify you, Assad, and you, Rouhani from owning a BB gun, let alone WMDs.

Condemning “Any Nazi criminality against the Jews”, Condemning “Any act of violence” and “Proliferating the Middle East”: all easy, ill-intended, deceitful statements disguised as progressive mantras of peace, but motivated by more hate and geared towards more violence.

Be peaceful, for real, like President Saadat, and than we can talk.


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Ariel Blumenthal is a composer and music producer with a somewhat obsessive passion for international and current affairs. To satisfy his urges, Ariel writes words and...

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