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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Adar 26, 5765, 3/7/2005

      Tempest in a (Persian) Teacup?

      For several days now, the US has been in an uproar, after a number of Americans held hostage Iran in 1979 identified newly-elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as one of their captors from 26 years ago.

      Irans_new_president "This is the guy. There's no question about it," former hostage Chuck Scott, a retired Army colonel, told the Associated Press. "You could make him a blond and shave his whiskers, put him in a zoot suit and I'd still spot him," he said.

      The Iranians vehemently deny the charge, but a number of photographs that have surfaced from that period seem to back up the allegation.

      But here is the really interesting part: in light of recent US policy toward Israel, why all the fuss about the new Iranian president’s kidnapping career?

      After all, the Bush Administration is coming down hard on the Jewish state lately, pressing it to release hundreds of Palestinians involved in terror attacks against Israelis over the past few years. If Israel is expected to “forgive” those who try to kill its own citizens, then why shouldn’t the Bush Administration adopt the same stance towards the new Iranian president?

      Don’t get me wrong – I think it is morally indefensible for Israel release Palestinian terrorists, and I don’t think the Iranian leader’s criminal background should be overlooked either.

      But I do think it is high time for Washington to stop applying a double standard, and start treating all terrorists (be they Palestinian or Iranian) alike.