Tempest in a (Persian) Teacup?

Michael Freund,

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Michael Freund
Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....

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.

"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.