On May 12th, Adam Kredo of The Washington Free Beacon, broke the story that just days before Palestinian terror groups began bombarding Israel with rocket attacks from Gaza, a leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) admitted that the group's funding and weapons are provided by Iran.
Ramez al-Halabi, disclosed his group’s close ties to Iran in a May 7th interview on Iraqi television just before the rockets started launching from Gaza.
He is quoted as saying: "The mujahideen [terrorists] in Gaza and in Lebanon use Iranian weapons to strike the Zionists. We buy our weapons with Iranian money. An important part of our activity is under the supervision of Iranian experts.”
This should not be a surprise for anyone carefully watching Mid-East events. It should prompt a lot more concern about Iran’s ultimate goals for the Jewish State.
Last week, John Hannah wrote an important piece in Foreign Policy, entitled “The Countdown to an Israeli War With Iran Has Begun”.
Hannah is a senior fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America and a former national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney. He brings knowledge and clear-thinking to the potentially disastrous Biden Administration’s attempt to bring the U.S. back into the nuclear weapons agreement with Iran. That agreement allows for Iran to make nuclear weapons because of the “sunset” clause ending the prohibitions in as few as nine years.
Israel, says Hannah, “is adamantly opposed to the agreement, arguing that in exchange for a pause in Tehran’s nuclear program, it virtually guarantees that Iran can become a nuclear-weapons threshold state by the time the deal expires in 2030, while immediately funneling billions of dollars to a revolutionary regime single-mindedly focused not just on sowing aggression and terrorism across the Middle East but on the destruction of the Jewish state itself.
“That’s not a risk that the Israelis are prepared to take lying down, as they’ve repeatedly made clear. If Washington’s strategy leaves Israel convinced that it faces a choice between fighting a much weakened Iran now or a much stronger Iran on a glide path to nuclear weapons a few years from now, no one should be surprised if Israel chooses the former.”
It will be up to Israeli generals and top politicians to decide whether defending against rockets and trying to control Arab Israeli riots preclude any further (and major) new front in the War. Israeli forces -reports are unclear - seem to have started a ground invasion. Does the new American reality of an anti-Israel Democratic Party, with radical young Muslims like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar as rising stars, mean that American support for Israel is now in question? If the Americans re-enter the Iran nuclear accord, this will certainly create a new red line, and Iran shall have to be dealt with sometime.
Since my father was a slave laborer in Auschwitz where his parents and then 8-year old sister were murdered in the gas chambers, I have some concerns that perhaps are a little more acute than the average Jewish educated person in America and other western nations, although the thousands of rockets launched together with scenes of Israelis being lynched will certainly will concern most who support Israel.
In my 2002 novel, The Second Catastrophe: A Novel About a Book and its Author, the main character is also the son of a Holocaust survivor and a professor of History, who becomes obsessed with the idea that Iran might try to make good on its threats to attain a nuclear weapon and use it to destroy the Jews of Israel. The professor is worried that the Holocaust education and commemoration in America and Canada centers on the need to be non-racist and tolerant of multicultural diversity, where he thinks the lesson is that Jews must be clear that genocidal goals by Iran and Islamists generally are not fundamentally different than the Holocaust orchestrated by the Nazis.
We hope that any second Holocaust can be prevented, but not understanding that it is already underway, is a sign of denialism and other delusional ideologies, that I explore in my book, The Ideological Path to Submission... and what we can do about it.
I have the professor, in the Second Catastrophe, give the context for his thinking that a Second Holocaust is possible:
“What ultimately ties the first Holocaust to the Second is not quantum, nor is it a comparison of the precise historical events. Both series of historical events, the first called the Holocaust, and second which I have chosen to call the Second Holocaust, ultimately involve the revenge of movements reacting against enlightened modernity. Both involve world views incompatible with the universalist message of the particularistic people called the Jews. The particularism of the Jews, their ‘differentness’ based on their acceptance of carrying on their covenant to adhere to the doctrine of what is called ‘ethical monotheism’ has posed an unacceptable threat to such movements. Every utopian movement, be it Naziism and its Final Solution, or Islamism with its return to an ideology of dominating and conquering infidels, is threatened so much by the people of the Book, the people of the Covenant, that they have sought to annihilate them.”
I explore critically this supposed need for tolerance, and whether tolerance is even a Jewish value, in my next book, Tolerism: The ideology Revealed. To a Jew who is part of what is called the “Second Generation”, excessive tolerance of evil, what I have termed Tolerism, is a dangerous false ideology, not one found in our Torah.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in its “Teaching About the Holocaust: A Resource for Educators”, says that “The Study of the Holocaust assists students in developing an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping in any society. It helps students develop an awareness of the value of pluralism, and encourages tolerance of diversity in a multicultural society.”
As Iran threatens to kill another six million Jews, this time the Jews in Israel, we have too many well-intentioned American Jews thinking the lesson of the Holocaust is to be tolerant and welcoming of all, including antisemitic Islamists, when the lesson is that this time, we Jews have our own well-armed nation and we shall not stand for a Second Holocaust.
Chapter 11 of my book, Tolerism, is entitled “The Tolerist Takeover of Holocaust Commemorations the 10 Lessons That We Should Have Learned”. I argue:
“The message that we have to the world that fails to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, when its religiously fanatic leaders, with an apocalyptic world-view, promise to use them on the Jewish state, is simply:
THIS TIME WE SHALL NOT GO QUIETLY.
This is the ultimate message of the Shoah, where so many Jews went like “sheep to the slaughter”
This is the message all Jews around the world must be bringing to foreign policy discussions everywhere.
“This time we shall not place a naive faith in the international community, or in the Americans, or in anyone else, although we shall not give up on alliances. This time we shall not entrust our sheep solely to the corrupted shepherds of a United Nations that makes Libya chair of its Human Rights Commission. This time we shall not entrust our sheep to the non-democratic Jewish organizations in America. This time we shall not entrust our sheep to the Jewish American elites who had so littel to say about the murder of the Jewish sheep in 1941 to 1944, and who have so little to say about the rocket attacks on Sderot and Ashkelon, and the murders of Israeli civilians resulting from the ill-fated Oslo Process. This time we shall realize that the self-described ‘progressives’ and ‘intellectuals’ who spend their time on rationalizing Islamic violence against Israeli civilians, are not our friends, but our enemies.
“Accordingly, the centerpiece of Holocaust commemorations, whether on Yom Hashoah, or in our museums, educational courses and memorials should be: This time we have our own country, this time we shall be armed, and this time we shall not go quietly.”
Returning to John Hannah’s essay about the recent trip to Washington by Israel’s top security officials, he writes:
“The Israelis’ overriding mission was clear: to look their U.S. counterparts in the eye and gauge if their worst fears about Washington’s plans were in fact true. Was Biden really committed to a straight-up return to the nuclear deal negotiated by then-President Barack Obama in 2015? Was the administration really determined to grant the Iranian regime billions of dollars in sanctions relief without first securing fundamental changes to the nuclear deal’s major flaws—including a series of sunset clauses that start lifting constraints on Iran’s ballistic missile program in 2023 and its advanced centrifuge program in 2024, as well as its lack of an ironclad verification regime? Were the Biden officials in fact impervious to Israel’s warning that a return to the agreement would disastrously heighten the threat posed to Israel’s security?
“The answers the Israelis got? Yes, yes, and yes.”
Unfortunately, Israel is now in a war, that started during a period of political difficulties stemming from the inconclusive results of its last election, and America is in a state of confusion as it embraces what I call the “Leftist-Islamist-Globalist agenda”. That agenda includes renewed antisemitism along with the moral and cultural relativism and moral equivalency, the critical race theory, the support by some Jews of horrible organizations like JStreet, and and the virtue signalling, which together weaken America as a force for good in the world.
Jews, wherever we live, must understand the new reality. Tolerating it is a morally corrupt choice. Instead we must ready ourselves for a rough ride, in the short term with the war that has just started, and in the longer term, with future rockets that will carry Iranian nuclear weapons.
Howard Rotberg is a retired lawyer who writes about ideologies, values and political culture for various conservative magazines and websites and is founding President of Canada’s sole pro-Israel and Torah values publishing house, www.mantuabooks.com.