Here’s the rub. Earlier this week an acquaintance – a Jewish acquaintance – dropped me a note to say how pleased he is with “the deal.” He wrote as follows:
“It may surprise you to hear that I strongly approve of it. I am a big Israel supporter, and think that in the long run this deal is good for them, as well as for us. I see Iran as a relatively sophisticated country with a long and deep history. The rulers there, despite some things they do, are essentially rational actors (unlike many of the Arab countries), so I think we can work with them. I also see them as potentially strategic partners against the fundamentally irrational actors (ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc) in the region. Put another way, the Iranians have been allies of both America and the Jews for much of recent history, and I think that can happen again.”
This statement reveals to me that this individual is part of the American left, and that he had eaten an overdose of knaidlach during the previous three days.
The last time I can think of any events resembling an alliance between Israel and Iran was in the days of Cyrus, King of Persia, in the 6th century BCE, and Artaxerxes in the 5th century BCE when Israelites living in captured Babylonia were allowed to return to their homeland. Actually, the present day Iranians are not even the ethnic descendants of the Persians who lived then.
Thus, though this example is extremely strained, it is the best that this writer can come up with when considering “strong alliances.” Also, I can see that the USA has "worked closely" with Iranians over the years to fight racism, homophobia, and promote women’s rights, voting place security, regional stability (didn't that stability last exist under the Shah, not the mullahs?), low oil prices (they were about $1.67/gallon in the U.S. when Pres. Obama took office and now are back to $2.55 after reaching highs of $3.80), the rights of man, and last but not least, the dissemination of halal meat in Western countries.
But it was especially impressive to read his observation that the Iranians have been allies of the Jews. Even under the despotic rule of the Shah, when the U.S. and Iran were on better terms, Israel had neither an embassy nor a consulate in Iran. Their ties with Israel were limited to a small mission in the heart of Teheran and one flight out by El Al every day. The mission was more of a bunker than a mission. It was a box with the thickest concrete walls in the world, and admission once allowed was through a vaulted steel door thicker than those found in banks. This was during a “friendly period.”
Looking now at a booklet called “Israel: Pocket Facts” put out by Stand With Israel, it is sadly noted that the number of Jews in Iran in 1948 was 100,000 and in 2011 had dropped to 10,400. Is this further testimony to the alliance of Iran with the Jews?
Writing in the nineteenth century, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in a precious Sonnet 43, penned these timeless words, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Despite an Administration in the U.S. that has penned its own remarkably long list of prevarications, it has in its pocket a certain segment of the population that neither loves America nor loves Israel. These people believe in “the deal.” This sizable segment of the population is delighted to roll over and believe in another bubba meintze emanating from the White House and Department of State.