By STAN GOODENOUGH, JERUSALEM WATCHMAN—
“Our enemies are little worms. I saw them at Munich.” – Adolf Hitler, after the Western Powers wilted before his aggressive adamancy at Munich.
Instead of sitting like an equal alongside European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Margeret Ashton in Vienna, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Muhammed Zarif should be being hauled onto the carpet.
The Iranian representatives at the talks on Iran’s nuclear goals should have been shown to seats across the table from the World Powers. They should have looked up to see themselves confronted by a steely wall of international resolve. They should have found themselves being stared down by a united front of delegates (at least the US, UK, France and Germany united) in a way that would have sent the clearest, most unequivocal and alarming message to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran.
Zarif should have been sent packing back to his Supreme Leader with the hard truth that “the world will not stand for this.”
It is true that we are not privy to what things look or sound like when the press is ushered out, the doors are closed and the smiles (supposedly) evaporate as the negotiators are left alone in the room.
But this image (and so many others like it that are circulating the world today) communicates clearly to Iran and to Israel:
To Iran it says: We respect your sovereignty and your national pride, and we understand your wish to pursue your own policies free from outside interference and diktat. Despite your hatred of our nations and our ways, your open support of terrorism, your destabilizing of the Middle East, your demonization of Israel and your denial of the Holocaust, we choose to treat you like one of us – like a respected member of the international community. We esteem you.
To Israel it says: We are not taking as deadly serious Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, its anti-Semitic public parades and Khamenei’s dark designs on the six million Jews in your state. We choose not to deal vigorously with the aggressor and are unwilling to unite to withstand his aggression. We choose to play the gambling game of diplomacy, and our chips will include your – Israel’s – security and existence.
Of course, this is not new. The same world powers – with virtually wall-to-wall global support – have repeatedly shown themselves willing to hazard Israel’s security and existence in their push for the creation of Palestine – a state that not only would forever sever Israel’s Jews from their ancestral homelands, but which – as its would-be nationals repeatedly proclaim – would be used to erase the last remnant of the Jewish state.
The entire “Palestinian cause” supported by these world powers is an appeasement process that, from the very beginning, took root in the West’s facile response to the international terrorism introduced to us all by Yasser Arafat, back when no one knew or cared about “Palestinian nationalism,” and the refugees from the Arab rejectionist war against Israel’s independence were regarded as no different from refugees from so many other wars on the planet.
Comparisons – too many to disregard – have been drawn between the US-led effort to conciliate Iran and the appeasement of Adolf Hitler at Munich in 1938.
Compared to Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier, however, the world powers whose representatives are today dialoguing with the Iranians in Vienna evince cowardice.
England was weak when Chamberlain chose to sit with Hitler. The Great War was barely history, a whole generation of young men had been wiped out and England was still groaning under the burden caused by the enormous economic costs of the war. Flying to meet with the Führer for the third and final time, the prime minister said: “When I was a little boy, I used to repeat, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.’ That’s what I am doing.” There is a sense of desperate determination in those words.
Understandable as Chamberlain’s reasoning might have been, Winston Churchill would slam the agreement he got from Hitler as “a total, unmitigated defeat.” Nothing could justify appeasing the Nazi by feeding him another nation’s land.
Looking at the Zarif’s cheerful grin, and against the backdrop of Iran’s not-even-momentarily delayed progress towards its nuclear goals, it is not hard to imagine the disdainful debriefing the foreign minister will deliver to Khamenei. “Our enemies are little worms. I saw them at Vienna.”
And to “hear” the Ayatollah’s rendition of Hitler’s triumphant words: “I did not think it possible that would be virtually served up to me on a plate by her friends.”