Thursday, August 18, 2016

Israel Should Support Regime Change in Iran

by Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker

Israel Insider, April 14, 2006

It is time for Israel´s Foreign Ministry to start thinking "outside the box". What is meant here is for Israel to take the offensive in its ideological war with the Islamic Republic of Iran and seek a regime change to an anti-fundamentalist government. If Israel had to create such a group, one would call the idea "fantasy". However, there already exists exactly such a group of Iranians who have a forty year track record of opposing despotism and a quarter century history of fighting Islamic fundamentalism "tooth and nail". That Iranian group is the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK), also known as the People´s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), and its political alliance, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) of which the MeK is a constituent member.

Why should Israel consider supporting such Iranian resistance organizations? Israel, (and the rest of the world as well), needs to realize that not all Iranians are the same. Indeed, the vast majority of Iranians (90+%) despise the fundamentalist regime, which has hijacked the democratic revolution of 1979 and replaced it with an Islamofascist regime. The MeK and NCRI are about as different from President Ahmadinejad´s E´telaf-e Abadgaran-e Iran-e Eslami (aka Abadgaran = Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran) as are ordinary Jews or Israelis from the Neturei Karta. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian ayatollahs are like the Neturei Karta; indeed in mid-March a group of five members of the Neturei Karta traveled to Iran to meet with the Iranian president and to support his denial of the Holocaust and anti-Zionism. Apparently the fundamentalists have found each other, just like the old adage: "birds of a feather flock together". If the fundamentalists can find a way to come together, bridging their religious differences, certainly anti-fundamentalists should be seeking each other out for coalitions to oppose the Islamists.

The US State Department, still covering itself decades after the Iran-Contra scandal, allowed itself to be misled by Iranian disinformation, and in seeking access to Iranian oil (20% of US oil imports) has followed an unsuccessful policy of appeasement of the Islamic Republic. In a failed effort at a quid pro quo deal with Iran, the State Department in 1997 placed the MeK on its Foreign Terrorist Organization list as a sop to the then new "moderate" President Khatami, the one who denied talking with or shaking the hand of Israel´s President Moshe Katzav, when both attended the late Pope John-Paul´s funeral last year. Israel, despite its role as middle-man in the Irangate fiasco, (certainly understandable when Saddam Hussein of Iraq loomed as a larger problem than Khomeini), has no need of such appeasement of the ayatollahs.                              .

On the other hand, Israel could well afford to find new friends in her less than safe and friendly neighborhood. Turning her number one enemy into a friend and ally by supporting those who seek to create a successful regime change from a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy to a secular democracy is definitely an act of enlightened self- interest. Incidentally, it would also be an act of concern for the establishment of human rights, the lack thereof for which Iran has been condemned 52 times in the last twenty-seven years by the United Nations. Ridding the world of the number one state sponsor of terrorism might actually top the admiration Israel earned when it took out Saddam´s Osirak reactor in 1981. It would also earn Israel the eternal gratitude of the Iranian people for supporting their 27- year quest for freedom and justice.                                     .

Why the MeK and the NCRI and not some other dissident Iranian group? The MeK and NCRI have the best credentials as anti-fundamentalists. They also have the longest track record of opposing Khomeinism and Islamic fundamentalism. But more important still, despite all the false information suggesting the contrary, MeK and NCRI have the support of the majority of the Iranian people, both inside and outside of Iran.                                                                 .

Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni and Foreign Ministry Director General Prosor: There is a group of Iranians who seek your aid and seek to be of aid to you. Get to know each other and realize the common concerns and bonds you share. For if you fail to help each other, your common enemy will find it much easier to cause us all a lot of grief and damage.

Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker is the Chairman and founder of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching the public about the dangers poised by radical Islamic fundamentalism, and the need to build genuine democratic institutions in the region as an antidote to the venom of such radical fundamentalism.   

(© 2001-2006 Koret Communications Ltd. 04/14/06)

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