I still like Iran’s President Rouhani much better than the previous Ahmadinejad. Moreover, President Rouhani did say it was “important that countries across the Middle East learn to peacefully coexist.” Kudos to at least that. BUT I will not acquiesce to his indictment of Israel for the explosiveness of the entire Middle East region. It is NOT an equitable statement and it is not, in my opinion, correct. One nation, Israel, cannot be held responsible for the tinderbox eruption-on-a-dime of that part of the world. One nation, Israel, cannot be held responsible for it all and is not responsible for it all. Further, those statements send paralyzing fear to most Jews who know the brutal and treacherous history of our people. Iranians are not responsible for the Holocaust but Iranians and others in the Islamic world must understand its impact on the Jew if peace is to prevail.
I do not ever discount the suffering of the Palestinian people nor deny the difficulty of everyday life for them. Every pour of my being wants there to be an equitable solution between Israel and the Palestinian people. But violence or terrorism by another name against Israel and the fear of a second Holocaust it engenders within most every Jew cannot stand again. It is an existential fear. Since President Housani said he does NOT deny the Holocaust then he MUST know its importance. Most Jews live every day with it and often despite its occurrence. The Holocaust is not a rationalization. It is, at its core, a truth and the reality behind the Jewish state. Israel has flourished in the desert since 1948 despite Europe’s best efforts literally at annihilating them.
Further, does President Housani, if he could waive a magic wand, think if Palestinians achieved everything they wanted that there would not be constant war between various Islamic factions fighting each other continuously to control that state or segments of it? This constancy of war in much of the Islamic world because of one sect's long-standing feud over another makes me think -- NO makes me KNOW -- what has occurred in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, the Sudan, Libya, Tunisia and elsewhere is exactly what would happen if the Jewish state were relinquished to a Palestinian majority. I shudder to think what all-too-familiar horrors would be visited upon the then Jewish minority itself in Israel.
The recognition of the Jewish state as a state must be resolved in the Islamic mind. Israel too must swallow its own bitter pill by relinquishing settlements and through negotiation on Jerusalem to achieve an equitable solution.
Still, other things President Housani said were good and I am NOT going to obviate it all. It is a beginning at least between Iran and the US which has not had relations in nearly 35 years. Iran is an admirable culture. It is as fascinating as it is ancient. I personally know an Iranian Jew and a Palestinian man who are, to say the very least, wonderful human beings. If we can recognize that fact on a singular level we can IF WE TRY recognize it between nation states. We not only can try but we must!