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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rouhani Makes Another Big Break from Ahmadinejad

Posted by on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

On Tuesday, Netanyahu ordered the Israeli delegation to boycott Iranian President Hassan Rowhani's address to the UN General Assembly and put himself in this corner:

"Prime Minister Netanyahu said that despite the charm offensive by the new Iranian president, the policies of the regime toward Israel have not changed.

"Just last week, Rowhani, like Ahmadinejad before him, refused to recognise the Holocaust as an historical fact.

"When Iran's leaders stop denying the Holocaust of the Jewish people, and stop calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and recognise Israel's right to exist, the Israeli delegation will attend their addresses at the General Assembly."

Soon after the speech, the charmer went on CNN and said...

...I can tell you that any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis committed towards the Jews, as well as non-Jewish people...

The Times of Israel said it like it is (or appears) in the papers:
[Netanyahu] doesn’t want anyone easing the pressure until there’s real change in Tehran’s nuclear program. But it’s a stance that isolating Israel, while Rouhani leads his country in from the cold..
It's not about facts at this point; it's about winning the press, and Rouhani is ahead and Netanyahu is falling behind...
Netanyahu did not immediately comment on Rouhani’s Holocaust remarks, but his loyal Minister of Intelligence, Yuval Steinitz, was reduced to complaining that Rouhani “didn’t condemn those who have denied” the Holocaust.


Comments (15) RSS

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Urgutha Forka 1
So, which leader's handlers are going to have him poisoned first? Rouhani or Pope Francis?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
Netanyahu makes false claims of anti-semitism for political opportunism? Now I've heard of everything.
Posted by GermanSausage on September 25, 2013 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 3
The Israelis are angry because they won't get their war. That door has closed.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 25, 2013 at 3:10 PM · Report this
rob! 4
From a purely selfish point of view, there are few places on earth I would rather visit before I die than Iran, based on a rather superficial appreciation of its long history, cultural achievements, and varied geography as well as a number of treasured friendships over the years with people of Iranian heritage). And I don't want to do it while worrying about imprisonment in Iran or increased attention from the NSA/TSA.

Make it happen, Rouhani and Obama.

(Israel isn't even on the list. Sorry, Nuttinhoney.)
Posted by rob! on September 25, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Glass half empty syndrome. Totally inappropriate on Netanyahu's part. This is a real opening and a real olive branch. A little diplomacy might go a long way.

Before we call Rouhani's move cynical (yes, we all know that Netanyahu is a hawkish dick, but I'm not sure Rouhani could have anticipated him to be such an undiplomatic dick), let's at least give him props for breaking with the recent past and playing the grown-up part.

Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 25, 2013 at 3:20 PM · Report this
venomlash 6
I like Rouhani a lot more than I like Netanyahu. Give me a moderate Iranian pragmatist over a saber-rattling xenophobic religious conservative Israeli like Bibi.
Posted by venomlash on September 25, 2013 at 7:38 PM · Report this
Teslick 7
I hope a decent & verifiable deal can be reached on the nuclear issue but as @1 alludes, Rouhani could very well have serious domestic problems if he's perceived as being "soft" by some of the hardline interests in Iran.
Posted by Teslick on September 25, 2013 at 9:11 PM · Report this
I don't like either of them. (I didn't like the President we had for 8 years in the naughts, so liking doesn't mean sh*t.) But I'll believe there's been a change in Iran when Rouhani says he doesn't think Israel has to be driven into the sea, and as a woman, I'd much rather find myself in Israel than in Iran.

Charles, this is the first Israel-sniping post you've had in months. You've been falling down on the job.
Posted by sarah70 on September 25, 2013 at 10:53 PM · Report this
@8 you must have missed that post a few weeks ago about Israeli soldiers being disciplined for partying at a Palestinian disco.
Posted by velour on September 26, 2013 at 12:10 AM · Report this
Per Bernstein 10
@6 Last time I checked, they weren't holding public executions of gay teenagers in Israel.
Posted by Per Bernstein on September 26, 2013 at 7:19 AM · Report this
What I find especially interesting is that he mentioned the Nazi crimes against both the Jews "as well as non-Jewish people". Few people even realize that the Nazi's didn't just round up Jews. They also rounded up blacks, gays, gypsies, the handicapped and others. It's just that there were more Jews in 1930's Germany than any of these other groups.
Posted by Root on September 26, 2013 at 9:04 AM · Report this
@10 - nope, just the public execution of children who wandered too close to a fence looking for their footballs.

There's no moral high ground to be found in the Middle East. It's a long, wide, flat desert of suck.
Posted by johnjjeeves on September 26, 2013 at 9:18 AM · Report this
Per Bernstein 13
@12 Obama publicly executes children through the use of drones as well, but we hear close to nothing about that by the left. Why is that?

Israel's illegal settlements can not be defended in any shape or form but to somehow say that Iran with their present laws are equal to Israel is really stupid.

Iran is one of seven countries in the world that has the death penalty for homosexuality. Iran "leads the world in executing juvenile offenders – persons under 18 at the time of the crime" according to Human Rights Watch. Amputations for theft, mistreatment of women, etc..
Posted by Per Bernstein on September 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
@13 - actually, the left never shuts up about it. I know that, because I'm part of the left. We also have lots of company from white supremacists, libertarians and xenophobes. What swell company we're in, condemning drone strikes, when it's a black president that's ordering foreign strikes like every other president for the last 100 years. When it's Bush, it's collateral damage. When it's Obama, it's executing children. Fascinating.

As for the rest of your post... Iran has stupid and cruel laws. I don't remember making the case Iran is a shining beacon for democracy. I'm criticizing the state of Israel, 'the west in the middle east', that nevertheless has legalized apartheid and is in constant violation of international law and has been condemned by almost every other country on earth except for the US. I call Israel's treatment of Palestinians and many of its own citizens stupid and cruel.

And still - lots and lots of dead Palestinian kids, murdered for nothing - some shot for sport - surely as someone as familiar with HRW as you knows that tidbit, right? - murdered for nothing, just like the kids in Iran. Stop saying there isn't an equivalency here, because there fucking is.

So for the trillionth time, stop the bullshit with the red herring fallacies. Iran being a shit place for a lot of people does nothing to change that Israel is a shit place for a lot of people. Full stop.
Posted by johnjjeeves on September 26, 2013 at 4:01 PM · Report this
Per Bernstein 15
Actually I'm on the left too.

My point has more to do with the "equivalency" you speak of. Why do this article we are commenting on, this paper, the left in general, consider Israel so much more evil than everybody else? More evil than Iran or our own government?

Ask yourself this question: If it was OUR government that was holding public executions of homosexuals, would the Stranger think that was more evil than our government killing kids in other countries with drones?

The answer is obvious and that is where I have a problem with condemning Israel while all these other evil fuckers get a pass.
Posted by Per Bernstein on September 27, 2013 at 8:51 AM · Report this

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