Iranian anti-Israel agitation is heating up:
Millions of Iranians attended nationwide rallies Friday in support of the Palestinians, while the country’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel’s continued existence was an “insult to human dignity.”
“The creation, continued existence and unlimited (Western) support for this regime is an insult to human dignity,” Ahmadinejad said. “The occupation of Palestine is not limited to one land. The Zionist issue is now a global issue” …
In the capital Teheran, hundreds of thousands of people poured into the streets as they chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” Some protesters also burned American and Israeli flags. — Jerusalem Post
Why does he care, actually? Is his hatred of Israel a result of his love for the Palestinians? I doubt it, since Iranian-backed Shiites are busily torturing and killing Palestinians in Iraq. He could stop that in a minute if he wanted to.
Is he afraid that Israel will prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power? Israel does not, unfortunately, have the firepower to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, and she is highly vulnerable to an Iranian counterattack. In this connection, he should be much more worried about the US, which has both the power and — because of the Iranian threat to Gulf oil producers — the motivation.
No, I think the reason is that Israel is a bone in Iran’s geopolitical throat. Iran envisions herself as the leader of a great Islamic caliphate, stretching all the way to the Mediterranean. Imagine Lebanon under the control of Hezbollah and Syria’s Alawite rulers (whom many do not even consider Muslim) replaced with a similar group. Israel, which would strongly and effectively oppose such changes, must be gotten out of the way before they can occur.
We also shouldn’t minimize the propaganda value of destroying Israel. I’m always amazed by the honest depth of hatred most Arabs and Muslims have for Israel. Older Americans may remember how ‘Communism’ was hated so passionately here in the 1950s. This possibly comes close to the feeling of the “Arab street”, although I think the combination of today’s powerful media and the lower educational levels in the Arab world compared to the West have made their feelings even stronger. Anyway, there’s no better way to win the hearts of this constituency than to credibly threaten Israel.
Iran’s main antagonists are the US and Saudi Arabia, and what they are struggling for is control of the oil resources of the Middle East, and the stranglehold on the world’s economy that this would provide. There is no more important prize in the world today.
Israel’s primary task at this moment is to oppose the Iranian proxies in the neighborhood — Hamas and Hezbollah, and Iran’s ally Syria. These represent the direct present threats to her security. It is to be hoped that the ‘big boys’ — the US, Saudi Arabia, the EU — will be worried enough about Iranian ambitions to take action.