No Tears for Tehran or Tel Aviv

An Israeli government minister threatens to “wipe Iran off the face of the Earth”:

Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat warned on Sunday that the military is ready to “eliminate” the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah and strike Iran if they open up a “northern front” in the current conflict.

“The plan of Iran is to attack Israel on all fronts. If we find they intend to target Israel, we will not just retaliate to those fronts, but we will go to the head of the snake, which is Iran,” Barkat told The Mail on Sunday. He added “the ayatollahs in Iran are not going to sleep good at night” if they move against Israel.

Barkat warned that Lebanon and Hezbollah, which is backed by Tehran, “are going to pay a heavy price, similar to what Hamas is going to pay.”

Israel would go “after the heads of Iran” if necessary, the minister said. “Israel has a very clear message to our enemies. We are saying to them, look what’s happening in Gaza – you are going to get the same treatment if you attack us. We are going to wipe you off the face of the Earth.”

Imagine if Putin was using this sort of rhetoric. We’d be hearing 24-7 non-stop about Russian atrocities and war crimes, which we’ve already been hearing a lot of for the last 19 months even though Russia refuses to so much as declare war against Ukraine.

Now, it is also true that the Iranian and the Palestinian leaders direct precisely the same sort of eliminationist rhetoric at Israel. The primary difference is that neither Iran nor the Palestinians make any serious pretense at being human rights-respecting democrats whose priority is protecting civilians on both sides and are only going to war reluctantly and in defense of their citizenry.

Americans and Europeans cannot support Israel under this rationale for the very pertinent reason that doing so would absolutely justify Russian attacks on London, Berlin, Paris, and Washington DC. Iran is no more guilty of waging war by proxy on Israel than the USA, the UK, and the rest of NATO are guilty of waging war by proxy on Russia.

And the more extreme the rhetoric coming out of both sides, the more apocalyptic the objectives, the more the rest of the world is correctly inclined to simply leave them alone and let them all fight it out amongst themselves.