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Global View: Not Quite Believing…

Gershon Burstyn

Question for Federica: do you really think the Basij militia and the Revolutionary Guards are going to “guarantee freedom of expression”?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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A re we living in the Twilight Zone?

You know, that alternate reality where spooky stuff happens to unsuspecting people in Anywhere, America? Where cognitive dissonance reigns and people walk around not quite believing what their eyes were seeing?

That’s the way I’m feeling after a week of observing social and mainstream media discuss the Iran protests and their fallout, along with President Trump’s recent announcement on the nuclear deal. I’m not quite believing what my eyes are seeing.

For one, witness the unbelievable sight of Federica Mogherini — the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs — waiting six full days to utter her first words on demonstrations that rocked Iran from east to west. Six. Full. Days. Now, we Jews like to carefully consider things, but six days seems like a long time to comment on demonstrations that sought to overthrow a regime that routinely calls for the destruction of a neighbor (you know who), who blasphemes the United States as “the Great Satan,” threatens Europe with its missiles, jails political dissidents, props up a murderous dictator in Syria, and remains the leading sponsor of terror worldwide. Just so we understand what that means, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently published a report showing that Iran spends $16 billion per year supporting terrorists (Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas) and rogue regimes (Syria). That $16 billion would buy a lot of apples, and that’s exactly why the demonstrators took to the streets at risk of their own lives, yelling “death to the dictator” and “no Gaza, no Lebanon, our lives for Iran.” They want their money — and their country — back.

So what does Federica the Fearless say after a full six days of waiting, six days when the people of Iran were calling for nations and people everywhere to support their efforts to topple an evil regime? “Peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression are fundamental rights that apply to every country, and Iran is no exception,” Mogherini said. “In the spirit of openness and respect that is at the root of our relationship, we expect all concerned to refrain from violence and to guarantee freedom of expression.”

First, there is the expression of respect, the donning of the veil, if you will. (Mogherini is familiar with the practice, as the ambassador has obligingly covered herself in the past when visiting Iran.) Then there is the vain, maybe even vile, hope that the Iranian regime will “refrain from violence” and “guarantee freedom of expression.”

Question for Federica: do you really think the Basij militia and the Revolutionary Guards are going to “guarantee freedom of expression”? Have you seen how the Iranian militias have treated the people of Syria? What makes you think they will “refrain from violence,” given their record there?

It could be my question is moot because the Europeans seem to have already made up their minds. America = bad. Iran = good. On the same day, last Friday, that President Trump issued his strong statement informing Iran that he would reimpose sanctions in 120 days if the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was not amended to address four key areas of concern, Italy signed a $6 billion investment agreement with the terror republic. “The money will be used for projects carried out jointly by Italian and Iranian companies in sectors including infrastructure, construction, oil and gas, electrical energy, and the chemical, petrochemical, and metallurgical industries,” Reuters reports. How helpful. I’m so glad that Italy has decided to make the kleptocracy in Iran richer. (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 694)

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