Saturday, May 22, 2021

Is Israel on the Verge of War with Iran?: Professor Richard Landes


48:39 into the video

Question:  Richard, obviously we tie all this with “is Israel on the verge of war with Iran” and this is the big concern and the people in Gaza have been used by the Arab nations, by Muslim nations to attack Israel, and  of course Iran have used Hamas and have been the big backers of Hamas and I wonder where Iran, Iran are Shi’as  which is 10 percent of the Muslim world the rest are Sunnis, but hatred of Israel trumps that divide. So am wondering where you see this happening with Iran. Thank God we haven’t seen Iran stepping in  as a  nuclear power which could be apocalyptic if that happens. But obviously Iran have been emboldened by the Biden presidency. So what are your thoughts on how Iran fits into this or are we moving towards something more serious? 

Richard Landes: Well, we’ve been moving towards something more serious for a long time now. There is an article that a British scientist, theologian Mark Pickles and I wrote called The Ticking Time Bomb, which was inspired by what happened with the explosion in Lebanon, which is just to say that, you know, whatever the cease-fire is now, it’s temporary. This is a long war and it’s a war that when it does not tear us apart, ends up tearing up apart the Muslim worlds. So, Syria is an unbelievable disaster. People are screaming about 200 dead in Gaza, that’s  a half a day’s work on a quiet day in Syria. No concern. Again humanitarian racism, what do you expect, I expect the Jews to live to higher standards, Arabs kill each other, what the hell. 

So on the one hand you have this sort of crazy humanitarian racism, on the other hand you have a tolerance for the belligerence of the Muslim world, in this case Iran. One of the most astounding accomplishments and I don’t understand it because if Obama, who grew up a Muslim, both his father and his step father were Muslim, so as far as the Muslims are concerned he is Muslim, we don’t know what he considers himself, you are not supposed to say that, but in any case what’s puzzling is if ihe is and if he has, he definitely has sympathies for Muslims, one would think it would be Sunni, because that is what he grew up, and yet one of the most astonishing accomplishments that he managed to make was the belief that by keeping Iran from having the bomb for 5 years we are contributing to peace rather than just kicking the can down the road . And this is a widespread belief in liberal and progressive circles, certainly in America and apparently also in Europe. That’s an astonishing accomplishment. 

Iran is a millennial movement. There is lots of evidence of this and not just a millennial movement but one that drives their behavior. So the idea that Iran will be peaceful, or that, you hear this often, Iran says we don’t want nuclear weapons, we want peaceful use of nuclear stuff and people say, maybe they mean it. No, maybe they don’t!   

So a number of articles I have read during this time said Iran is watching very carefully. Essentially what they are doing, they are using Hamas to probe our defences, and that is almost certainly the case, and they are certainly not done and instead of working for the end of this insane regime which is destroying Iran, people are protecting it for reasons that I really don’t understand and  I mean the only explanation that makes sense and I don’t like to go there is that they hate Israel more than they like themselves. You know, the joke in the 20th century was, Isiah Berlin said antisemitism is hating Jews more than absolutely necessary. In the 21th century it is hating Jews even if it is bad for you. Even though you are hurting yourself, you can’t give it up

OK, so the other thing about Iran though is that it has the Sunni states aware of how dangerous it is. Now the apocalyptic Sunnis like Hamas have no trouble making deals with apocalyptic Shiites. That is not a problem. But the non-apocalyptic Muslims look at this and say, wow, this is very serious and dangerous stuff and that is where the Abraham accords come from, and so forth. Again, Iran is a terrible threat which is unrecognized, in fact in the West, in America, I don’t know about England, I would imagine it is the case, people say America went into Iraq because Israel wanted them to. No, the Israelis were saying no, Iraq is not the problem, the real problem is Iran. So you know again, literally history gets twisted in a way that systematically weakens democracies, human rights, progressive values, feminism, all of these things.  It’s pathetic.