Iran's View of Israel

The New York Times
David Harris
August 28, 2013

 

To the Editor:

The language in “Reading Tweets From Iran” (editorial, Aug. 26) that President Obama “must include managing the enmity that Israel and many members of Congress feel toward Iran” was disappointing. To refer to Israel’s “enmity” toward Iran is an example of reverse causality, citing Israel’s reaction but not the cause of it, which is Iran’s dangerous fantasy of Israel’s annihilation.

Time and again, Iran’s leaders have called for a world without Israel, plotted terrorist attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets from Argentina to Azerbaijan, and underwritten Hezbollah and other jihadist groups. Israel’s approach to Iran is driven by an understandable response to this eliminationist ideology, and its accompanying nuclear and missile programs.

There are no territorial disputes between Israel and Iran. What divides them is Iran’s worldview and, simply put, Israel’s unwillingness to succumb to it. The onus must be on Iran’s leaders to demonstrate, and not merely in rosy 140-character tweets from a president whose power is limited, that this worldview has changed.

DAVID HARRIS
Executive Director
American Jewish Committee
New York, Aug. 26, 2013