The Long Road to the Promised Land:
Iran/Israel – Another Holocaust?
Another one may be pending.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared some time ago that he would “wipe Israel off the map.”
He will soon have the weapons to do so, unless the world stops him.
Estimates are that Iran will possess nuclear weapons within a year or two, and ways to deliver them soon afterwards. Iran has tripled its monthly production of higher-grade enriched uranium, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency of the U.N. Its chief the other day expressed “serious concerns” about possible military dimensions to Teheran’s activities.
Could another six million lose their lives, only 70 years after the first monstrous blood shedding?
I was a little boy of three when my parents and I escaped from Nazi Germany. It was on advice of a relative, who subsequently lost his life in Auschwitz. The future Israel, that little land on the shores of the Mediterranean, provided refuge for us. Many Jews followed to safety in what had been their homeland in Biblical times.
But six million did not.
In 1948 the Jewish people re-established their own country for the first time since Rome invaded ancient Judea some 2,000 years ago and scattered its inhabitants throughout the Roman Empire.
Israel has its own language, a modernized version of the biblical language, Hebrew. Israeli writers have won the Nobel Prize for literature. Playwrights and filmmakers abound – an Israeli movie was among foreign films nominated for this year’s Academy Awards. The country’s laboratories produce pharmaceutical products widely distributed outside its borders.
Jews from around the world visit the holy land each year, knowing that if ever history repeats itself and they must flee, they will find refuge in their own land.
The Jewish holiday of Purim, recently celebrated, deals with the efforts of Haman, the advisor to the Persian Emperor, to wipe out the Jews of the world. Persia is now known as Iran. Will Ahmadinejad succeed where Haman failed?
The West, including the United States, has been imposing various sanctions on Iran’s economy and the energy sector. Additionally, one of Iran’s nuclear scientists was assassinated recently. Both Israel and the U.S. are “credited” with the act.
Iran, which has claimed all along that its enriched uranium is for domestic purposes only, has once more invited the Energy Agency to send inspectors to its nuclear plant. But they will be permitted to visit just one of the country’s eight plants.
Clearly, sanctions have not been sufficient to stop Iran from cancelling its plans. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last December than any military strike would set back Iran’s nuclear program for only a couple of years.
Has the West given up on stopping Iran?
The Jewish population of the Jewish state numbers about six million. Sounds familiar?
Israel is known for not sitting on its hands. About a year ago it bombed and destroyed Syria’s nuclear plant. There are reports that Israel will attempt to do the same in Iran. That was the subject of a meeting at the White House on March 5th between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Barack advised caution, while Netanyahu said his country had the “sovereign right to make its own decisions” on defending itself.
Yet Israel’s chances of destroying Iran’s eight plants are slim. It will have to violate the air space of Syria and Iraq, and manage to destroy the Iranian plants before Iran’s air force rises to block its attackers. Tiny Israel is little David against the Iranian Goliath.
Who will help Israel to stop Ahmadinejad from reaching his goal of bringing about a second Holocaust?
The United States is in the process of extricating itself from several wars. Countries like France, Germany and other Europeans have expressed no possible plans beyond sanctions to stop Iran. They don’t feel threatened due to the distance of their countries from Iran. Therefore, war, the next step, is not an option for them. Moreover, Communist Russia and China oppose further action against Iran.
Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, at a recent economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, warned, “The determination of world leaders is critical in order to prevent the Iranians from advancing their military nuclear program. Time is urgently running out.”
Is anybody listening?
Gunter David and his parents fled Germany, their native country, as soon as Adolph Hitler rose to power. They settled in Tel Aviv, in what was then Palestine, where Gunter grew up. He subsequently moved to the U.S., where he worked on major newspapers for 25 years. The Evening Bulletin of Philadelphia nominated him for the Pulitzer Prize. He has returned to Israel numerous times, as a newsman and to visit family and friends, and covered the Yom Kippur War in 1973. His second career was as a family therapist and addiction counselor. Dalia, his wife of 60 years, is also from Israel.