Feature

Is it time to treat Israel like Iran?

Both countries have controversial nuclear programs, says Stephen Kinzer in The Daily Beast, so maybe the first step toward Middle East peace is treating them equally

Israel and Iran are a lot alike, says Stephen Kinzer in The Daily Beast. Both have secret nuclear programs and security organs that "regularly kill perceived enemies of the state, both at home and abroad." Both countries — their politics "hijacked by religious fundamentalists who believe they are doing God's will" — are recklessly destabilizing the Middle East. So why does the U.S. always forgive Israel and treat it like a valuable ally, while constantly bullying Iran with threats and sanctions? Is that really the best way to persuade either side to get behind the cause of peace? Here, an excerpt:

"Toward Israel the attitude is: You may be rascals sometimes, but whatever pranks you pull, you're our friend and we'll forgive you. Toward Iran, it's the opposite: You are our implacable enemy, so nothing you do short of abject surrender will satisfy us...

"This dichotomy is now on especially vivid display. Israel's raid on the Gaza flotilla, like the Gaza occupation itself, has evoked only mild clucks of disapproval in Washington. But when Turkey and Brazil worked out the framework of a possible nuclear compromise with Iran a couple of weeks ago, American officials angrily rejected it...

"Israel and Iran have come to pose parallel challenges. They are the region's outcasts — yet the region will never stabilize until they are brought back out of the geopolitical cold. Rather than stoke their escalating hostility, the U.S. should work to reduce tensions between them. Holding them to the same standards would be a start."

Read the full article at The Daily Beast.

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