By Dennis Prager
If you want to understand the Middle East conflict, Iran has just provided all you need to know.
A massive earthquake kills between 20,000 and 40,000 Iranians, and the government of
Iran announces that help is welcome from every country in the world . . . except Israel.
This little-reported news item is of great significance. It begs commentary.
Israel not only has the world's most experienced crews in quickly finding survivors in bombed
out buildings, it is also a mere two-hour flight from Iran. In other words, no country
in the world would come close to Israel in its ability to save Iranian lives quickly.
But none of this means anything to the rulers of Iran. The Islamic government of Iran has
announced to the world that it is better for fellow countrymen and fellow Muslims -- men,
women and children -- to die buried under rubble than to be saved by a Jew from Israel.
That is how deep the hatred of Israel and Jews is in much of the Muslim world.
Hundreds of millions of Muslims -- Arab and non-Arab, Sunni and Shi'a -- hate Israel more
than they love life. Leaders of the Palestinian terror organization Hamas repeatedly state,
"We love death more than the Jews love life." And now, Iran announces that it is better for
a Muslim to asphyxiate under the earth than be rescued by a Jew from Israel.
Naive Westerners -- which includes most academics, intellectuals, members of the
international news media, and nearly all others on the Left -- refuse to acknowledge
the uniqueness of the Arab/Muslim hatred of Israel and Jews. Yet, there is no hatred in
the world analogous to it. Not since the Nazi hatred of Jews has humanity witnessed
That is why finding survivors from earthquakes, creating a Palestinian state and life itself are
all far less important in much of the Islamic and Arab worlds than killing Jews and
destroying the little Jewish state.
That is why Arab newspapers run articles by Arab professors describing how Jews
butcher non-Jewish children to use their blood for holiday meals.
That is why Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad could get a standing
ovation from the heads of every Muslim country when he told them "the Jews rule
the world by proxy."
That is why Palestinian parents celebrate the suicide terror of their sons -- the joy of
killing Israeli families far outweighs the pain of the death of their child.
Western naifs like to believe platitudes such as "Deep down, all people are really the same,"
"All people want peace," and the great untruth of multiculturalism that no culture is morally
superior to another. That is why they choose not to face the truth about the Nazi-like hatred
that permeates the Arab/Muslim world and the consequent moral gulf that exists between it
and Israel. It shatters too many of their illusions.
Surely the Iranian refusal of rescuers from the Jewish state ought to help all these people
acknowledge the unique hatred that is at the root of the Arab-Israeli dispute and recognize
that it is therefore a conflict unlike any other on earth.
So, too, the immediate and sincere Israeli offer of rescuers to Iran should make the moral gulf
between Israel and its enemies as clear as day. Despite the fact that Iran is the greatest
backer of anti-Israel (and anti-American) terror and despite the fact that Iran repeatedly
declares that Israel must be annihilated (in other words, seeks a second Jewish
Holocaust), Israel offered to send its people to save Iranian lives.
The two reactions -- Iran's preference for Iranian deaths to Israeli help and the Jewish
state's instinctive offer to help save Iranian lives ought to be enough anyone needs to
understand the source of the Middle East conflict. But they won't. Because those who
are anti-Israel or "evenhanded" are not so because of the facts, but despite them.