NATIV Online        

Vol. 11 / January 2008 /  Shvat 5768                       A JOURNAL OF POLITICS AND THE ARTS


The Threat From Iran

Yonatan Silverman

Today, some Jewish holidays come from the tradition that began with creation of the State of Israel. Memorial Day for the Fallen in Israel’s Wars, Independence Day, Memorial Day for the Shoah and Bravery, to mention the most prominent. But Yom Kippur is biblical in its origins, and with some exceptions its traditions come straight from the book Vayikra (Leviticus), the third book of the Five Books of Moses. In chapter 16, verses 29-30 it states:

This shall remain for you an eternal decree: In the seventh month, on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and you shall not do any work, neither the native nor the proselyte, who dwells among you. For on this day He shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you, for all your sins before Hashem you shall be cleansed.

The prayer “Kol Nidrei” with which the Yom Kippur observances begin, dates from the eighth or ninth centuries CE, and remains a fixture in the day’s prayers. But the biblical custom of the “scapegoat” is no longer practiced, and probably has not been, since destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE.

He (Aaron the High Priest) shall take the two he-goats and stand them before Hashem at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Aaron shall place lots upon the two he-goats; one lot for Hashem and one lot for Azazel. Aaron shall bring near the he-goat designated by lot for Hashem and make it a sin-offering. And the he-goat designated by lot for Azazel shall be stood alive before Hashem to provide atonement through it, to send it to Azazel to the Wilderness. (Vayikra 16: 7-10)

In common Hebrew parlance, telling someone to “go to Azazel” means “go to hell...” But the “Azazel” referred to in the book of Vayikra means a high cliff, and sending the goat to Azazel meant throwing it off the cliff to its doom.

The process is clarified somewhat later in Vayikra: (Chapter 16: 20-22)

When he is finished atoning for the Sanctuary, the Tent of Meeting and the Altar, he shall bring the living he goat near. Aaron shall lean his two hands upon the head of the living he-goat and confess upon it all the iniquities of the Children of Israel, and all their rebellious sins among all their sins, and place them upon the head of the he-goat, and send it with a designated man to the desert. The he-goat will bear upon itself all their inequities to an uninhabited land, and he should send the he-goat to the desert.

The Artscroll “Stone” Edition of the Old Testament brings up some interesting commentary: (p. 642):

The commandment to send a “scapegoat” to Azazel is described by the Sages as a Law, a decree that is beyond human intelligence. Indeed the concept of an animal carrying away all the sins of a nation does seem incomprehensible. Nevertheless, the later commentators have attempted to offer rationales:

a.   The ritual of the scapegoat inspires the Jews to repent for it symbolizes to everyone that people can free themselves from the burden of past sins and remove them as far as possible. (Rambam)

b.   Two identical he-goats are used for this process to demonstrate that every person must choose between good and evil and that no one has the luxury of being neutral. Those who do not choose to move toward holiness are inevitably pushing themselves toward a wasteland of spiritual destruction. (R. Hirsch)

c.   Rambam, as explained by R. Munk, likens the ritual to the case of a servant preparing a banquet for his king. The monarch orders him to set aside a portion for a loyal follower. Obviously, the meal the servant gives to the follower is not a tribute to him, but to the king who issued the order. Here, too, the High Priest presents both he-goats to God, who in turn, uses the lot to assign one of them as a gift to Azazel, a place that symbolizes the forces of evil. This apparent preoccupation with evil teaches that it is not enough to be sure that we have God’s forgiveness and love – we must also recognize and repel the hostile forces that surround and tempt us. There are many examples of such behavior: Though Jacob had complete trust in God, he sent a lavish tribute to Esau to appease his anger. Despite Esther’s faith in God, she invited Haman to her table as part of her plan to thwart him. (Zohar)

Thus the scapegoat is a reminder that God wants us to guard against the threats of our enemies by recognizing their existence and appeasing them. Pirkei d’R. Eliezer teaches that this tribute on Yom Kippur would cause the Accuser to desist from his condemnation of Israel and testify in their favor.

The cases cited above of Jacob and Esau, and Esther and Haman are also biblical examples, of course, and are perhaps unique in and of themselves in the Bible. The sad truth is that, generally, enemies cannot be appeased, and must be confronted and crushed, lest they do mortal damage, and follow through on various threats. Perhaps the enemy of Israel is the kind that when you offer a hand he chops off your arm or your head... An arch-enemy whose hatred and lust for murder simply cannot be quelled by appeasement. As it is written in the Talmud: “When someone comes to kill you, kill him first...”1

Take the Nazis, for example. The harbinger of what they intended to do to the Jews of Europe raised its ugly head as early as 1935 when the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws were passed in Germany. And if the hard cold laws left any doubt, the catastrophe known as Kristallnacht took place on November 9 and 10, 1938. The Nazi extermination camps were not opened until 1942. The war didn’t end until 1945, and by then six million defenseless Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their cohorts. Something might have prevented the mass-murder of European Jewry, but it wasn’t appeasement.

The Nazis were the arch-fascists of their day, and no one can think of the word fascist without thinking of the Nazis. Today however, we have Islamo-fascism, one of whose main flag bearers is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Jews, particularly in Israel, have much to fear from Iran. For one thing, its president frequently calls for the country to be wiped off the map.

Our dear Imam (referring to Ayatollah Khomeini) said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front? This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world. But we must be aware of tricks.(World Without Zionism Conference October 2005)

Ahmadinejad also claimed in the speech that the issue with Palestine would be over “the day that all refugees return to their homes [and] a democratic government elected by the people comes to power”, and denounced attempts to normalize relations with Israel, condemning all Muslim leaders who accept the existence of Israel as “acknowledging a surrender and defeat of the Islamic world”.

But Iran’s current president is not alone, by any means. In fact he stands on very broad shoulders indeed – those of the late Ayatollah Khomeini:

Prior to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Khomeini called for a ceremony that would demonstrate worldwide Muslim solidarity:

I have been notifying the Muslims of the danger posed by the usurper Israel. I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper and its supporters...and, through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims worldwide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people.

Khomeini instituted the observance of Al-Quds Day by making a public address calling for an annual observance that would demonstrate the solidarity of the Muslim world with Palestinians against Israel and what he considered to be the forces of evil: The United States and the Soviet Union. He called for the new observance to be held annually on the third Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and ordained that Al-Quds Day be celebrated as an event that would “behoove the world’s Muslims to rid themselves of the shackles of bondage to the Great Satan [i.e., the United States] and superpowers.”

In his sermon marking the first Al-Quds Day observance in 1981, Khomeini called for an international revolution of Muslims:

O, you Muslims of the world! You oppressed masses! Rise up and take your destiny into your hands. How long do you intend to sit quietly while your fate is determined in Washington or Moscow? Until when should Quds [Jerusalem] be trampled under the roots of the residue of the United States, the usurper Israel? How long should Quds, Palestine, Lebanon and the oppressed Muslims be under the domination of criminals while you remain onlookers, while some of your treacherous rulers aid them? How long should almost one billion Muslims and 100 million Arabs, with vast lands and endless resources continue to suffer plundering by the East and the West and oppressions and inhumane massacres by them and their residue?2

So Iranian hatred of Israel and its desire for the destruction of Israel go deeper than the rantings of President Ahmadinejad. This hatred and this desire are at the core of the Islamic society of Iran. Ahmadinejad is just the present mouthpiece for this venomous psychology.

The problem isn’t only psychological, however. Four years ago, the Los Angeles Times published an investigative report on Iran that started:

After more than a decade of working behind layers of front companies and in hidden laboratories, Iran appears to be in the late stages of developing the capacity to build a nuclear bomb.3

Four years after the disclosures in the Los Angeles Times, the civilized world has finally grasped that Iran is indeed concealing aspirations to construct nuclear weapons. But so far nothing the civilized world has tried in order to halt Iran’s aspirations has done much good.

The Iranians are arrogant and brazen-faced about their nuclear ambitions.

For example, in the end of March 2007, the UN Security Council passed a resolution tightening its December 2006 sanctions on Iran. The resolution included “banning the country’s arms exports and freezing the assets and restricting the travel of additional individuals engaged in the country’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities.”4

Days later, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad loudly crowed that his country has perfected the operation of 3,000 gas centrifuges for the purpose of uranium enrichment.

We have more than 3,000 centrifuges operating and every week a new set is installed,” the Iranian news agency Fars quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. On April 19, Ahmadinejad said that Iran had mastered industrial-scale production of nuclear fuel. The Iranian leadership has repeatedly said it planned to install 50,000 gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, which will make the country independent from nuclear fuel imports. International experts have said creating enough highly-enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb would take one year if 3,000 centrifuges are involved, but only five weeks to two months if 50,000 centrifuges are used.5

An article published online by the American Federation of Sciences, states the case with crystal clarity:

The simplest uranium bomb, in which one slug of uranium is shot into another, thus called a “gun-assembled” bomb, is quite simple indeed. But the required bomb-grade uranium has been very difficult to prepare, requiring huge, energy-hungry gaseous diffusion plants...

The production of nuclear material has therefore required plants that are distinctive and difficult to conceal. Modern gas centrifuges, however, change this picture. They make the separation of the fissionable uranium-235 much easier and cheaper than it would be using gas diffusion, so the easiest route to getting bomb material has become aligned with the simplest gun-assembled bomb design. Modern centrifuges open up a nuclear option for a new group of proliferators with only moderate technical sophistication, such as Iraq, Iran, or North Korea. Moreover, centrifuge enrichment plants are modular, much smaller than gas diffusion plants, and use potentially just five percent of the electrical power of a gas diffusion plant. Thus, they not only make the development of nuclear weapons easier, they make more difficult both the monitoring of supposedly peaceful uranium enrichment for nuclear power and the detection of clandestine bomb-making programs.6

Gas centrifuge technology does have peaceful uses for the production of nuclear power:

Gas centrifuge technology (GCT) is a method of enriching mined uranium to levels at which it can be used to generate nuclear power. The process provides an efficient, stable and scaleable way to consistently and safely produce the type of uranium the nuclear power industry requires. GCT uses highly engineered centrifuges to separate different isotopes of uranium, thereby producing an enriched form that is ideal for use in a nuclear reactor.7

But only the terminally gullible could possibly believe the Iranian government’s persistent claim that their obsession with nuclear technology and their feverish proliferation of gas centrifuges, are for the peaceful uses of nuclear power. Only the gullible, or, on the other hand, like-minded Muslims around the world, surely long for the day when Iran will possess the bomb, and use it against Israel. The like-minded Muslims around the world accept Iran’s empty claims for what they are: The Islamic sanctioned tactic of deceit.

In the first place, Iran has no rationale for employing nuclear power. It has the second largest petroleum reserves in the world, an estimated 133 gigabarrels, according to the CIA World Factbook. This represents approximately 10% of the world’s petroleum. Its production averages about 1.5 gigabarrels per year. So, if one does the math, this means that Iran’s petroleum reserves will last for approximately another century. Iran simply does not need nuclear generators for electricity, or the nuclear fuel for bringing such generators online.

No, Iran is concealing an ambition to produce nuclear bombs, and its push to drastically expand the use of gas centrifuges is not for the peaceful uses of nuclear power, but for the devastating Armageddon power of nuclear bombs.

As it states in Qur`an, Sura 3: 54:

...and [they] deceived and Allah deceived and Allah is the best of deceivers.

And the following comment from a reader of Daniel Pipes:

Tradecraft. Persona. Deception. Disinformation. Cover: Western operational terms and techniques. But, Islamic terrorists have their own terms: taqiyya (pronounced tak-e-ya): Precautionary dissimulation or deception and keeping one’s convictions secret and a synonymous term, kitman: Mental reservation and dissimulation or concealment of malevolent intentions...

Taqiyya and kitman or “holy hypocrisy” has been diffused throughout Arabic culture for over 1,400 years since it was developed by Shiites as a means of defense and concealment of beliefs against Sunni unbelievers. As the Prophet said: “He who keeps secrets shall soon attain his objectives.”

Deceit, the act of lying, is deeply imbedded as a value in Islam and what makes this a problem is that in Iran’s case this value is married, according to Islamic belief, to the desire for jihad and for death. The death of the infidel enemy, surely; but also the martyr’s death of Muslim fighters, and even the martyrdom of the entire country. In an article, “This Holocaust Will Be Different”, Professor Benny Morris points out:

Khomeini, put it in a speech in Qom in 1980: “We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah... I say, let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant...8

And then Morris comments:

For these worshipers at the cult of death, even the sacrifice of the homeland is acceptable if the outcome is the demise of Israel.9

As recently as July 10, President Ahmadinejad, in a speech carried live on state television, again called for all Islamic states to “mobilize” to “remove” Israel, which he termed the main problem of the Islamic world.

The existence of this regime (Israel) will bring nothing but suffering and misery for people in the region and the increase of hatred towards the governments that support it.

The use of the word “remove” here is perhaps worthy of comment. There is a surgically immaculate suggestion in this word, as when one removes a wart, or a splinter. But of course, there is nothing remotely surgical or immaculate about a nuclear holocaust. Benny Morris comments, in a no holds barred paragraph,

The second holocaust will be quite different. One bright morning, in five or 10 years, perhaps during a regional crisis, perhaps out of the blue, a day or a year or five years after Iran’s acquisition of the Bomb, the mullahs in Qom will convene in secret session, under a portrait of the steely-eyed Ayatollah Khomeini, and give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by then in his second or third term, the go-ahead. The orders will go out and the Shihab-III and IV missiles will take off for Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and Jerusalem, and probably some military sites, including Israel’s half dozen air- and (reported) nuclear missile bases. Some of the Shihabs will be nuclear-tipped, perhaps even with multiple warheads. Others will be dupes, packed merely with biological or chemical agents, or old newspapers, to draw off or confuse Israel’s anti-missile batteries and Home Front Command units. With a country the size and shape of Israel (an elongated 20,000 square kilometers), probably four or five hits will suffice: No more Israel.10

Ahmadinejad is also a world leader who casts doubt on the reality of the Nazi annihilation of European Jewry.

We are saying that if the Holocaust occurred, then Europe must draw the consequences and that it is not Palestine that should pay the price for it. If it did not occur, then the Jews have to go back to where they came from.

If the Europeans are telling the truth in their claim that they have killed six million Jews in the Holocaust during the World War II, why should the Palestinian nation pay for the crime. The same European countries have imposed the illegally-established Zionist regime on the oppressed nation of Palestine. If you have committed the crimes so give a piece of your land somewhere in Europe or America and Canada or Alaska to them to set up their own state there.

They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets. The West has given more significance to the myth of the genocide of the Jews, even more significant than God, religion, and the prophets. If you have burned the Jews, why don’t you give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to Israel? Our question is, if you have committed this huge crime, why should the innocent nation of Palestine pay for this crime?

Then there was: The International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust December 11, 2006. The Iranian Holocaust Denial Conference, whose theme, was articulated by the Iranian Foreign Minister:

If the official version of the Holocaust is thrown into doubt, then the identity and nature of Israel will be thrown into doubt. And if, during this review, it is proved that the Holocaust was a historical reality, then what is the reason for the Palestinians having to pay the cost of the Nazis’ crimes?

Where does the idea originate that the Palestinians are paying for Nazi crimes during the Holocaust? It is perhaps giving it too much credit to call this an idea. Because it is unquestionably, a gross, inhuman, distortion of reality. It is a classic anti-Semitic canard, turning reality, truth and history on their heads. And the claim has no basis whatsoever. The undeniable reality, and it bears repeating, is that the Palestinian nation was given a golden opportunity to live in peace and security alongside the Jewish nation, in the United Nations partition plan of November 29, 1947. But instead of accepting a fair share of Palestinian territory, the Arabs chose a war, which they lost. Iran’s attempts to destabilize and undermine the truth and reality of the Shoah stem from its desire to undermine Israel, in whose heart and mind, (and the hearts and minds of civilized human beings everywhere) the Shoah will always be a tragic cornerstone.

But Shoah denial, and calling for the “removal” of Israel are not the only ways in which Ahmadinejad and company turn reality and history on their heads.

In the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) the Iranians found themselves at a disadvantage for many reasons.

To compensate for their disadvantages, Khomeini sent Iranian children, some as young as 12 years old, to the front lines. There, they marched in formation across minefields toward the enemy, clearing a path with their bodies. Before every mission, a small plastic key, imported from Taiwan, would be hung around each child’s neck. It was supposed to open the gates to paradise for them.

The officials in charge of these teenage suicide operations began to have qualms, however.

“Somewhere, widely scattered in the landscape, there lay scraps of burnt flesh and pieces of bone.” Such scenes would henceforth be avoided, Ettelaat (a semi official Iranian daily) assured its readers. “Before entering the minefields, the children [now] wrap themselves in blankets and they roll on the ground, so that their body parts stay together after the explosion of the mines and one can carry them to the graves.

These children who rolled to their deaths were part of the Basiji, a mass movement created by Khomeini in 1979 and militarized after the war started in order to supplement his beleaguered army. They went enthusiastically, and by the thousands, to their own destruction. “The young men cleared the mines with their own bodies,” one veteran of the Iran-Iraq War recalled in 2002 to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine. “It was sometimes like a race. Even without the commander’s orders, everyone wanted to be first.”

The sacrifice of the Basiji was ghastly. And yet, today, it is a source not of national shame, but of growing pride. And, last year, they formed the potent core of the political base that propelled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – a man who reportedly served as a Basiji instructor during the Iran-Iraq War – to the presidency.

Ahmadinejad revels in his alliance with the Basiji. He regularly appears in public wearing a black-and-white Basij scarf, and, in his speeches, he routinely praises “Basiji culture” and “Basiji power”, with which he says “Iran today makes its presence felt on the international and diplomatic stage.” Ahmadinejad’s ascendance on the shoulders of the Basiji means that the Iranian Revolution, launched almost three decades ago, has entered a new and disturbing phase. A younger generation of Iranians, whose worldviews were forged in the atrocities of the Iran-Iraq War, have come to power, wielding a more fervently ideological approach to politics than their predecessors. The children of the Revolution are now its leaders.11

A more fervently ideological approach – and a more fanatically religious one too.

When addressing the United Nations in September 2005, president. Ahmadinejad gave the audience of world political leaders a jolt by concluding his address with a prayer for the Mahdi’s appearance: “O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace.12

The “Mahdi” (Divinely Guided One) is a mysterious mythical figure whose apparition and even anticipation triggers turbulent Islamic emotions. He is the “hidden Imam”, who clearly influences the thought and action of president Ahmadinejad.

As mayor of Tehran, for example, Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to have, in 2004, secretly instructed the city council to build a grand avenue to prepare for the Mahdi. A year later, as president, he allocated $17 million for a blue-tiled mosque closely associated with mahdaviat in Jamkaran, south of the capital. He has instigated the building of a direct Tehran-Jamkaran railroad line. He had a list of his proposed cabinet members dropped into a well adjacent to the Jamkaran mosque, it is said, to benefit from its purported divine connection.

The “presidential obsession” with mahdaviat leads Mr. Ahmadinejad to “a certitude that leaves little room for compromise. From redressing the gulf between rich and poor in Iran, to challenging America and Israel and enhancing Iran’s power with nuclear programs, every issue is designed to lay the foundation for the Mahdi’s return.”13

Mahdaviat means “belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi.” But who precisely is the Mahdi?

Mahdi” is Arabic for “rightly-guided one,” a major figure in Islamic eschatology. He is, explains the Encyclopaedia of Islam, “the restorer of religion and justice who will rule before the end of the world”. The concept originated in the earliest years of Islam and, over time, became particularly identified with the Shi’ite branch. Whereas “it never became an essential part of Sunni religious doctrine,” continues the encyclopedia, “Belief in the coming of the Mahdi of the Family of the Prophet became a central aspect of the faith in radical Shi’ism,” where it is also known as the return of the Twelfth Imam.14

Daniel Pipes concludes:

The most dangerous leaders in modern history are those (such as Hitler) equipped with a totalitarian ideology and a mystical belief in their own mission. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fulfills both these criteria, as revealed by his U.N. comments. That combined with his expected nuclear arsenal make him an adversary who must be stopped, and urgently.15

What tactics would be most effective in fighting Iran now? How can the world force Iran to halt its concealed nuclear bomb program? And prevent the nuclear bombing of the state of Israel, in particular? With all due respect to Mahatma Gandhi, I have serious doubts about the efficacy of his chosen tactic. In 1948 photojournalist Margaret Bourke White was the last person to interview Gandhi before his assassination. She writes16:

I asked Gandhi whether he believed America should stop manufacturing the atomic bomb. Unhesitatingly he replied, “Of course American should stop.”

We went on to talk of this, Gandhi speaking thoughtfully, sometimes haltingly, always with most profound sincerity, I jotting down his words and neither of us could know that this was to be one of the last – perhaps his very last – message to the world.

I had asked Gandhiji how he would meet the atom bomb. Would he meet it with nonviolence?

“Ah Ah,” he said, “How shall I answer that?” The charkha turned busily in his agile hands for a moment and then he replied: “I would meet it by prayerful action.” He emphasized the word “action”, and I asked what form it would take.

“I will not go underground. I will not go into shelters. I will come out in the open and let the pilot see I have not the face of evil against him.”

He turned back to his spinning for a moment before continuing.

“The pilot will not see our faces from his great height I know. But that longing in our hearts that he will not come to harm would reach up to him and his eyes would be opened. Of those thousands who were done to death in Hiroshima, if they had died with that prayerful action – died openly with that prayer in their hearts – then the war would not have ended so disgracefully as it has. It is a question now whether the victors are really victors or victims” – he was speaking very slowly and his words had become toneless and low “of our own lust...and omission. Because the world is not at peace” his voice had sunk almost to a whisper – “it is still more dreadful...”

Only a few hours later this man who believed that even the atom bomb should be met with nonviolence was struck down by revolver bullets. And from those who were at his side in that dark moment we know that as he fell his hands were raised in prayer, and the word “Ram” meaning God was on his lips.

No, with all due respect to Mahatma Gandhi, answering the nuclear threat with “prayerful action” just doesn’t seem like a terribly logical tactic in that battle. Innumerable innocent Jews went to their deaths in the Nazi gas chambers with a prayer on their lips, probably “Sh’ma Yisrael” and one can’t say it did them much service. No one can answer the question of why God allowed the sacrifice of his people in Europe between 1942 and 1945. Ultimately, the only thing that halted the Nazi blitzkrieg and the Nazi genocide was brute Allied force, relentlessly applied. Unlike Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Iran hasn’t yet offered the world a pretext for attacking the country. Sanctions against Iran are answered with brazen-faced arrogance. Perhaps Iran will need to advance its nuclear ambitions somewhat further before someone (the US?) will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Saddam Hussein, of course, provided a causus belli when he occupied Kuwait. The world needs an Iranian affront on the order of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, before military force will be organized and directed against Iranian interests, with blistering effect. We need to hope that the causus will not be the launching of Iranian nuclear missiles against Israel. And in the final analysis, even if we still maintained the custom of sacrificing a “scapegoat” carrying our sins into the desert, for the sake of the nation’s purification, the survival of Israel depends on more than biblical rituals and prayer. The Kapara ritual which many Jews observe before Yom Kippur explicitly offers the death of a chicken in return for the life of the atoning sinner. Some sources suggest the Yom Kippur Kapara ritual substitutes for the biblical ritual of the scapegoat. But it is all the same. As quaint and as powerful as the Kapara ritual might be, in the face of the threat of Iranian nuclear missiles Israel must determine another method of defense against death, against another Shoah.



The Islamic paradigm for mass murder of course is the catastrophe of 9/11 committed by a group of crazed mostly Saudi Arabian Muslims under the direction of Osama bin Laden. Hatred for anything not Muslim fueled their desire to commit havoc that day, and to cause the murders of 3,000 innocent people in their offices in New York. It stands to reason that if Iran chose to annihilate Israel with nuclear missiles, the scenario would be the same, no warning, just mayhem and mass murder. In the name of Allah – “the deceiver”. 


Talmud Babli Brachot, 58.

1    <>.

2   Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2003.

3  “Security Council Toughens Sanctions Against Iran, Adds Arms Embargo”, UN Security Council Resolution, March 24, 2007.

4   RIA Novosti, <>.

5   Federation of American Scientists, <

6    Enrichment Technology Company Limited, “How Gas Centrifuge Technology Works”.

7  Benny Morris, This Holocaust Will Be Different”, The Jerusalem Post, January 18, 2007, <

8   Ibid.

9    Ibid.

10  Matthias Kuntzel, “A Child of the Revolution Takes Over. Ahmadinejad’s Demons”, The New Republic Issue, April 24, 2006, <>; Daniel Pipes, New York Sun, January 10, 2006.

11  Daniel Pipes, “The Mystical Menace of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad”, New York Sun, January 10, 2006.

12  Ibid.

13  Ibid.

14  Ibid.

15  Daniel Pipes, “The Mystical Menace of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad”, op cit.

16  Jonathan Silverman, For the World to See: The Life of Margaret Bourke White, Viking Press, 1983.