Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Putin and the Palestinians

Editorial of The New York Sun
June 3, 2008

Displaying the icy analytic capability for which he is known, Prime Minister Putin gave an interview to Le Monde over the weekend in which he cautioned the Iranians against using nuclear weapons. "Using nuclear weapons in a region as small as the Middle East would be synonymous with suicide. Whose interests would it serve? The Palestinians? Hardly, the Palestinians would cease to exist," Mr. Putin has said.As Mr. Putin surely is aware, however, suicide isn't a dirty word to the Iranians or their allies, who fund Palestinian Arab suicide bombers who regularly go on missions to kill themselves and Israelis at the same time. Just yesterday the Danish embassy in Pakistan was bombed in what some press reports from Islamabad said appeared to have been a suicide attack.

And if Mr. Putin thought his words would deter the Iranians, he got his answer with President Ahmadinejad's promise yesterday that the Zionist regime "is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene." The prospect that the Palestinian Arabs and the Iranians themselves would be erased along with it, seems not to faze the Iranian leader, for whom, to paraphrase Bernard Lewis, mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent but an inducement. As for the idea that Israel's enemies are motivated by genuine concern for the welfare of the Palestinian Arabs, let us just say we find it quaint.

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