Thursday, November 03, 2005

Surprising…

In a reassuring way…

Iran’s president Ahmadinejad said that “Israel should be wiped off the map”, and Europe is up in arms. This may be the trigger for the U.N. to do something serious about Iran’s developing nuclear arsenal. A large demonstration is planned in Rome (today?).

Supposedly the catalyst for this reaction, apart from Ahmadinejad’s statement is Tony Blair’s rebbutal:

“Calls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community. To anyone in Europe, knowing our history, when we hear statements like that made about Israel it makes us feels very angry, it's just completely wrong. ... Ask yourself: A state like that, with an attitude like that, having a nuclear weapon?"

My hat off to Blair. First of all for saying what he said, and second for the insight that it would actually get a rise out of anyone in Europe. My impression of the past few years has been that Europe could not care less. I’m stunned (in a good way) that they do.

I’d speculate that part of the reason that Blair’s statement worked was the recent withdrawal from Gaza, and the (also) surprisingly positive vibes in generated in Europe for Israel. But the bottom line is that Blair is a real mensch, and let’s hope that the movement to curtail Iran’s nuclear power does take hold.

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