In his oped titled “Arsonists and Firefighters”, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman asked, “Who is setting the Middle East on fire?” Amazingly, Friedman’s failed commentary is myopic in the way it fails to identify the Iranian regime as the primary antagonist in the region.
Consider this fundamental fact: Since 2005, terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired more than 13,000 rockets at Israeli cities. Has anyone in the western media bothered to ask where all of these rockets are coming from?
There is one sovereign nation that should be held fully accountable for Gaza’s suffering, and that is Iran. These rockets are financed by the Iranian regime, and it is time for the mainstream media to stop praising Iran for its new-found “moderation.” There is nothing “moderate” about financing terrorism in Gaza.
Absent the endless Iranian supply of rockets to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the terrorists in Gaza would be left to throwing rocks, not rockets, and none of these tragic events would have ever happened.
The formula for peace in Gaza is simple: No more matches or gasoline for the arsonists. No terrorist rocket fire on Israel, no Israeli response to rocket fire.
After all, the thousands of rockets launched by terrorists at Israeli cities cannot be purchased at Walmart. These rockets have a distributor: the Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps (IRGC) acting on the orders of the Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader.
Just this March, the Israeli Navy intercepted a Iranian ship with rockets that would have been transported across the Sinai Peninsula into Gaza. This intercept clearly fits into a pattern that has been going on for years while an indifferent world has remained silent.
When I think about the international community’s silence on this tragedy, I am reminded of the words of the Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel: “The opposite of love is not hate… it is indifference.” The time has come for the international community to take a firm moral stand on this issue, and stop hiding behind politically correct talking points.
In addition to the long-range rockets smuggled into Gaza, the IRGC has provided Hamas and Islamic Jihad with the technological know-how to manufacture rockets in Gaza. With this in mind, it is no longer possible for critics to argue that Hamas-fired rockets do not cause any real damage to Israeli civilians. These rockets are lethal, they are destructive, and Iran has the blood of Israeli women and children on its hands.
Iran is making more than mischief in Gaza- it is making war on civilians. A nuclear-armed Iran would be capable of even greater destruction, and the international community cannot afford to just sit on its hands and wait for the inevitable.
Since its founding in 2008, the non-partisan advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has been warning the world of the dangerous nexus between Iran’s support for terrorists and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iranian sponsorship of terrorism is detailed in UANI’s new Veritas Project.
Let there be no doubt: a nuclear-armed Iran would be even more dangerous. It would pose a clear and present danger to the security of Israel and the Middle-East at large. Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett wrote in this oped in the Daily Beast: “For Israel, the message is clear. An Iran that provides, already today, its terror proxies with sophisticated rockets, drones, and other technology could one day hand off a crude nuclear device or dirty bomb to these same terrorists. In addition, an Iranian regime with nuclear weapons is a regime more willing to take risks and to test the West’s resolve”.
How do we pressure Iran to end its support for terrorists and pursuit of nuclear weapons? It’s time to put the world to a test and see who is serious about peace. Let those who are truly concerned about Israel’s right to live in peace, and those who want to end the suffering of civilians in Gaza, take a pledge.
Concerned citizens of the world can say: So long as Iran supplies weapons to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, we will not buy the products of, or invest in, companies that do non-humanitarian business in Iran.
After all, if it’s illegal for most American and Canadian companies to do business in Iran, then why should Asian and European companies do business there? It is their presence that provides Iran with the financial wherewithal, and legitimacy, to continue its support for terrorists and pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The most effective way to combat the “Arsonists of Gaza” would be for the international community to follow UANI’s lead and institute a virtual “economic blockade” of the Iranian regime.
Who does business in Iran? You can begin with these 15 major multinational companies called “UANI’s Most Wanted”. In addition, UANI provides this comprehensive list of all companies with business in Iran.
This is not “rocket science”. Doing business in Iran helps send rockets to Gaza. Doing business in Iran helps to promote a nuclear-armed Iran.
Companies that do business in Iran are financing terrorism. This is a black and white issue, and the media needs to stop searching for shades of grey where there are none.
Now is the time to test the sincerity of those who profess to be concerned about peace. Here’s the choice: You can continue to enable Iran to be the world’s leading arsonist, or you can send Iran a clear message: No More financing of Terrorist Organizations.
The arsonists of Gaza are watching.
Bob Feferman is Outreach Coordinator for United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).