A Problem With the Whole 'Israel Is a Cancer' Argument

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Rabbi David Wolpe, who is in remission from lymphoma, argues that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad misunderstands the nature of the disease when he compares it to the perfidious Zionist entity. He offers several reasons why, including:

"(H)ealthy cells predate cancerous ones. Cancer is something that afflicts a body after it is formed. Since the state of Israel goes back 3,000 years, and Islam began the 7th century (thus dating 1,500 years). It seems anachronistic, to say the least, to imply that Israel is an alien growth. Here, of course, a trained engineer may be forgiven for his ignorance of biology and history."

And this one:

Finally, may I say as someone who has gone through two neurosurgeries and chemotherapy, at this stage of cancer treatment we know only how to either cut it out or blast it away? So how does one eliminate a cancerous people? The analogy leads inevitably, inexorably, to the prospect of genocide. When you define a nation as a cancer you imply the solution is mass murder. My cancer was put into remission by a line leading into my vein that dripped life-giving poison. What would the Iranian leadership use as a "cure" for Israel? Radiation, no doubt.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/08/a-problem-with-the-whole-israel-is-a-cancer-argument/261379/