Jack Shafer Points Out a Flaw in Ahmadinejad's Thinking

By Jeffrey Goldberg

The Iranian president is arguing that the only thing standing between humanity and world peace are the Joos. (And yes, when Ahmadinejad says "Zionists," he doesn't actually mean "Zionists.") Jack Shafer e-mailed Goldblog the following observation: "After all, the world was a peaceful place until Israel was formed."

There's a corollary here, to an argument you hear made from time to time. The argument goes like this: Israel's existence -- its displacement of the Palestinians, its behavior -- is a main cause of anti-Semitism today. Most Jews don't find this argument terribly convincing, for the simple reason that anti-Semitism predates the creation of Israel, and was, of course, much worse before Israel gained independence. The Germans obviously were not motivated to kill six million Jews because they were upset about Israel's settlement policy. They were motivated by, among many other things, fears of worldwide Jewish domination (fears best expressed in our age by the Iranian regime and its supporters and apologists). If Israel had existed in 1939, there would not have been a Holocaust.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/08/jack-shafer-points-out-a-flaw-in-ahmadinejads-thinking/260654/