On Misreading Amalek

I'll respond later to Andrew's long and thought-provoking Amalek post, if I can muster up the will (suffice it to say that one cannot understand the meaning of Amalek, or anything else in the Jewish Bible, without understanding the two-thousand-year-old religion called Rabbinic Judaism, the successor to Biblical Judaism, and the one we practice today) but there's one technical point that needs to be cleared up here, and that is that Netanyahu himself has never, to the best of my knowledge, invoked Amalek in talking about Iran. He's invoked Hitler, of course, but not Amalek. In his column today, Roger Cohen condemns Netanyahu's "attempts to liken Iran to Amalek, the Biblical enemy of the Jews," except that Netanyahu never likened Iran to Amalek. I don't know if this is sloppiness on Cohen's part, or something worse, but in the op-ed I wrote that got this particular meme started, it was one of Netanyahu's advisers who invoked the specter of Amalek, not Netanyahu himself. So far as I know, Netanyahu has never mentioned Amalek. If he has, would someone please let me know?

In any case, this whole debate is a perversion, and not only because genocide is the specialty of other religions, and not Judaism. Iran has called for the elimination of the Jewish state, and seems to be building nuclear weapons that could make that a reality; Israel simply seeks to protect itself from a country that wants to exterminate it. If Israel does strike Iran, it would bomb military targets while trying to minimize civilian casualties. Iran, through its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas, already has a long and distinguished record of murdering Jewish children. There's simply no equivalence here. Yes, Israel does various idiotic and immoral things. But it isn't, even on its worst day, the Islamic Republic of Iran.