Israel, Iran Are a Lot Alike

Neither of them trust international law
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2010 1:33 PM CDT
Israel, Iran Are a Lot Alike
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are seen in this combination of AP file photos.   (Associated Press)

Israel and Iran may be bitter enemies, but they actually have a lot in common when it comes to international politics, writes Reza Sanati for the Christian Science Monitor. Both view themselves as “the repeated victims of international law and global opinion,” the Middle Eastern Studies professor says. Israel has, in just 62 years, endured seven wars, countless terrorist attacks, and two Palestinian insurrections “with scant global sympathy and virtually no legal protection.”

Iran, meanwhile, has been invaded three times since 1940. The international community did nothing when Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war, yet it constantly sanctions the Islamic Republic. This history provides context for both countries' present attitudes. Neoconservatives who argue that international pressure will only make Israel less likely to make concessions for peace “are essentially correct. Yet they fail to see that this same principle applies to Iran.” Until these nations experience international law working on their behalf, “they will stand together—apart from the rest of the world.” (More Iran stories.)

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