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Logic of the Dark Ages
Monday, 27 October 2008 15:06
by Dr. Paul J. Balles

Israel's president Shimon Peres made ironic comments on the speech recently delivered to the UN by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

According to Ynetnews, Peres said, “I managed to read and comprehend the speech Ahmedinejad is going to give. This speech calls for a return to the dark ages of hate, hostility and lack of respect for basic human rights. Ahmedinejad thinks that he is the supreme authority on world issues but he has no right to decide who is good and who is bad.”

It seems strange that Peres argued that Ahmedinejad’s speech called for a return to the dark ages, when the only reference to the dark ages in the speech was a critical warning against such a return. Either Peres failed to read the entire speech, failed to understand it or he deliberately chose to misrepresent it.

Did Peres object to this by Ahmedinejad: "We must not, at the beginning of the 21st century, revert to the logic of the dark ages and once again try to deny societies access to scientific and technological advances?" 

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Of course, Ahmedinejad was pointing to the efforts by the USA and Israel to stop Iran's efforts to develop nuclear power. If that calls for a return to the dark ages, then America and Israel with their nuclear weapons stockpiles ready for pre-emptive attacks are fully into the dark ages.

The only reference to hate in Amedinejad's speech: "Unfortunately, the world is rife with discrimination and poverty. Discrimination produces hatred, war and terrorism. They all share the common root of lack of spirituality coupled with injustice. Justice is about equal rights, the correct distribution of resources in the territories of different states, the equality of all before the law and respect for international agreements."

Was this what Peres alluded to with his reference to "...a return to the dark ages of hate, hostility and lack of respect for human rights?" Alternatively, could it have been the implicit criticism of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians that provoked Peres? Is there a more egregious example of "discrimination and poverty" than in the plight of the Palestinians?

The president of an apartheid state might well have been upset by Ahmedinejad's observation that "Justice recognizes the right of every one to tranquillity, peace and a dignified life. Justice rejects intimidation and double standards."

Certainly Ahmedinejad's statement about Peace must have severely disturbed Peres: "In Palestine, a durable peace will be possible through justice, an end to discrimination and the occupation of Palestinian land, the return of all Palestinian refugees, and the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital."

The real irony in Peres' remarks comes with, "Ahmedinejad thinks that he is the supreme authority on world issues but he has no right to decide who is good and who is bad.” Not only does Israel decide who's good--Israelis--its leaders decide who's bad--the Iranians and Palestinians.

Of course, the designation of a "supreme authority" with "no right to decide who is good or bad" would readily apply to every Israeli leader since the land-thieves occupied Palestine.

Here was an Israeli president—giving little thought to the validity of what he said--criticising an Iranian president who frequently talks off the top of his head without giving much thought to the consequences of what he says.

One would have thought that a Nobel Peace Laureate should be open to a view of peace that differs from his own or from Israel’s, if it’s rational, even if it comes from a man who has been known to sound irrational.
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