Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Iran, Israel, the West

Mark Steyn writes: "The more Europe's Muslim population grows, the more restive and disassimilated it becomes, the more enthusiastically the establishment embraces 'anti-Zionism' as if the sinister Jewess is the last virgin left to toss in the volcano."

I never believed that a new president in Iran would repudiate the Islamic revolution of thirty years ago. That would be like an elected American president claiming that the Tories had the better argument in 1776 and the War for Independence had been an excess of zeal. Modern Iran is the product of a particular religio-political vision. A change of president will not substantially change its vision.

But now that we've witnessed the existing Iranian regime's brutal suppression of dissent, we should remember that free speech, religious liberty and freedom of association are fruits of the Western tradition and that Western Tradition is dependent upon a Judaeo-Christian sensibility.

Israel remains America's greatest ally in the Middle East. The vast majority of the Islamic world regards Israel as the greatest threat to world peace. While we needn't sentimentalize over modern Israel as the nation of God's chosen people, neither should we fail to remember America's and Israel's common roots in the Judaeo-Christian West. One doesn't have to adopt the theological position that the Jewish people have a divine right to the land to believe that Israel represents an important outpost of Western freedom in an otherwise politically alien region.

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