No Differentiation For Dickie

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein claims to be a friend of Israel and publishes a blog called Tikun Olam. Instead of a cuddly fluffy “heal the world” site, his blog is popular with both anti-Zionists and anti-Semites alike, drawn to Silverstein’s mix of anti-Israel demonization and peculiar “exclusives” from unnamed and unverified sources in the intelligence community.

Clearly Silverstein is a mass of moral confusion which he aptly demonstrates in a jointly written op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor. In the covert war being played out against Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Silverstein believes that “what goes around comes around” i.e. Iran has every right to retaliate against Israel by targeting Israeli diplomats in response to the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists.

According to Silverstein:

Israeli military and diplomatic personnel serving in foreign assignments are frontline troops in their nation’s covert war against Iran. If Israel does not want its own civilians targeted, it must not target Iranian civilians.

So which is it? Is the wife of an Israeli diplomat injured in Delhi a “frontline troop” or a civilian? Irrespective of her status, she was targeted by Iran simply by virtue of being an Israeli. A far cry from Iranian scientists knowingly working on a project that represents an existential threat to Israel itself.

Is Silverstein really convinced that Israel and Iran are on an equal moral footing or is it just another one of his attempts to make Israel look bad?


Jeffrey Goldberg questions the motivations of Iranian scientists and whether or not they could be considered to be innocent civilian targets:

I’m not sure I understand this story out of Iran. The wife of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast, the scientist was assassinated in Tehran last month, says her husband’s “ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel.” Why would someone involved in Iran’s peaceful nuclear program have as a goal the murder of six million Jews? Shouldn’t he have sought another line of work, perhaps with Hezbollah, that would have set him on track to reach this goal? How could he possibly achieve his dream as an employee of such a peaceful nuclear program as Iran’s?

Perhaps this should give Richard Silverstein some much needed perspective about the difference between a diplomat’s wife and an Iranian nuclear scientist. Read the rest of Goldberg’s post here.