The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for February 10:

  • The Washington Post: Former Israeli ambassador Sallai Meridor opines on “What Israel fears in Egypt.” He observes, “Within every revolution are some who hope to use democratic processes to establish oppressive regimes. This was, to a large extent, what triumphed in Iran in 1979 and what happened in Gaza only five years ago.” He notes, “The implications for the region could be massive,” and asks, “If Israel’s western neighbor turns hostile, where would that leave our eastern neighbor, Jordan? Would it remain at peace with us? What would be the impact on other pro-American regimes? How many weeks, or days, would the new alignment of interests between Israel and most Arab regimes last against an aggressive and nuclear-armed Iran?” Meridor goes on to suggest that American pressure on Israel to allow Palestinians democratic rights led to a “’democratic’ take over of the Palestinian Authority by Hamas terrorists.”
  • The Jerusalem Post: Panelists at the Israeli Herzliya Conference discussed what strategies could be employed to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear program. Mehdi Khalaji, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, called for the West to help provide technology and media outlets for Iranians to “connect with each other.” “The Iranian public needs to know they are being cared for beyond the nuclear arena,” he said. Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, called for tighter sanctions and said Israel must not do any business with Iran: “[Israel] needs to be more Catholic than the pope,” he said.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



  1. Meridor avoids the obvious point that Gaza under Hamas became oppressive because Israel had just subverted Hamas’ victory in Palestine’s only democratic election. Iran’s revolution turned particularly oppressive in the context of Saddam’s invasion and a terrorist campaign against Khomenei by the MEK. And then, of course, there is the gradual evolution of Israel away from democracy, even for Jews, not to mention its abetting of illegal settler terrorism. And Meridor’s solution? Of course – dictatorship. The Israeli right-wing elite’s solution to the threat of repression by its adversaries is repression by its friends.

  2. As to the second excerpt, the nuclear program is popular in Iran, so how would social media change anything on the Nuclear front. I like the second part, of the second quote, “more Catholic than the pope” is an utter absurdity. In that analogy they are the pope, so, maybe they should say, part of sanctions means that we have to follow our own policies–well, they’d never say that as the truth is what is being hidden here.

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