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Web Letter

The article oddly asserts:

On the very day of the crime, before anything could have been known about who was responsible, Secretary of State Warren Christopher blamed "those who want to stop the peace process in the Middle East"--an obvious reference to Iran.

How is that an obvious reference to Iran? That strikes me as the author of the article reaching to far places. Maybe Christopher was referring to Syria or Saudi Arabia or Iraq or to any of a number of terror organizations then in existence.

The article also strangely states:

Independent investigators have also long puzzled over why Iran would have carried out an action against Argentine Jews while its Hezbollah allies were embroiled in armed struggle with the Israeli military in Lebanon.

It evidently does not occur to these "investigators" that the rulers of Iran were radical Antisemites. Maybe the motive was hate, which is consistent with the explanation set forth in the indictment.

The article also states:

The Hezbollah motive for involvement in the AMIA bombing, according to the indictment, was revenge against the Israeli bombing of a Hezbollah training camp in the Bekaa Valley in early 1994 and the Israeli kidnapping of Shiite leader Mustapha Dirani in May. That theory fails to explain, however, why Hezbollah would choose to retaliate against Jews in Argentina. It was already at war with the Israeli forces in Lebanon, where the group was employing suicide bomb attacks in an effort to pressure Israel to end its occupation. Hezbollah had a second easy retaliatory option available, which was to launch Katyusha rockets across the border into Israeli territory. [Emphasis added.]

Maybe Hezbollah sees Jews as a group and does not distinguish Israeli Jews from other Jews. That is certainly consistent with their rhetoric and behavior. So, maybe Hezbollah thought it would act against a soft target that would send a message to Israel.

In conclusion, it may well be that Iran and Hezbollah are wrongly accused. However, the biases of the author do not lead me to have any confidence that he has found any real holes in the case. Rather, he reveals his unwillingness to grapple with the motivations of the Islamists of Iran and Hezbollah. As a result, he finds it difficult to find motives of people who, as anyone who has heard or read speeches by the ayatollahs and Hezbollah's leaders knows, are rabidly anti-Semitic and even genocidal.

Nial Freedman

Newton, MA

Jan 22 2008 - 6:17pm