While the Israeli government is not directly supporting Iranian protesters confronting their radical Islamic government, Israel is clearly rooting for the terror-sponsoring regime’s demise and renewed friendship with the Iranian people.
By: Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video message to the Iranian people on Monday evening, he did so knowing that he could give them no more than clear moral support as they faced the guns of a tyrannical regime. Netanyahu ridiculed as “laughable” Iranian government charges that Israel, the US or any other country is supporting the protesters.
The Prime Minister praised the “heroic” protesters battling a “cruel regime” saying, “I heard today Iranian President Rouhani’s claim that Israel is behind the protests in Iran. It’s not only false. It’s laughable. And unlike Rouhani, I will not insult the Iranian people. They deserve better.”
Netanyahu described the protesters as: “Brave Iranians, pouring into the streets seeking freedom and justice. They seek the basic liberties that have been denied to them for decades. Iran’s cruel regime wastes tens of billions of dollars spreading hate. This money could have built schools and hospitals. No wonder mothers and fathers are marching in the streets. The regime is terrified of them, of their own people. That’s why they jail students. That’s why they ban social media.”
Netanyahu went on to criticize European leaders, which he claimed were less supportive of the Iranian people than Israel. “Sadly, many European governments watch in silence as heroic young Iranians are beaten in the streets. That’s just not right. And I, for one, will not stay silent,” Netanyahu said.
The Prime Minister ended his video message saying, “Iranians and Israelis will be great friends once again,” and “I wish the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom.”
Iranian population victimized by regime
Dr. (Col.) Eran Lerman was a high ranking officer in IDF military intelligence and a top official on the Prime Minister’s National Security Council. Lerman told World Israel News (WIN), “These protests will hopefully impact Iran and its clout in the entire region. Somehow there is an assumption that the Iranian regime enjoys the support of its people. That support has always been a very fragile and its now being put to the test.”
“The international community needs to lend its support to the people who are exposing the nature of the Iranian regime as a dictatorship. The idea that we should shy away from telling the truth because our words might be used by the regime to accuse the protesters of collaboration with the West is nonsense. They will accuse us anyway. Anyone who questions the authority of Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is considered a traitor by definition in the eyes of the regime,” Lerman added.
“The protesters must be given the support that was not given during the rebellion in 2009. If there is a real government overthrow, then Iran can become a very different place, but even if the regime survives, the message is very clear. The cost of Iran’s adventures in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen has depleted their national treasury and that means that the money that was supposed to reach the people went into overseas adventures. This is a central message of the protests,” said Lerman.
According to Lerman, “The protesters are saying ‘Iran first,’ stop wasting our money. They are asking whether the government cares for its people or for its revolutionary vision of Islamic expansion. Iran will use all force at its disposal to put down these protests but I have a sense that the Revolutionary Guards that used to be fanatical and committed, have become corrupt. They broadened their ranks taking in soldiers who may ultimately refuse to turn their guns on their own. It’s high risk and has always been high risk for anyone in history who rebelled against a dictatorship.”
‘The Iranian people are not our enemy’
Knesset member Yossi Yonah is a former leader of the Israeli social protest movement and a professor of philosophy. Yonah told WIN, “As an Israeli politician of course I have a problem with the Iranian regime, but we do not view the Iranian people as our enemy. Of course we have sympathy with the Iranian people who, like people all over the world, demand justice and a decent standard of living. I am watching what is unfolding with great appreciation and moral support and wishing that their struggle will be successful. People want to better their lives and so we have sympathy with such a basic human demand.”
Knesset member Dr. (Col.) Anat Berko is a leading Israeli expert in counter terrorism. Berko told WIN, “It’s a very oppressive regime in Iran. Their brand of radical Islam are not just state sponsors of terrorism, they are in fact a terrorist regime and the Shiite equivalent of Islamic State.”
“You have a lot of young, well-educated people that are getting nothing from their country and they see religious clerics taking control of the state resources and eliminating hope or future for their country,” Berko noted.
“We don’t need to be involved but I can say as a Knesset member that it’s not surprising that their revolt in 2009 failed partly because there was no support coming from the White House under President Obama’s leadership. President Trump is very realistic he knows who the enemy is. This time the US is speaking out very clearly and that will encourage the protests to continue and provide a greater chance for their success,” Berko said.