The world needs to join not undercut Israel in a global war against evil

By Neville Berman

In 1979 two events occurred that would have serious long term unintended consequences for the world.  The first was the fall of the Shah of Iran, and the second was OPEC unilaterally raising the price of oil from $12 to $30 per barrel. At the time Henry Kissinger, the American Secretary of State, remarked that “The camel traders have taken over the world.” Unfortunately, he did nothing to oppose OPEC.  Let us look more closely at the effect of these two events.

From Bricks to Bombs. Obsessed with killing Israelis today, pre-revolution Iranians commissioned Israelis to design and build. Seen here is a brochure for Taj Towers in Tehran, 1977, designed by Aharon Doron. (Credit: Aharon Doron/ Courtesy of Archive Architecture Israel)

Before the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, Israel had an embassy in Tehran. There were direct flights between the two countries. One of Israels largest building companies, Solel Boneh, built many high-rise apartment buildings in Tehran. Israel bought oil from Iran. Everything changed in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini emerged as the Supreme Leader of Iran. He rejected outright all the values of democracy and human rights that are the basis of western civilization. Instead, he implemented a strict Shiite interpretation of militant Islam. He promoted the concept of martyrdom and the spreading of Islamic rule over the world. “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” soon became the slogans of the regime. Ever since 1979, Iran has brought nothing but destruction and poverty to every part of the Middle East. Iran is the world’s principal supporter of terrorism.

Changing Times in Tehran. Today, Iran screams “Death to Israel”, while in the 1970s,  a brochure for Tehran’s Eskan Towers, designed by Moshe Bashan and built by Solel Boneh. (Credit: Gideon Nordman/Moshe Bashan and Amira Galile)

The organization of petroleum exporting countries known as OPEC was established in order to ensure that the oil exporting countries would be in control of the world’s oil market. OPEC would henceforth determine the amount of oil exported and the price. By limiting the supply of oil, OPEC created artificial shortages that resulted in additional massive increases in the price of oil.

One of the basic theories of economics is that demand and supply determines the price. The Sherman Act outlaws monopolies and price fixing. American oil companies succeeded in getting Congress to prevent the Department of Justice from ever applying the Sherman Act to OPEC.  What followed was the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. The major oil exporting countries in the Middle East would soon be transformed from some of the poorest countries on earth, to countries of fabulous wealth. While the world is facing deficits and inflation, the major oil exporting countries are wallowing in wealth and surpluses. 

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are using their wealth to build Mosques and Islamic Cultural Centers all over the Western world. They are also financing the establishment of Departments of Middle Eastern Studies on all the major university campuses in America and Europe. All of these institutions have the common aim of promoting Islam and of undermining western liberal democracies. The Imans that control the mosques are preaching a non-stop tirade of hatred against Israel and the West. The American concept of freedom of speech  has become a “get of jail free card” to disseminate hatred.

The results are clear: Jews are facing intimidation and even violent acts across the world.

The exponential growth of the Muslim communities across Europe and America are a direct threat to the culture and way of life in the countries that have welcomed them. The war against Hamas should act as a wake-up call to the civilized world to change its policies.  

Threat to Society. France ordered the closure of a mosque in Beauvais, northern France in December 2021 following the Iman there “ targeting Christians, homosexuals and Jews” in his sermons. (Photo AFP)

Just imagine what an incredible place Gaza would be if the vast majority of its inhabitants were Jews. Gaza would be a thriving democracy with human rights for all its citizens. Freedom of religion, women’s rights, gay rights and the rule of law would protect minorities from discrimination and abuse. Top rate universities and hospitals would be developed. High-tech industry and tourism would flourish. Property prices would skyrocket and unemployment would plummet. The water shortage would be solved by building desalination plants and sewerage would be transformed into agricultural water that would be used by farmers using drip irrigation. The beaches would be packed with families enjoying life. This is what the Palestinians could have achieved when Israel withdrew from Gaza. 

Instead, the Palestinians chose to depict themselves as victims and promoted a culture of terrorism and hatred. The image of young children in summer camps wearing make believe suicide vests and the subsequent brainwashing at schools run by UNWRA has resulted in what we are seeing today.  The world needs to face the reality that Hamas is like a dangerous virus that has no positive benefits to offer mankind. All the hostages need to be freed.   

Streets of Sderot. Hamas massacred more than 1,400 Israelis (a number equivalent to 60,000 Americans if counted per capita, 12 times 9/11), mostly civilians including elderly, women, and children.

In 1995, Samuel P Huntington wrote a book entitled “The Clash of Civilizations.”  He predicted exactly what is happening now. If Hamas is allowed to survive, the world will be sanctioning behavior that is akin to barbarism. This is not just a war against Hamas. This is a war to prevent the resurgence of ISIS and Al Quada. This is a war against Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, a war against the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and the Muslim Brotherhood, a war against Boko Haram and every other murderous Islamic organization that threatens the civilized world. It is a war against individuals that support any of the above terrorist groups. Anyone with a sense of morality and human dignity should understand that Israel needs the full support of the civilized world. Israel will do its part to ensure that Hamas is defeated. Now is the time for countries to step up and support Israel. Iran needs to be held accountable for the funding, training and arming of the terrorist organizations that are destroying any hope of peace in the Middle East. 

About the writer:

Accountant Neville Berman had an illustrious sporting career in South Africa, being twice awarded the South African State Presidents Award for Sport and was a three times winner of the South African Maccabi Sportsman of the Year Award.  In 1978 he immigrated to the USA  to coach the United States men’s field hockey team, whereafter, in 1981 he immigrated to Israel where he practiced as an accountant and then for 20 years was the Admin Manager at the American International School in Even Yehuda, Israel.  He is married with two children and one granddaughter.

While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).


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