Hassan Rouhani Opens the Door to Peace With Iran — Israel’s Netanyahu Slams It Shut

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is so blinded by his contempt for Iran that he ignores the prime tenant of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holy Days. The ten days between the Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement are meant to reflect on the past year, identify what was done right, and what you can change in the new year. Asking for and giving forgiveness are critical.

This past Wednesday night, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted New Year wishes to Jews around the world. These tweets have not been formally verified, but several media outlets have reported them and the prime minister’s office has not denied them. Respected CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour posted on Facebook and Twitter that she has spoken to Zarif and he has confirmed the tweets. Netanyahu's response; "Not impressed" and that their "... only purpose is to distract attention from the fact that even after the elections it continues to enrich uranium and build a plutonium reactor with the aim of acquiring a nuclear weapon which will threaten Israel and the whole world."

The reports go beyond simple New Year wishes. As reported in Haaretz, Raz Zimmt, a research fellow at the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University stated that while Iran has always differentiated between Judaism and Zionism, these greetings represent a clear change in terminology and the opening of a new openness from the Rouhani government. On his twitter posting, Zarif further enhanced this view by saying Iran never denied the Holocaust and that the man who was perceived to deny it is gone.

The Iranian president will address the United Nations later this month. My thought is that he will continue this theme of opening a new era in relations with the West, unlike his predecessor, who used U.N. appearances to incite discord.

Benjamin Netanyahu will allow his stubbornness to blind him to the opportunity being presented. In the spirit of the High Holy Days, he should open his eyes.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Douglas Goodman

Retired military and Quality Assurance / Warehouse Operations and Distribution Manager. Have enjoyed politics since the Kennedy/Nixon debates. Besides good political discussions, I've been involved in campaigns at all levels as well as having served on school, city, and county committees and boards. Been called weird because I enjoy reading government legislation and other government rules and regulations.

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.