Salon has an interesting article on the Israeli Prime Minister and soon-to-be sworn in (again) President of Iran that suggests war between Israel and Iran may be inevitable given both of these guys’ ideological zealousness. Here are some snippets:
But then, in his mid-20s, Ahmadinejad met Mesbah Yazdi and came under the spell of mystical fundamentalism. Ahmadinejad has long been an avowed supporter of the same ultra-religious school of Shia as Mesbah Yazdi. The Haqqani group, in its religious fervor, is reminiscent of the zealots of another religion, the born-again Christians (a group which includes, incidentally, former US President George W. Bush).
The so-called Mahdists around Mesbah Yazdi and Ahmadinejad believe that their Twelfth Imam disappeared from the face of the earth in the 9th century because Allah the Almighty hid him to put mankind to a test. They also believe that this Twelfth Imam, or Mahdi, will return to the earth, as will Jesus, who all Muslims see as an important predecessor to Muhammad. The Mahdi, in their view, will create a paradise on earth for believers and condemn blasphemers to eternal damnation. But he will only return when the world has undergone a catharsis, a whirling, gigantic, cleansing upheaval.
Rabbis like Bibi Netanyahu’s grandfather taught, and continue to teach today, that Jews are forced to combat the Amalekites, who are constantly, as Goldberg puts it, “reappearing in new forms”: the soldiers of Nebuchadnezzar and of the Spanish Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, Adolf Hitler’s thugs, and now the hardliners who are vowing to destroy Israel, together with their president, Ahmadinejad. Those who, like Netanyahu, see Iran’s nuclear program as Amalek’s arsenal of weapons, are not just entitled, but are in fact obligated, to take preventive measures to destroy it. According to Jewish apocalyptic constructs, a Jewish state would cease to exist after a possible Iranian nuclear first strike. In other words, it is better to attack first in the case of doubt.
Moral of the story: religious dogma often runs contrary to logic and reason, and it will likely, one day, doom us all. I hope I am wrong.