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Should We Help Iran?

Meryl is angry that Iran has stated that it will not accept help from Israel.

Here’s my opinion: This is where the Jew card gets played. This is where I come into conflict with my own conscience. I don’t want innocents to suffer, ever. Neither does Lair, in spite of what some people may think. But yes, Andrea, he’s angry, and so am I. And yes, we want to lash out at the people who tell us that of all the people in the world, they’ll accept help from everyone but Jews. Yeah. That does tend to make us angry.

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Many Jewish groups are already collecting funds and doing what they can to help the earthquake victims. Yes, Israel will do her best to send aid on the sly, if they must. I’m not donating anything. That decision has been taken away from me: I can’t afford to donate anything right now. But I seriously doubt if I would if I could. Like Lair, I’d prefer to send my money to an organization (like MDA) that doesn’t hate me for what I am, and that doesn’t discriminate between victims who need help, or refuse donations from people that it doesn’t like.

Meryl continues:

Once again, though: I didn’t say the people of Bam deserved what they got. I didn’t say that no one should help the people of Bam. I said that I completely understand Lair Simon’s angry response, and that I share that anger. Not hate. Anger. And I know full well that choosing not to donate to an Iranian earthquake relief fund out of anger is not a very Jewish thing to do. My rabbi would have a few words to say to me.

Which poses an interesting question: What is the ‘Jewish’ response to the earthquake?

I posit that the answer may depend on whether the Iranian people can be categorized as enemies of Israel or whether helping could somehow pose a risk to Israel’s security.

Certainly, while there are Iranians who actually support Israel, there are those who want Israel destroyed, the Iranian government included. Do we help a nation comprising of wicked people who want to destroy us, on account of the ones who don’t? Sounds biblical to me.

In my humble opinion, we are not obligated to help – but we should, for humanitarian, practical and spiritual reasons.

  • Humanitarian – Since not everyone in Iran wants Israel destroyed, nor are threats to our existence, we should relate to the victims on a humanistic level.
  • Practical – Helping the victims does not jeopardize our security. Furthermore, by helping, we may win over some hearts and minds, especially in the Arab world. This may actually benefit us in the long term.
  • Spiritual – Being compassionate in this situation can only make us better people.

    My answer is predicated on the assumption that Israel has resources to help, and these resources are not currently needed to deal with Israelis in need. Our priority is to look after ourselves (like any nation), but where we can help, we should.

    Having said all of that, I understand Meryl’s position and part of me also feels this way. Although it is not the humanistic response, it is very human.

  • About the author

    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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