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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Letter to the editor: Iran could be potential Nazi Germany

Published: March 9, 2007
Section: Opinions

To the editor,
I strongly disagree with Stefan Borst-Censullos (Dershowitz Response Astonishing) impressions of Professor Dershowitzs use of the Hitler metaphor with regard to current events in the Middle East. I agree that in debates, Dershowitz can sometimes get carried away and become overly emotional. Regarding the student whom he asked whether she would have opposed Hitlers 1934 election victory, I think his point was very justified, though he did not need to allude to Hitler. In any election, a person has the right to be upset when the candidate they supported does not win not just in 1934. But Dershowitzs point was completely correct.

I completely oppose Borst-Censullos statement that Dershowitzs comparisons of the themes and personalities of current political debates with those of Hitler and the Nazis is completely inappropriate. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, is certainly a potential Hitler in the making. He has openly declared his desire to destroy both Israel and the United States and has denied the Holocaust, as was evident at the 2005 World Without Zionism conference. In threatening to wipe Israel off the map, he is threatening to destroy the Jewish people how is this not like what Hitler did? This time however, we have our experience with Hitler to draw lessons from, and we cannot afford to fail again. Also, like Hitler, Ahmadinejad has shrugged off international attempts to restrain his power by ending his nuclear program.

It is extremely ironic, yet ingenious, when people like Ahmadinejad attempt to disguise their own resemblance to the Nazis by imposing that comparison on others. In 2006, for instance, he said that Just like Hitler, the Zionist regime is just looking for a pretext for launching military attacks. He wants to make Israel look like the Nazis to disguise the fact that he himself is aiming to complete the genocide that Hitler committed. This is why he denies the Holocaust to erase the memory of the genocide which he wants to reenact himself.

Borst-Censullo says that [the Nazi metaphor] should be reserved when actual fascists and politically domineering racists threaten the worlds stability. Well, lets see. Ahmadinejad is definitely a fascist doesnt threatening to destroy the United States and Israel sound like that? Hes definitely a racist what else is threatening to destroy the Jewish state and denial of the Holocaust (such as sponsoring a Holocaust cartoon contest) if not racism? And he is definitely a threat to world stability. An Iran with nuclear weapons, combined with a vitriolic anti-Western and anti-Semitic president who has declared his desire to use these weapons, could dictate his will to the world, and we would have to listen. Iran already sponsors terrorist groups like Hezbollah, which destroyed any semblance of stability in the region by igniting the 2006 war against Israel. I dont support launching war right away on Iran, but to dismiss the Iranian threat, as Borst-Censullo does, is outright blindness to current events. Certainly overuse of comparisons with Nazism is horrible, but in the case of Iran it is certainly justified and provides some lessons that we need to hopefully prevent another Hitler.

– Sam Ackerman '08