Jennifer Loewenstein: Israel, US Guilty of State Terror
TEHRAN (FNA)- Jennifer Loewenstein, academic and independent researcher, says the assassination of Iranian top nuclear scientist Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is another example of state terrorism by Tel Aviv and Washington.
Speaking in an interview with FNA, Professor Loewenstein said, “What is unique to Israel and the United States is that when they murder another country’s citizens or residents, they get away with it. In fact, they are often celebrated as heroes.”
She stressed the rule of international law has failed to suspended “rules of war and the jungle” caused by the “Wild West” thinking, and added, “We, the ‘good guys’, can kill whomever we want because we are good and right and just… As long as the United States refuses to condemn Israel’s actions and, worse, as long as the United States engages in the same kind of behavior, this will continue.”
Professor Jennifer Loewenstein is an independent researcher and editor on West Asian issues. She is also a freelance journalist. She was formerly the Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Below is the full text of the interview:
Q: Has Israel attempted an succeeded in displaying assassination of other countries’ officials, such as Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a legitimate action in defense?
A: The assassination and attempted assassination of other countries’ officials [and non-officials] have been taking place for a long time. It is not new. What is unique to Israel and the United States is that when they murder another country’s citizens or residents, they get away with it. In fact, they are often celebrated as heroes. Look at the US’ murder of its own citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki (and his son and daughter) in Yemen or, more notoriously, its murder of Usama Bin Laden in Pakistan. No one dared to say [publicly] that this was a criminal act, but it was. The same is true when Israel kills high ranking officials or others in Palestine, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere. Look at what happens, however, when Russia allegedly tries to poison dissidents? It is immediately singled out as a rogue regime — or when North Korea or Saudi Arabia murders one of its high ranking politicians or journalists. The truth is, Israel and the United States are as guilty of state terror as Saudi Arabia. It is just not acceptable to state that publicly.
Q: Why does Israel think it can go around murdering other nations' citizens with impunity?
A: Israel does not think it can go around murdering other nations’ citizens with impunity; it knows it can - and it does. As long as the United States refuses to condemn Israel’s actions and, worse, as long as the United States engages in the same kind of behavior, this will continue. As I mentioned above, this is nothing new. We have conveniently divided most of the world into “good guys” and “bad guys”. It is ‘Wild West’ thinking. We, the “good guys”, can kill whomever we want because we are good and right and just. “They” (the bad guys, like Russia, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia - even though the latter is a US ally) cannot do such terrible things because they are bad and wrong and unjust. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking will continue unless or until the rule of international law supersedes the unstated rules of war and the jungle.
Q: How do you think justice would be served in the case of the assassination of Dr. Fakhrizadeh?
A: Ideally, Iran should initiate criminal proceedings against the Israeli officials (or the Israeli state) who sanctioned this killing. The right thing to do would be to bring the killers to justice in an international court of law. Sadly, the ICC and the ICJ are mostly toothless organizations - though this does not mean we should not try to change this. For now, it would be best for Iran to show restraint. This is a difficult thing to ask it to do. How long are Israeli murder squads going to get away with these kinds of killings? It must be deeply upsetting for any nation to be victimized in this way - and then be expected not to act. Nonetheless, it makes no sense for Iran to turn around and behave in as criminal a way as Israel and its US ally. Iran should take the high road and continue to seek justice in a way that is dignified and honorable.