Can Israel Kidnap Ahmadinejad??

September, 10 2008

Interesting news out of Israel yesterday, where Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan said Israel could kidnap Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and bring him to court. Eitan, a former Mossad agent who helped track Adolf Eichmann, said:

The era of hunting down old Nazis is over, but that’s not to say that such operations are completely a thing of the past, and it could very well be that a leader such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suddenly finds himself before the International Criminal Court in The Hague…

Those who spread poison and want to eradicate another people has to expect such consequences.

Iran reacted immediately, writing a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon:

These dangerous threats of resorting to criminal acts against the officials of a sovereign country, or threatening to use force against a member of the United Nations not only constitute manifest violations of international law and contravene the most fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations, but are against the basic values of the civilised world.

Eitan’s comments are sheerly laughable, but in such a serious situation, they become worrying. Statements like his are not beneficial to Israel’s goals regarding Iran. Is Iran a legitimate threat to Israel? Yes. Is Ahmedinejad a frightening figure? Absolutely. But is talking about kidnapping him going to help the situation? No way.

Kidnapping? Really??? Maybe in Call of Duty 4 (a popular Tom Clancy-esque video game), but not in 21st century political discourse.

Photo by Hamed Saber.

Benjamin Schuman-Stoler
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