Immediately after the devastating tremor Friday in the Iranian city of Bam, relief groups from around the world mobilized their resources to assist the Iranian population of Bam in digging thousands out of the rubble.
In a form of suicidal jihadism, the Iranian government declared it would accept relief from any country but Israel. This would thus by inference include their embrace of relief from such oppressive regimes as North Korea, China, Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Cuba to name a few.
Has the acceptance of humanitarian aid become another tool of global political one-upmanship?
To their credit and the credit of the purity of their humanitarian intentions, the Israeli relief organizations said, as reported in Haaretz, that they would find third parties to get the relief to those in need, escaping the empty politics in this dire crisis.
While many find times of crisis and tragedy a character-defining moment that can turn enemies into allies with lasting relationships, the intransigent and exploitative at the expense of the dying "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" in the words of a former Israeli prime minister.
Interestingly, as is the rule in Middle East nations, the Iranian people are far more pragmatic than their prejudicial oppressors. Raanan Amir, the international project director for the Israeli relief organization Latet, said, "Officially there is an unwillingness to accept Israeli aid. ...But in a quiet way we are hearing that they would be happy to receive this help," he said.
We can all only hope to be spared the nauseating comparison of this blind refusal for desperately needed international aid to the refusal of New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani to accept a Saudi government handout.
The two refusals are incomparable since the Saudi September 2001 Royal family "cleansing" handout was to be given in the wake of an overt act of war by 15 out of 19 Saudi al-Qaida operatives and was given in the context of a rude and impertinent statement on supposed American complicity in its foreign policy by Prince Bandar, an official spokesperson for the Saudi government.
Worse than natural disasters is the man-made malignancy of universal hate held by many Middle Eastern tyrants against Jews and the West. In this tragic instance in Iran, even an earthquake can't seem to shake out a sense of interfaith tolerance from the radicals in charge.