The expanded and most explicit form of my headline question is this. Is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu of sound mind and knowingly talking propaganda nonsense about threats to Israel’s security in order to fool the world including most of its Jews, or, is he unbalanced, mentally disturbed, even clinically insane? I ask because his rubbishing in Davos of the most important speech any Iranian leader has made since the revolution which brought the mullahs to power 35 years ago sent me to bed recalling something my father said to me when I was a very young boy. “There are none so blind as those who don’t want to see.”
What was there in President Rouhani’s address to the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting for Netanyahu to see if he was of sound mind?
Rouhani’s main message to the region, and probably Saudi Arabia in particular, was that his government is fully prepared “to engage with all neighbouring countries to achieve shared practical solutions on a range of issues.”
His main message to the world, and probably President Obama in particular, was this.
“In recent years a dominant voice has been repeatedly heard. ‘The military option is on the table.’ Against the backdrop of this illegal and ineffective contention, let me say loud and clear that peace is within reach. So, in the name of the Republic of Iran, I propose, as a starting step, consideration by the United Nations of the project The World Against Violence and Extremism, WAVE. Let us all join in this WAVE. I invite all states, international organizations and civil institutions to undertake a new effort to guide the world in this direction… We should start thinking about a Coalition for Enduring Peace across the globe instead of the ineffective Coalitions for War in various parts of the world.”
Of course he was on a charm offensive and taking full advantage of being at the Davos meeting to appeal to the major investors present, but in my view that did not dilute the integrity of his vision of the new politics needed to create a better world. He was surely speaking for most citizens everywhere when he said: “People all over the world are tired of war, violence and extremism. They hope for change in the status quo.”