(*A desperate) Israel’s prime minister tweets cartoon comparing Iran to the Islamic State – Ishaan Tharoor /The Washington Post
It’s no secret that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is adamantly opposed to the negotiations currently taking place in Vienna right now over Iran’s nuclear program.
For months now, Netanyahu, backed by Republicans and neo-conservatives in the United States, has led the international counter-offensive against the Obama administration’s efforts to forge an opening with Tehran. In a controversial speech before Congress last March, Netanyahu likened the Islamic Republic to the Islamic State, the Sunni extremist organization in Syria and Iraq that’s actually at war with Iran’s allies.
“Iran and [the Islamic State] are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State,” Netanyahu said. “Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.”
At the time, WorldViews explained how simplistic and false the comparison was. But clearly Netanyahu didn’t quite get the memo.
On Tuesday, as American and other international diplomats met for talks with their Iranian counterparts, the official Twitter account of the office of the Israeli prime minister issued a 30-second cartoon video (see above), comparing the two entities — one a set of jihadists, the other a nation of nearly 80 million people.
The extremists are shown going on a rampage in the desert, plowing over victims in the desert until the insignia on their tanks transform into Iran’s flag. “The Islamic Republic of Iran. Like ISIS. Just much bigger,” the video concludes, using another name for the Islamic State.
Some observers were less than impressed:
This is hardly the first time Israeli authorities have issued a somewhat petty video, demonizing outsiders. Just a few weeks back, the Israeli Foreign Ministry tweeted its own widely-panned video, painting Western journalists who reported on last year’s Gaza war as clueless naifs.
The following week, the United Nations published a report that found both the Israeli government and Palestinian militant groups potentially guilty of war crimes during the 51-day conflict.