This was from a different thread and I started writing it as a response, but I thought it would work better as a blog.
It's been my experience that whoever feels like going out of their way to do these three things:
1. Distance oneself from Israel, ala "I like most other Iranians do not know any israelis"
but of course the vast majority of anti-Iran Zionists and that section of Iranian Jewish community (whom I understand really well for reasons I can explain later) who has too much misplaced pride in Israel, may or may not call itself "Israeli."
2. Name themselves "OnlyIran", "IranFirst", "TruelyIran", "ReallyImeanItIcareAboutIran", "PleaseBelieveMeIdontCareAboutIsrael" and "Dont'botherMeI'mTouchingMyselfThinkingAboutIran", and generally act over the top on the patriotism angle.
3. Choose to butt in and defend people they do not seemingly know, if they are being accused of toeing the AIPAC line (about which there is no dispute, and even Fred has agree publically)
These people betray a sense of obligation to defend against any and all, even the slightest negative perception of Israel, and are truly part of the Lobby, whether they have membership cards or not.
Granted, some of them in their own mind are just trying to be "Fair", and many certainly don't like to think of themselves as Israel cheerleaders. But unfortunately through the enormous influence of pro-Israel institutions in North America as well as events from their family history, they can't help but see fundemental issues in foreign policy, like "justice", "fairness" and "equality", only through distorted lens of Zionism.
As far as why Israel is relevant, asking this question is perhaps the most important "tell" of all. Israel is the country most hostile to Iran and the country that is on daily basis threatening to attack it. Israelis support terrorist groups like the MEK. Israeli lobby in the US are the most vicious anti-Iran advocates, held back only by the potential public relations backlash if they call louder for an outright war: (remember, even George Bush and Dick Cheney claimed they didn't want war, and "Saddam is driving toward war")
It is an absolute fact that Iran's nuclear program, however sinister it is made out to be, is completely irrelevant to Iranian struggle for democracy, save perhaps a economic/resource management argument among many others that can be legitimately levelled against the Coup government. Iran could have 500 nuclear bombs and it will make absolutely no difference internally. It has been proven over and over again that the vast majority of Iranians, even the opposition, are in agreement about protecting Iran's nuclear rights.
This means that anybody who intentionally tries to conflate the two issues, i.e. tries to say:
Hey democracy activists! Help me stop the Mullahs from getting nukes.
Is not thinking about Iranian interests first and foremosts. He/She/That entitity is simply using any notion of democracy in order to advance the interests they really value which is primarily those of Israel, and secondarily those of the US and the West. What's truely and unforgivably sad, is that Israel isn't even threatened physically. It is only a perception of balance that Israel has identified as "danger", which is historically true of how it conducts foreign policy. In practical terms, if Iran is "permitted" (note the supremacist language) to retain "nuclear know-how", it only means Israel loses political face in the region, that is all.
Supporting sanctions against Iranian people, which are irresponsible and could easily lead to war if actually enforced, and which are nominally designed only to advance the West's nuclear agenda, and claiming this is for the sake of democracy for Iranians is sinister, manipulative and heartless. But this is how AIPAC operates.
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