Yesterday’s tortured attempts by US and Israeli officials to make the peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority all about Iran were sort of par for the course, and no one was really surprised when a report that the IAEA tried to convince Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as the last Mideast nation that has yet to do so was answered by copious Israeli references to Iran.
But something else happened this week. Stephen Hawking, one of the foremost theoretical physicists in history and the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambrigde announced that there was no God that was responsible for the creation of the universe. Surely that has nothing to do with Iran, right?
Not so, suggests an Israeli scientist quoted by the Jerusalem Post today, who insisted Hawking’s atheism was because “he sees what is going on in the world – fundamentalism is spreading. People reach a lot of conclusions that are dangerous; think of Iran, al-Qaida. They want to blow up the world.”
Putting aside the question of why Iran would “want to blow up the world,” which is where Iran is located, one cannot but marvel at the singular mindset, increasingly common not just in Israel but in political discourse in the US, wherein any story can and will be made all about Iran.