The Historian’s Son

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun

Our favorite moment at the U.N. this week was when Prime Minister Netanyahu paused to reflect on his charge that the Europeans are “appeasing” Iran. It was a remarkable speech in general (even the liberal newspaper Haaretz, called it “one of his most convincing and effective performances”). What particularly arrested us, though, was the moment Mr. Netanyahu declared: “I’m a historian’s son.”

Mr. Netanyahu was referring to his father, Benzion, now, alas, gone. He was a towering scholar of the Spanish Inquisition. He was also a teacher who was deeply read across the millenia. Plus, he was a follower of the Zionist prophet Vladimir Jabotinsky. So his prime ministerial progeny has been animated since he was a child by the idea that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

The business about appeasement came as part of Mr. Netanyahu’s warning of the folly of supposing Iran’s aggression has been confined to the Middle East. He noted the arrest last month of two Iranian agents for plotting terror attacks here at America. Weeks ago, he added, Iranian agents were arrested for plots to attack Europe. That’s when he said that Europe and others are “appeasing” Iran:

“Now I’ve just used a word, a tough word, a very strong word — appeasement, and I use it reluctantly. But unfortunately that’s exactly what we’re seeing again in Europe. Think about this. The same week Iran was caught red-handed trying to murder European citizens, European leaders were rolling out the red carpet for President Rohani, promising to give Iran even more money.”

That’s when he said, “I’m a historian’s son,” and asked, “have these European leaders learned nothing from history?”

We mention all this because the Sun is one of the few papers that has made a point in its editorials of marking the Iran agreement as “articles of appeasement.” We don’t doubt that the American people recognize the Iran pact for what it is. That is one of the reasons why Congress opposed the Iran deal “overwhelmingly,” to use the adjective used by the New York Times. We’re glad to see Mr. Netanyahu make the point so eloquently and unapologetically.

The New York Sun

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