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What Israel and Iran share: mistrust of international law

Israel's and Iran's go-it-alone ways are rooted in similar histories of being bullied.

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Enemies, as the old adage claims, often come to resemble one another. And such is the case with Israel and Iran.

The differences between the two are stark: Jewish state versus Islamic Republic; American ally versus American rival; small state versus large country. But beneath these contrasts lies a core commonality: Both Jerusalem and Tehran have a long track record of discounting and even disregarding international law and the consensus of the world community.

In the most recent examples, Israel shocked even her allies with an aggressive and legally disputed boarding of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in May. And Iran ignored the latest round of UN sanctions in June, pledging to continue enriching nuclear fuel.

Repeated victims

There is a reason, though, for their shared defiance: Both Israel and Iran see themselves as repeated victims of international law and global opinion. Until the international community can disabuse them of these notions, both nations will continue to act defensively and with high degrees of mistrust.


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