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Iran 101: Into the mind of the enemy ^ | February 7, 2024 | Forest Rain

Posted on 02/18/2024 5:46:51 AM PST by Twotone

Eliyahu Yossian is a man on a mission – waking up Israelis to the misconceptions that are endangering the survival of the Jewish State.

The path to a secure future necessitates changing the mindset that led to the disaster of October 7th. The same mindset that for the past 30 years has led Israel to “manage the conflict” rather than attain clear and decisive victory over our would-be murderers – although the State is much stronger and better equipped than in her early years.

“It all begins”, he explains, “with the way you perceive the world.”

Eliyahu Yossian is a Jewish, Israeli expert on Iran. Unlike self-styled experts trained in Western think tanks, Yossian was born and raised in Iran, escaping the country to Israel as an adult. His expertise is a product of cultural immersion and continued training with Israel’s elite intelligence community – with one major difference between him and other experts: Yossian thinks like an Iranian.

Since October 7th, I’ve been following Eliyahu Yossian, attending one of his lectures and listening to others online. Initially featured on TV news panels at the war’s start, he’s no longer invited by mainstream (left-wing) stations. Yossian explains this shift, stating: “I dismantle their mindset and that makes them uncomfortable. Particularly the analysts and generals who have been presenting the same ideas to the public for 30 years. What are they supposed to do? Admit they were wrong? Regular people are a different story. They want to understand. They are willing to think differently.”

Yossian’s focus is on Israel, yet his teachings, address the global threat of Iran and hold relevance for people worldwide.

The notion that “Everyone is the same. Deep down, and we all want the same things” is a fundamental misconception.

Yossian starts his lecture by highlighting the ignorance embedded in the first part of this idea. We are not all the same. Israeli society which is mostly liberal, and secular (Western/global) is very different from that of Iran. The simplicity of the examples he uses highlights how deeply embedded these differences are.

Body language: He began by asking volunteers to demonstrate how they count to five on their fingers. Every person in the audience began with a fist and extended their fingers as they counted, ending up with an open hand. Then he showed us how he counts – beginning with an open hand and folding each finger to end up with a closed hand. Who among us has ever taken the time to think about the implications this or any other culturally acquired gesture has on our mindset?

Speech patterns: Next, he spoke about the difference in language patterns. In Hebrew, like in English, the action appears at the beginning of the sentence and the rest is detail: “I want to go to the store and get…” In Persian, the elaboration comes first. One needs to focus and read through all the details to get to the action. This small difference in syntax has huge significance when, for example, preparing and agreeing on the details of a contract.

Conception of time and power: “What is your favorite game?” Yossian asked the audience. All the answers were sports, measured by predefined limits in either time or points: soccer, tennis, basketball etc. He contrasted this with Iran’s choice of chess and checkers, games without time constraints, emphasizing the goal of one side killing the other. In chess, the purpose of all the pieces is to protect their king and you win by killing the opponent’s king. The king is the piece that moves the least. Yossian asks: “We’ve all seen world leaders fly to different countries for summits. Have you ever seen Iran’s rulers fly? They don’t. Everyone comes to them.” While Westerners jump to action and want immediate results, the Iranian mindset is focused on strategic planning and moving others to create the desired outcomes.

In other words, “Everyone is the same” is a misconception based on a lack of knowledge about other cultures.

Next Yossian began to unravel the deeply ingrained Western assumption that all people have the same basic aspiration to live in comfort, take care of their family, and go about their business in peace. This assumption is an idea, not a fact, veiled arrogance that erases the possibilities of different value systems.

Yossian asks: “If I give 100 shekels to a capitalist and 100 shekels to a socialist will they use it the same way? The amount of money is identical. What is the difference between the two? The worldview of the person choosing how to use the money.

In other words: If we try to understand the enemy through our mindset, using our value system we will fail. The only way to be able to understand and correctly predict their actions is to respect them enough to learn their culture, mindset, and value system and see the world through their eyes.

You can’t buy what the other party isn’t selling

Yossian asked how many people in the audience read the Hamas Charter. Or the Fatah Charter. Or the Hezbollah Charter. These terrorist organizations play major roles in our lives (or lack thereof) and yet few people have read their Charters, their Mission Statement. If you will, their user manuals.

Although there are differences in style between the Hamas and Fatah charters, they spell out the same goal. According to Yossian the Hezbollah charter is much more sophisticated in its presentation of ideas but it too spells out the same goal – extermination of the Jewish State.

Yossian asks: “Do they say what they want? Did they write it down? Do they act accordingly?”

I’m sure the same sick feeling of realization rose in the pit of every audience member that did in mine.

“So why,” he asks, “do we keep suggesting they want things other than what they say?”

Their mission statement doesn’t say that they want jobs, a better economy, or comfortable living. They certainly don’t say they want to live side by side with Jews. Why do “experts” keep assuming that offering jobs or economic incentives will change the way the believers in these charters behave? We keep trying to buy peace (or at least quiet, temporary pauses in conflict) but they aren’t selling peace or even quiet.

You can’t buy something that the other party isn’t selling.

Yossian explains: “The liberal secularist believes in individualism, seeks individual comfort, and believes that everyone else wants the same. No amount of money will buy away someone’s ideology. The Middle East is fueled by ideology based on theology. Here actions are dictated by God.”

In other words, when your actions are fueled by the belief that God demands that you kill Jews or at least support the killing of Jews, no amount of individual comfort or easy living will change the motivation to kill Jews.

Aryans, not Arabs

Iran, explains Yossian, literally means “the place where Aryans live”. Although Islamized, Iranians see themselves as Aryans, not Arabs, originating from the same tribe that split off centuries ago and eventually became the inspiration of the Nazis. This was not the first time I’d heard that there is a connection between Iran and Aryans but I had not heard it explained the way Yossian did. It seems that the historic connection is debatable but there is no doubt that the Aryan concept is deeply embedded in Iranian culture. Yossian presented numerous examples of this: poetry that describes Iranians as fair-skinned, with blue eyes and blond hair, and popular songs from before and after the Islamic revolution that praise and elaborate the importance of keeping their blood pure.

Listening to an American-sounding rap song, it would be easy to assume the music to be a sign of modernization and aspiring to be part of the Western world. The lyrics were a slap in the face. The song was an Aryan-supremacist declaration of hate against Afghan migrants in Iran, that they must be dominated, pushed out and most of all that Aryan blood must not be mingled with their inferior dirty blood.


The examples Yossian brought were the songs Iranian university students listen to in their nightclubs. Nightclubs seem very Western. Going to university seems very modern and familiar. The content is utterly foreign.

Yossian explains that the Aryan worldview dictates Iranian foreign policy. Other analysts explain Iranian relations with their proxies in complex geopolitical terms. Yossian cuts to the core principle that dictates decisions and actions: “For Iranians, Arabs are like a disposable cup. You drink from it and when you are done, you throw it away. You will never see an Iranian blow himself up on a bus. They have Arabs for that kind of dirty work.”

Allies and proxies

The Abraham Accords created an alliance of, what Yossian calls, “Semites against the Aryans”. Arab countries that don’t border Israel and don’t hold mission statements declaring they must exterminate the Jewish State could choose to ally themselves with Israel – not for love of Zion but for the fear of Iran.

Over many years, Iran has spread proxy tentacles across the Middle East, basically taking over a country every seven years. These are not allies because they are not seen as equal but rather tools to be used for Iranian interests. Yossian explains that Iran leverages ideology and historic feelings of being underprivileged and dishonored to motivate its proxies. Iran also invests enormous amounts in their education and training, playing the long game to grow local believers in their cause.

Various analysts have put forward different explanations for the October 7th massacre. Obviously, the potential normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia would ruin Iran’s long-term plan to dominate the Middle East. But why did Hamas attack alone when there could have been a much more devastating scenario of a coordinated simultaneous attack on all fronts – from Hezbollah in the north, the Houthis from Yemen, Arabs from the PA-controlled territories, and Israeli Arabs? These analysts say that Hamas chose that specific Saturday because the Nova festival was an easy, tempting target. Supposedly it was Hamas’s recklessness and desire for glory that led them to attack Israel alone. Hezbollah adamantly declared that Hamas didn’t warn them they were about to attack. Iran was supposedly very angry that Hamas ruined their plan.

To me, something about their anger seemed contrived. But who am I to say?

Hezbollah has been attacking Israel with missile and drone attacks, creating enormous destruction but nothing near what will happen when they fully join the war – something I have worried about since October 7th. When I asked Yossian why Hezbollah hadn’t joined the war more fully he said: “Shia doesn’t fight for Sunna.” Hezbollah has loyalty to Shia Iran, not to Sunni Hamas thus they can allow Hamas to do the fighting while symbolically showing their participation in the mutual goal of killing Jews. When I asked Yossian what will make Hezbollah go to all-out war he said: “When Israel attacks them.”

Peace is not for sale in the Middle East. What do we do?

Common sense isn’t very common these days but Yossian’s logic is straightforward:

We must understand that we are in the Middle East and learn to “speak the language”, i.e. deal with our enemies in terms that are meaningful to them (which might differ greatly from what is meaningful to us). Then we must stop looking for easy and fast solutions. There are none. Then we must strive for victory

We of the liberal-secular West idealize peace. The nationalist believers of the Middle East idealize victory. But even that is a term that has become ambiguous to Westerners. What does victory look like?

It’s not about shaking hands and making up. There is no pluralism in victory. Victory is when your enemy is so thoroughly crushed that they beg you for peace. Thoroughly crushed means you have taken away everything that the enemy cares about and are unquestionably the master of their future.

The only way the enemy will ever give us peace is if we are victors.

This concept is problematic for the liberal secular post-modern Westerner. It sounds extremist. Violent. Non-inclusive. Nationalist. And, in a way, that is correct. If my enemy believes that God told him to kill me and multiculturalism forces me to embrace his beliefs there is no way for me to defend my life, family, or nation. I prefer survival over multiculturalism. I choose my culture. My nation. My family.

A strong identity and belief in the righteousness of a cause carries nations through generations. Striving for personal comfort does not. The Jewish People survived for centuries not looking for comfort but by having a strong identity and believing in the righteousness of our cause: “Next year we will be in Jerusalem, rebuilt.” Jerusalem is irreplaceable. If we were looking for comfort, we could be next year in Berlin or California. The goal of rebuilding what is ours is transferred from one generation to the next – identity and connection to our ancestral homeland. This simple but powerful mantra holds the Middle Eastern map to victory – patience. If we don’t succeed this year, we will do it the next. Or in the next generation. Every opportunity we must do what we can.

This, says Yossian, is the answer. Teaching a strong identity, righteousness in our cause, and whenever possible, building. Where there is Jewish life, the enemy must retreat. Where there is Jewish life, we win.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Hamas; Hezbollah; Iran; Israel; Lebanon; Syria; Yemen
KEYWORDS: hamas; hezbollah; iran; israel; lebanon; syria; yemen

1 posted on 02/18/2024 5:46:51 AM PST by Twotone
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To: Twotone

“Everyone is the same and we all want the same things....fundamental misconception”

Inside The Criminal Mind - Stanton Samenow

2 posted on 02/18/2024 5:52:00 AM PST by PGalt (Past Peak Civilization?)
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To: Twotone

Over the years I have come to realize that both the Iranian men and the Israeli men go to Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand.

Plenty of Faith in both countries each country linked to “Faith” but also the usual moral values hypocrisy baggage.

I am a Zionist I hope Israel defeats Iran and Dr. Billy Graham once said the Bible described Israel all the way from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River in the middle of Iraq.

Right now I see some US military outposts in Syria and Iraq and so on standing in the way of that realization.

3 posted on 02/18/2024 5:52:18 AM PST by Nextrush (FREEDOM IS EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS-REMEMBER REV. NIEMOLLER)
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To: Twotone
My real world experience is aligned with what was said in this article. I had an Iranian roommate in college. He more than once said “he’s an Arab. I’m a Persian.
4 posted on 02/18/2024 6:05:43 AM PST by jdsteel (PA voters elected a stroke victim and a dead guy. Not a joke. )
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To: jdsteel

Even “Persians” in exile hostile to the regime in Tehran make that point.

Persia was once an empire.

5 posted on 02/18/2024 6:49:24 AM PST by Nextrush (FREEDOM IS EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS-REMEMBER REV. NIEMOLLER)
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To: Twotone

“Victory is when your enemy is so thoroughly crushed that they beg you for peace.”

Exactly. See tagline.

6 posted on 02/18/2024 7:51:14 AM PST by Uncle Miltie (Objective: Permanently break the will of the population to ever wage war again.)
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To: Twotone
The notion that “Everyone is the same. Deep down, and we all want the same things” is a fundamental misconception.

It is a fundamental assumption of leftism.

Consider the Disney song "People are the same all over the World". 99% nonsense.

7 posted on 02/18/2024 12:03:34 PM PST by marktwain (The Republic is at risk. Resistance to the Democratic Party is Resistance to Tyranny. )
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