A Teleconference With Natan Sharansky

Earlier this afternoon, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be on a teleconference with famed Soviet dissident, Natan Sharansky.

Sharansky’s primary points were that the world needs to support the dissidents in Iran and that he was concerned about the destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount, which he compared, quite correctly in my opinion, to the Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan.

During the Q&A phase of the press conference, I asked if there would be a Fatah/Hamas civil war?

He said it would really be more like a bloody battle of gangs, with most people sitting on the sidelines, rather than a civil war. It may be very bloody, but won’t be a civil war per se.

Here’s some more of what Sharansky has to say. None of what’s said below is an exact quote. He said:

— When he was a dissident, how different the world would have been if we had the internet. Back then, you’d go to great risk to meet a single journalist and then you were usually arrested. Now, dissidents can get their message out much more easily via the net.

— He thinks it is a big mistake to negotiate with Iran and pointed to all the time we’ve wasted in North Korea as an example of why that’s the case. He also said thst he thinks the Iranian people could overthrow the government, but they need the outside world, especially America, to be supportive of them.

— There will never be true peace in the Middle-East if the only democracy is Israel. However, he added that he believes the Middle-East will change like Eastern Europe, in a wave and that if these other countries become free, even if they still hate Jews, peace will be possible.

— That the Israelis shouldn’t be willing to give up half of Jerusalem, because it’s part of their identity, but he thought the public was willing to do it for the sake of peace.

— That Iran reminds him of the Soviet Union. The leaders hate America, but the people love America.

It was a little tough to understand Sharansky, because he speaks with heavily accented English, but he had a lot of interesting things to say. In fact, I’d love to do an interview with him some time.

Thanks to Tim Chapman over at the Heritage Foundation for putting the teleconference together.

Other bloggers who wrote up the teleconference include:

Atlas Shrugs
Boker Tov, Boulder!
Hugh Hewitt

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