Der Historiker Bernard Lewis im Gespräch mit der Jerusalem Post über Iran, Regimewechsel und das Nuklarprogramm:
Bernard Lewis. Foto: Princeton
Frage: Sollte der Westen auf Regimewechsel im Iran dringen?
Lewis: Yes, I think so. What the [discontented Iranians] are asking for is not a military invasion. My Iranian friends and various groups are unanimous on that point. They feel a military invasion would be counterproductive.
JP: What do the Iranians think of their nuclear program?
Lewis: That is a delicate issue because the nuclear program has become a matter of national pride. Look at it from the Iranian point of view: The Russians in the north have it, the Chinese in the east have it, the Pakistanis in the south have it, and the Israelis in the west have it. „Who is to tell us that we must not have it?„
I think one should try to make it clear at all stages that the objection is not to Iran having [a nuclear capacity] but to the regime that governs Iran having it. I am told now that in Iran most recently, support has virtually disappeared for the nuclear program. Previously it had some support, but it is now increasingly being realized that this is a method of strengthening the regime, which means that it is bad.
Lewis findet im Hinblick auf den Iran einen nüchternen und pragmatischen Ton, den manche anderen Äusserungen des grossen Gelehrten in den letzten Jahren haben vermissen lassen.
Lewis gehörte zu den intellektuellen Paten des Irak-Kriegs. Eine Auseinandersetzung mit dem dortigen Desaster nach der Invasion hat er bisher vermieden. Vielleicht sind die massvollen Töne im Bezug auf Iran das Zeichen einer neuen Vorsicht.
Lewis Äusserungen über die drohende Islamisierung Europas im gleichen Interview allerdings erscheinen mir hysterisch und unverantwortlich. Wieder verficht er die These von der schleichenden Übernahme Europas durch Muslime: „They seem to be about to take over Europe“, sagt Lewis mit Blick auf die Einwanderer.
Allerdings macht er einen guten Punkt, was die tieferen Gründe für das Scheitern der Integration in Europa angeht. (Ich habe einen ähnlichen Gedanken in meinem Essay über Leitkultur und Patriotismus im Einwanderungsland Deutschland ausgeführt.) Hier Lewis:
„One sees a difference here between Europe and the US. One difference is that Europe has very little to offer. Europeans are losing their own loyalties and their own self-confidence. They have no respect for their own culture. It has become a culture of self-abasement. The diplomacy of what David Kelly called the „preemptive cringe.“ Naturally that is only going to encourage them in the worst aspects of their own.
If you look at the US, it is apparently somewhat different. There is much more, I hesitate to use the word assimilation, which in Jewish context has a negative connotation, [so] let us say acculturation.
There is also the fact that it is much easier to become American than to become European. To become American is a change of political allegiance. To become a Frenchman or a German is a change of ethnic identity. That is much more difficult for those who come and those who receive them.“
(Dank an Transantlantic Forum.)