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Exclamation Shi’ite Iran’s Genocidal Jew Hatred

Shi’ite Iran’s Genocidal Jew Hatred
By: Andrew G. Bostom


http://www.frontpagemag.com/readArti...px?ARTID=31729


Earlier this week Professors Moshe Sharon and Benny Morris both opined solemnly about an inevitable Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. These two respected Israeli academicians, despite holding very disparate political views, also concurred on the moral justification for such pre-emptive action—the annihilationist threat to Israel posed by a Shi’ite Iranian regime gripped with an apocalyptic, Jew-hating fervor.

The pillars of this continuous modern campaign of annihilationist antisemitism are the motifs from traditional Islamic Jew hatred, including, most significantly, Islamic eschatology. These deep-seated Islamic theological motifs are further conjoined to Holocaust denial, and the development of a nuclear weapons program intended expressly for Israel’s eradication.

At the outset of the 16th century, Iran’s Safavid rulers formally established Shi’a Islam as the state religion, while permitting a clerical hierarchy nearly unlimited control and influence over all aspects of public life. The profound influence of the Shi’ite clerical elite, continued for almost four centuries (although interrupted, between 1722-1795, during a period of [Sunni] Afghan invasion, and internecine struggle), through the later Qajar period (1795-1925), as characterized by the Persianophilic scholar E.G. Browne:

The Mujtahids and Mulla are a great force in Persia and concern themselves with every department of human activity from the minutest detail of personal purification to the largest issues of politics

These Shi’ite clerics emphasized the notion of the ritual uncleanliness (najis) of Jews, in particular (but also Christians, Zoroastrians, and others), as the cornerstone of inter-confessional relationships toward non-Muslims. The impact of this najis conception was already apparent to European visitors to Persia during the reign of the first Safavid Shah, Ismail I (1502-1524). The Portuguese traveler Tome Pires observed (between 1512-1515), “Sheikh Ismail…never spares the life of any Jew,” while another European travelogue notes, “…the great hatred (Ismail I) bears against the Jews…”

Mohammad Baqer Majlisi (d. 1699), the highest institutionalized clerical officer under both Shah Sulayman (1666-1694) and Shah Husayn (1694-1722), was perhaps the most influential cleric of the Safavid Shi’ite theocracy in Persia. Indeed, for a decade at the end of the 17th century Majlisi functioned as the de facto ruler of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini of his era. By design, he wrote many works in Persian to disseminate key aspects of the Shi’a ethos among ordinary persons, including the treatise, “Lightning Bolts Against the Jews.” In this treatise, Majlisi describes the standard humiliating requisites for non-Muslims living under the Shari’a, first and foremost, the blood ransom jizya, a poll-tax, based on Koran 9:29. He then enumerates six other restrictions relating to worship, housing, dress, transportation, and weapons (specifically, i.e., to render the dhimmis defenseless), before outlining the unique Shi’ite impurity or “najis” regulations. It is these latter najis prohibitions which lead Anthropology Professor Laurence Loeb (who studied and lived within the Jewish community of Southern Iran in the early 1970s) to observe, “Fear of pollution by Jews led to great excesses and peculiar behavior by Muslims.”

Far worse, the dehumanizing character of these popularized “impurity” regulations fomented recurring Muslim anti-Jewish violence—including pogroms and forced conversions, throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which rendered areas of Iran Judenrein—as opposed to merely unpleasant, “odd behaviors” by individual Muslims towards Jews.

The so-called “Khomeini revolution,” which deposed the secular, Western oriented regime of Mohammad Reza Shah, was in reality a mere return to oppressive Shi’ite theocratic rule, the predominant form of Persian/Iranian governance since 1502. Khomeini’s views were the most influential in shaping the ideology of the revitalized Shi’ite theocracy, and his attitudes towards Jews (both before and after he assumed power) were particularly negative. Khomeini’s speeches and writings invoked a panoply of Judenhass motifs, including orthodox interpretations of sacralized Muslim texts (for e.g., describing the destruction of the Banu Qurayza), and the Shi’ite conception of najis. More ominously, Khomeini’s rhetoric blurred the distinction between Jews and Israelis, reiterated paranoid conspiracy theories about Jews (both within Persia/Iran, and beyond), and endorsed the annihilation of the Jewish State.

Since 1979, the restored Iranian theocracy—in parallel with returning, brutally, their small remnant Jewish community to a state of obsequious dhimmitude, through execution and intimidation—has always focused its obsessive anti-Jewish animus on the autonomous Jewish state of Israel. For current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the destruction of Israel is an openly avowed policy, driven by his eschatological beliefs. Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, representative of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, summarized this annihilationist eschatology, redolent with Koranic Jew hatred (see Koran 5:82)—which pertains to Jews, generally, not “Zionists”—on November 16, 2006, stating: “The Jew is the most obstinate enemy (Koran 5:82) of the devout. And the main war will determine the destiny of mankind. . . . The reappearance of the Twelfth Imam will lead to a war between Israel and the Shia.”

Holocaust scholar Daniel Goldhagen has put forth the controversial argument that the Nazis melded centuries of annihilationist German Jew hatred to a state machinery capable of implementing the systematic mass murder of Jews. Citing the independent statements of Rafsanjani (from December 2001) and Ahmadinejad (from October 2005), Goldhagen, in a November 3, 2005 opinion editorial, cautioned,

Two Iranian presidents have now openly spoken about destroying Israel, with Ahmadinejad defiantly repeating his genocidal hopes again…despite the world’s condemnation of him.

Goldhagen’s visceral concern that “…it would be folly for the world to treat the Iranian leaders’ words as anything but an articulation of their intent,” remained oddly de-contextualized for an historian of antisemitism with his particular mindset. Yet four centuries of najis-inspired Jew hatred in Shi’ite Iran, accompanied by pogroms, forced conversions, and other less violent, but continuous forms of social and religious persecution—none of which are ever mentioned by Goldhagen—surely meets his own prior standard—regardless of its validity—of an established “annihilationist” mentality in Germany.

Irrespective of the controversy surrounding his earlier work on Nazi Germany, Goldhagen’s utter ignorance of Shi’ite Iran’s centuries old history of Jew hatred is pathognomonic of the current state of “scholarship” on Islamic antisemitism. Such ignorance may also explain the inability of our intellectual and policymaking elites to appreciate the prevalence and depth of support for such annihilationist views in contemporary Shi’ite Iran. Regardless, Iran must not be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, certainly now, under the current regime, and into the foreseeable future.


Introduction

Today, Saturday July 19, 2008, despite optimistic expectations of “compromise”—which putatively justified the presence of United States Undersecretary of State William Burns at talks between diplomatic representatives of six world powers, and the Iranian regime—Keyvan Imani, a member of the Iranian delegation, expressing Teheran’s intransigence, made this brusque statement about his country’s uranium enrichment program: “Suspension—there is no chance for that.”

Earlier this week Professors Moshe Sharon and Benny Morris both opined solemnly about an inevitable Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. These two respected Israeli academicians, despite holding very disparate political views, also concurred on the moral justification for such pre-emptive action—the annihilationist threat to Israel posed by a Shi’ite Iranian regime gripped with an apocalyptic, Jew-hating fervor. While other Iranian officials simultaneously issued mendacious denials of the numerous unprovoked threats to destroy Israel by both Iran’s political and clerical leadership, on July 8, Ali Shirazi, Ayatollah Khameini’s representative in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps navy, warned against Israeli pre-emption:

The Iranian nation is a nation… that believes in jihad and self-sacrifice, and against such a nation warships and weapons are to no avail… Today, Iran's military strength and capabilities have grown to such an extent that Iran cannot be disregarded in any regional or international balance of power… Tel Aviv (and the American warships in the Persian Gulf) would be the first targets to go up in flames as part of Iran's crushing response.

The pillars of this continuous modern campaign of annihilationist antisemitism are the motifs from traditional Islamic Jew hatred, including, most significantly, Islamic eschatology. These deep-seated Islamic theological motifs are further conjoined to Holocaust denial, and the development of a nuclear weapons program intended expressly for Israel’s eradication.

Shah Ismail’s Living Legacy

At the outset of the 16th century, Iran’s Safavid rulers formally established Shi’a Islam as the state religion, while permitting a clerical hierarchy nearly unlimited control and influence over all aspects of public life. The profound influence of the Shi’ite clerical elite, continued for almost four centuries (although interrupted, between 1722-1795, during a period of [Sunni] Afghan invasion, and internecine struggle), through the later Qajar period (1795-1925), as characterized by the Persianophilic scholar E.G. Browne:

The Mujtahids and Mulla are a great force in Persia and concern themselves with every department of human activity from the minutest detail of personal purification to the largest issues of politics

These Shi’ite clerics emphasized the notion of the ritual uncleanliness (najis) of Jews, in particular (but also Christians, Zoroastrians, and others), as the cornerstone of inter-confessional relationships toward non-Muslims. The impact of this najis conception was already apparent to European visitors to Persia during the reign of the first Safavid Shah, Ismail I (1502-1524). The Portuguese traveler Tome Pires observed (between 1512-1515), “Sheikh Ismail…never spares the life of any Jew,” while another European travelogue notes, “…the great hatred (Ismail I) bears against the Jews…”

Two examples of the restrictive codes for Jews conceived and applied during the Safavid

period (1502-1725) are appended below, in Table 1, and Table 2. Their persistent application into the Qajar period, which includes the modern era (1795-1925), is confirmed by the observations of the mid-19th century traveler Benjamin in Table 3, and a listing of the 1892 Hamadan edict conditions in Table 4.

A letter (dated October, 27, 1892) by S. Somekh of The Alliance Israelite Universale, regarding the Hamadan edict, provides this context:

The latter [i.e., the Jews] have a choice between automatic acceptance, conversion to Islam, or their annihilation. Some who live from hand to mouth have consented to these humiliating and cruel conditions through fear, without offering resistance; thirty of the most prominent members of the community were surprised in the telegraph office, where they had gone to telegraph their grievances to Teheran. They were compelled to embrace the Muslim faith to escape from certain death. But the majority is in hiding and does not dare to venture into the streets…

The latter part of the reign of Shah Abbas I (1588-1629) was marked by progressively increasing measures of anti-Jewish persecution, from the strict imposition of dress regulations, to the confiscation (and destruction) of Hebrew books and writings, culminating in the forced conversion of the Jews of Isfahan, the center of Persian Jewry. The exploits of two renegade Jewish converts to Islam, Abul Hasan Lari (of Lar), and Simon Tob Mumin of Isfahan were instrumental in having the Shi’ite authorities enforce restrictive headdress and badging regulations as visible signs of discrimination and humiliation. Their success in having these discriminatory regulations applied to Jews was confirmed by the accounts of European travelers to Iran. For example, Jean de Theve´not (1633-1667) commented that Jews were required,

To wear a little square piece of stuff two or three fingers broad…it had to be sewn to their labor gown and it matters not what that piece be of, provided that the color be different from that of the clothes to which it is sewed.

And when the British physician John Fryer visited Lar in 1676, he noted that, “…the Jews are only recognizable by the upper garment marked with a patch of different color.”

However the renegade Abul Hasan Lari’s “mission” foreshadowed more severe hardships imposed upon the Jews because of their image as sorcerers and practitioners of black magic, which, according to the pre-eminent historian of Persian Jewry, Walter Fischel, was “as deeply embedded in the minds of the [Muslim] masses as it had been in medieval Europe.” [emphasis added] The consequences of these bigoted superstitions were predictable, as Fischel observes:

It was therefore easy to arouse their [the Muslim masses] fears and suspicions at the slightest provocation, and to accuse them [the Jews] of possessing cabalistic Hebrew writings, amulets, talismans, segulot, goralot, and refu’ot, which they [the Jews] were using against the Islamic authorities. Encouraged by another Jewish renegade, Siman Tob Mumin from Isfahan, who denounced his co-religionists to the authorities, the Grand Vizier was quick in ordering the confiscation of all Hebrew cabalistic writings and having them thrown into the river.

These punitive measures in turn forebode additional persecutions which culminated in the Jews of Isfahan being forcibly converted to Islam toward the end of Abbas I’s rule. Moreover, even when Isfahan’s Jews allowed living to return to Judaism under Shah Safi, they continued to live under the permanent threat posed by the “law of apostasy”, till the late 19th century.

One of the most dangerous measures which threatened the very existence of the Jewish community in Isfahan and elsewhere was the so-called “law of apostasy” promulgated at the end of Abbas I’s rule and renewed in the reign of Abbas II. According to this law, any Jew or Christian becoming a Muslim could claim the property of his relatives, however distant. This decree, making the transfer of goods and property a reward for those who became apostates from their former religion, became a great threat to the very survival of the Jews. While the Christian population in Isfahan protested, through the intervention of the Pope, and the Christian powers in Europe, against the injustice of this edict, there did not arise a defender of the rights of Jews in Persia. [emphasis added] Although the calamity which this law implied was lessened by the small number of Jewish apostates who made use of this inducement, it was a steady threat to the existence of Jewish community life and brought about untold hardship. It was only in the 19th century that leaders of European Jewry such as Sir Moses Montefiore and Adolph Cremieux took up the fight for their brethren in Persia against this discriminatory law. Apart from this legal discrimination, the Jews of Isfahan were particularly singled out for persecution and forced conversion in the seventeenth century. It is reported that they were forced to profess Islam publicly; that many of their rabbis were executed, and that only under Shah Safi (1629-1642), the successor of Abbas I, were the Jews of Isfahan, after seven years of Marrano life, permitted to return publicly to their Jewish religion…[emphasis added]

After a relatively brief respite under Shah Saf’i (1629-1642), the severe persecutions wrought by his successor Shah Abbas II (1642-1666), nearly extinguished the Iranian Jewish community outright, as Fischel, explains:

Determined to purify the Persian soil from the “uncleanliness” caused by the presence of non-believers (Jews and Christians in Isfahan) a group of fanatical Shi’ites obtained a decree from the young Shah Abbas II in 1656 which gave the Grand Vizier, I’timad ad-Daula, full power to force the Jews to become Muslims. In consequence, a wave of persecution swept over Isfahan and the other Jewish communities, a tragedy which can only be compared with the persecution of the Jews in Spain in the fifteenth century [more appositely, the 13th century Almohad persecutions] 711

[the important eyewitness Jewish chronicles, the Kitab i Anusi]…describe in great detail how the Jews were compelled to abandon their religion, how they were drawn out of their quarters on Friday evening into the hills around the city and, after torture, 350 Jews are said to have been forced to [convert] to Islam. Their synagogues were closed and the Jews were lead to the Mosque, where they had to proclaim publicly the Muslim confession of faith, after which a Mullah, a Shi’a religious leader, instructed the newly-converted Muslims in the Koran and Islamic tradition and practice. These newly-converted Muslims had to break with the Jewish past, to allow their daughters to be married to Muslims, and to have their new Muslim names registered in a special Divan [council]. To test publicly their complete break with the Jewish tradition, some were even forced to eat a portion of camel meat boiled in milk. After their forced conversion, they were called New Muslims, Jadid al-Islam. They were then, of course, freed from the payment of the poll tax and from wearing a special headgear or badge.”

The resistance of the Jews developed the phenomenon of “Marranos”, Anusim, and for years they lived a dual religious life by remaining secretly Jews while confessing Islam officially

Fischel also refers to the fact that contemporary Christians sources “confirm…with an astounding and tragic unanimity” the historical details of the Judaeo-Persian chronicle regarding the plight of the Jews of Isfahan (and Persia, more generally). For example, the Armenian chronicler Arakel of Tabriz, included a chapter entitled, “History of the Hebrews of the City of Isfahan and of all Hebrews in the Territory of the Kings of Persia-the Case of Their Conversion to Islam”. Arakel describes the escalating brutality employed to convert the hapless Jewish population to Islam—deportation, deliberately harsh exposure to the elements, starvation, imprisonment, and beatings.

Mohammad Baqer Majlisi (d. 1699), the highest institutionalized clerical officer under both Shah Sulayman (1666-1694) and Shah Husayn (1694-1722), was perhaps the most influential cleric of the Safavid Shi’ite theocracy in Persia. By design, he wrote many works in Persian to disseminate key aspects of the Shi’a ethos among ordinary persons. His Persian treatise, “Lightning Bolts Against the Jews,” despite its title, was actually an overall guideline to anti-dhimmi regulations for all non-Muslims within the Shi’ite theocracy. Al-Majlisi, in this treatise, describes the standard humiliating requisites for non-Muslims living under the Shari’a, first and foremost, the blood ransom jizya, a poll-tax, based on Koran 9:29. He then enumerates six other restrictions relating to worship, housing, dress, transportation, and weapons (specifically, i.e., to render the dhimmis defenseless), before outlining the unique Shi’ite impurity or “najis” regulations. It is these latter najis prohibitions which lead Anthropology Professor Laurence Loeb (who studied and lived within the Jewish community of Southern Iran in the early 1970s) to observe, “Fear of pollution by Jews led to great excesses and peculiar behavior by Muslims.” According to Al-Majlisi,

And, that they should not enter the pool while a Muslim is bathing at the public baths…It is also incumbent upon Muslims that they should not accept from them victuals with which they had come into contact, such as distillates , which cannot be purified. In something can be purified, such as clothes, if they are dry, they can be accepted, they are clean. But if they [the dhimmis] had come into contact with those cloths in moisture they should be rinsed with water after being obtained. As for hide, or that which has been made of hide such as shoes and boots, and meat, whose religious cleanliness and lawfulness are conditional on the animal’s being slaughtered [according to the Shari’a], these may not be taken from them. Similarly, liquids that have been preserved in skins, such as oils, grape syrup, [fruit] juices, myrobalan [an astringent fruit extract used in tanning], and the like, if they have been put in skin containers or water skins, these should [also] not be accepted from them…It would also be better if the ruler of the Muslims would establish that all infidels could not move out of their homes on days when it rains or snows because they would make Muslims impure. [emphasis added]

Far worse, the dehumanizing character of these popularized “impurity” regulations appears to have fomented recurring Muslim anti-Jewish violence, including pogroms and forced conversions, throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, as opposed to merely unpleasant, “odd behaviors” by individual Muslims towards Jews. Indeed, the oppression of Persian Jewry continued unabated, perhaps even intensifying, during both Safavid successors of Shah Abbas II, Shah Sulayman (1666-1694), and Shah Husayn (1694-1722).

The overthrow of the Safavid dynasty was accompanied by an initial period of anarchy and rebellion. A contemporary Jewish chronicler of these struggles, Babai ibn Farhad, lamented, “At a time when the Muhammadans fight amongst each other, how much less safe were the Jews.” However, beyond this early stage of instability, Fischel maintains,

Only the downfall of the Safavid dynasty, through the successful invasion of the Afghans and the subsequent rise of a new tolerant ruler, Nadir Shah (1734-1747), saved the Jews of Isfahan and the Jews of Persia as a whole from complete annihilation.

The advent of the Qajar dynasty in 1795 marked a return to Shi’ite theocratic orthodoxy. Thus, according to Fischel,

Since the religious and political foundations of the Qajar dynasty were but a continuation of those of the Safavids, the ‘law of apostasy’ and the notion of the ritual uncleanliness of the Jews remained the basis of the attitude toward the Jews.

The Jew being ritually unclean, had to be differentiated from the believer externally in every possible way. This became the decisive factor making the life of the Jews in the 19th century an uninterrupted sequence of persecution and oppression. They could not appear in public, much less perform their religious ceremonies, without being treated with scorn and contempt by the Muslim inhabitants of Persia.

Fischel provides these observations based on the 19th century narrative of Rabbi David d’Beth Hillel, and additional eyewitness accounts, which describe the rendering of Tabriz, Judenrein, and the forced conversion of the Jews of Meshed to Islam:

Due to the persecution of their Moslem neighbors, many once flourishing communities entirely disappeared. Maragha, for example, ceased to be the seat of a Jewish community around 1800, when the Jews were driven out on account of a blood libel. Similarly, Tabriz, where over 50 Jewish families are supposed to have lived, became Judenrein towards the end of the 18th century through similar circumstances.

The peak of the forced elimination of Jewish communities occurred under Shah Mahmud (1834-48), during whose rule the Jewish population in Meshed, in eastern Persia, was forcibly converted, an event which not only remained unchallenged by Persian authorities, but also remained unknown and unnoticed by European Jews

And Fischel (in 1949) wrote a modern analysis of the Meshed pogrom and forced conversions, which highlighted these details:

The [Jewish] woman [see Wolff’s account above] hired a Persian boy to catch a dog in the street and then kill it in her courtyard. Following a dispute about payment, the boy ran off in a rage. A rumor that the Jews had killed a dog on the holiest of holy days [the day of mourning for Husain, the grandson of Muhammad] and had even called it Husain to insult the Mohammedans. When this rumor reached the thousands assembled in mourning at the Mosque of the Imam Riza, hundreds of the devout, together with Shaikhs, Mullahs, Sayyids, and other spiritual leaders, rushed to the Jewish quarter. There they plundered, robbed, and burned. Soon the synagogue and the scrolls of the Law stood in flames; many scores of Jews were wounded and some thirty-five were left dead in the streets. The mob would have destroyed the entire Jewish quarter had not a group of priests given their word that the survivors would be converted to Islam. For the remaining Jews the only chance of survival was to recite the Moslem confession of faith. This they did, and on the following day they were officially accepted into Islam…They were now called, ‘Jadid al-Islam’, or ‘neo-Moslem’. With this acceptance of Islam, the convert was immediately freed from all his previous restrictions; he was no longer required to wear a special hat or have his hair dressed in a special way or wear any particular Jewish badge on his clothes, nor was he required to pay the poll-tax (jizya). His ‘uncleanliness’ was gone- he was now a Moslem among Moslems…The mosque became the legal meeting place of the Jedidim. There, they were under the supervision of the chief priest, the Mujtahid, who exercised the dual role of instructor in Mohammedanism and inquisitor for Islam [emphasis added]. He acted as the official head of the Jews as well as their supreme judicial authority. Demanding the diligent study of the Koran and the traditional books, he forbade ritual slaughtering, circumcision on the 8th day, ordered mixed marriages between Jedidim and Moslems, and was empowered to grant permission for burial. In 1839, then, the Jewish community in Meshed officially ceased to exist. Yet this forced conversion could not extinguish Judaism in the hearts of the Jedidim; the hope that they might one day return to their own religion remained alive in them.

During the nearly 50 year reign (1848-1896) of Nasr ad-Din Shah, reform efforts to improve the plight of non-Muslims, in particular Jews, were opposed strenuously and effectively by the Shi’ite clerical hierarchy. Accordingly, as Fischel notes,

…Under Nasr ad-Din Jews continued to suffer, not only in consequence of the deep-rooted hatred against them and the conception of ritual uncleanliness, but also as a result of legal discrimination of a most severe nature. Thus the entire community of Jews was held responsible for crimes and misdemeanors committed by its individual members; the oath of a Jew was not received in a court of justice; a Jew converted to the Muslim religion could claim to be the sole inheritor of family property, to the exclusion of all relatives who had not changed their religion, thereby causing the greatest possible distress to those Jews who preferred death to apostasy. In many towns the Jew was prohibited from keeping a shop in the bazaars, while in addition to the legal taxes the local authorities levied arbitrary exactions on the Jews. Although the Jew had the nominal right of appeal to a superior court of justice he did not exercise that right because of the fear of vengeance of the lower tribunal. The life of a Jew was not protected by law, inasmuch as the murderer of a Jew could purchase immunity by payment of a fine.

Laurence Loeb maintains that the Jews were also victimized by tax farming throughout the 19th century, which reduced them, “…to virtual serfdom.” C.J. Wills, an English physician who traveled widely in Iran from 1866­-1881 while working for the Indo-European Telegraph Department, illustrates this abusive practice in a contemporary late 19th century account:

The principle is very simple. The Jews of a province are assessed at a tax of a certain amount. Someone pays this amount to the local governor together with a bribe; and the wretched Jews are immediately placed under his authority for the financial year. It is a simple speculation. If times are good, the farmer of the Jews makes a good profit; if they are bad he gains nothing, or may fail to extract from them as much as he has paid out of pocket- in that case, woe betide them. During the Persian famine the Jews suffered great straits before the receipt of subsidies sent from Europe by their co-religionists. The farmer of the Jewish colony in a great Persian city (of course a Persian Mohammedan) having seized their goods and clothes, proceeded, in the cold of Persian winter, to remove the doors and windows of their hovels and to wantonly burn them. The farmer was losing money, and sought thus to enforce what he considered his rights. No Persian pitied the unfortunates; they were Jews and so beyond the pale of pity. Every street boy raises his hand against the wretched Hebrew; he is beaten and buffeted in the streets, spat upon in the bazaar. The only person he can appeal to is the farmer of the Jews. From him, he will obtain a certain amount of protection if he be actually robbed of money or goods; not from the farmer’s sense of justice, but because the complainant, were his wrongs unredressed, might be unable to pay his share of the tax.

Wills also provides these acerbic descriptions of two of the most egregious forms of degradation, both public and private, suffered by the Jews throughout the 19th century:

At every public festival-even at the royal salaam [salute], before the King’s face- the Jews are collected, and a number of them are flung into the hauz or tank, that King and mob may be amused by seeing them crawl out half-drowned and covered with mud. The same kindly ceremony is witnessed whenever a provincial governor holds high festival: there are fireworks and Jews.

When a Jew marries, a rabble of the Mahommedan ruffians of the town invite themselves to the ceremony, and, after a scene of riot and intoxication, not infrequently beat their host and his relations and insult the women of the community; only leaving the Jewish quarter when they have slept off the drink they have swallowed at their unwilling host’s expense.

Despite a number of direct, hopeful meetings between the Shah and prominent European Jews and Jewish organizations throughout Western Europe in 1873, Fischel concludes,

The intervention of European Jewry in favor of their Persian brothers did not bring about the hoped-for improvement and scarcely lessened the persecution and suffering of the Jews after the return of the Shah from Europe.

After his visit to Europe Nasr ad-Din issued a number of decrees and firmans which brought about some social and administrative changes in favor of the Jews, but the government was apparently too weak to prevent the recurrence of public outbreaks against the Jews. Even the law which provided that a Jew who turned Muslim had the right to claim the entire property of his family, although abolished in Teheran in 1883, was still in force in some provinces in the Persian empire as a result of the opposition of the clergy. In 1888, a massacre of the Jews occurred in Isfahan and Shiraz, which brought about intervention and investigation of the British consulate.

The reigns of Muzafar ad-Din Shah (1896-1907; following the assassination of Nasr ad-Din) , Shah Muhammad (1907-1909), and Shah Ahmad (1909-1925), included a nascent constitutional movement, which again aroused hopes for the elimination of religious oppression against Persian Jews and other non-Muslims. However,

…neither the Jews nor the Armenian Christians or Parsee Zoroastrian minorities were yet permitted to send a deputy of their own group to parliament. At first the Jews were compelled to agree to be represented by a Muslim…Unfortunately, three months after the convening of Parliament Shah Muzaffar ad-din died, and under Shah Muhammad (1907-1909) the constitutional movement very quickly disappointed the high hopes which the liberal elements of the Muslims and the Jews in Persia had entertained. Anti-Jewish riots became common, particularly in Kermanshah in 1909…

Apropos of Fischel’s observation, David Littman has provided the full translation of an Alliance Israe´lite Universale report of the 1910 Shiraz pogrom which was precipitated by two false accusations against the Jewish community: desecrating copies of the Koran by placing them in cesspools (latrines); and the ritual murder of a child.

(M. Nataf, October 31, 1910) What happened yesterday in the Jewish quarter exceeds, in its horror and barbarity, anything that the most fertile imagination can conceive. In the space of a few hours, in less time than it would take to describe it, 6,000 men, women, children and the elderly were stripped of everything they possessed. [emphasis added]

I heard these details at the school where I was at the time, and there first perceived the clamor of the crowd, which was gradually gathering in front of the government palace and which, collecting around the body of the alleged little Muslim girl found close to the Jewish cemetery (it was subsequently established that the body was that of a little Jewish boy buried eight days ago and disinterred, for the requirements of the cause, being completely putrefied and absolutely unrecognizable) [emphasis added] was accusing the Jews of having committed this heinous crime, for which it demanded vengeance.

Then Cawan-el-Mulk, the temporary governor, having ordered his troopers to disperse the frenzied mob, they headed for the Jewish quarter, where they arrived at the same time as the soldiers sent by Nasr-ed-Dowlet. These latter, as if they were obeying an order, were the first to fling themselves at the Jewish houses, thereby giving the signal to plunder. The carnage and destruction which then occurred for six to seven hours is beyond the capacity to describe…Not a single one of the Jewish quarter’s 260 houses was spared.[emphasis added] Soldiery, loutis, sayyids [descendants of the prophet and/or Muslim dignitaries], even women and children, driven and excited, less by religious fanaticism than by a frenetic need to plunder and appropriate the Jews’ possessions, engaged in a tremendous rush for the spoils. At one point, about a hundred men from the Kashgais tribe, who were in town to sell some livestock, joined the first assailants, thereby completing the work of destruction.

In short the outcome of yesterday’s events is as follows: 12 people dead and about 50 more or less seriously injured, whilst the five to six thousand people comprising Shiraz community now possess nothing in the world but the few atatters they were wearing when their quarter was invaded. [emphasis added]


The Pahlavi Reforms

Reza Pahlavi’s spectacular rise to power in 1925 was accompanied by dramatic reforms, including secularization and westernization efforts, as well as a revitalization of Iran’s pre-Islamic spiritual and cultural heritage. This profound sociopolitical transformation had very positive consequences for Iranian Jewry. Walter Fischel’s analysis from the late 1940s (published in 1950), along with Laurence Loeb’s complementary insights three decades later, underscore the impact of the Pahlavis’ (i.e., Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah) reforms:

(Fischel) In breaking the power of the Shia clergy, which for centuries had stood in the way of progress, he [Reza Shah] shaped a modernized and secularized state, freed almost entirely from the fetters of a once fanatical and powerful clergy…The rebirth of the Persian state and the manifold reforms implied therein tended also to create conditions more favorable to Jews. It enabled them to enjoy, along with the other citizens of Persia, that freedom and liberty which they had long been denied.

(Loeb) The Pahlavi period…has been the most favorable era for Persian Jews since Parthian rule [175 B.C. to 226 C.E.]…the ‘Law of Apostasy’ was abrogated about 1930. While Reza Shah did prohibit political Zionism and condoned the execution of the popular liberal Jewish reformer Hayyim Effendi, his rule was on the whole, an era of new opportunities for the Persian Jew. Hostile outbreaks against the Jews have been prevented by the government. Jews are no longer legally barred from any profession. They are required to serve in the army and pay the same taxes as Muslims. The elimination of the face-veil removed a source of insult to Jewish women, who had been previously required have their faces uncovered; now all women are supposed to appear unveiled in public…Secular educations were available to Jewish girls as well as to boys, and, for the first time, Jews could become government-licensed teachers…Since the ascendance of Mohammad Reza Shah (Aryamehr) in 1941, the situation has further improved…Not only has the number of poor been reduced, but a new bourgeoisie is emerging…For the first time Jews are spending their money on cars, carpets, houses, travel, and clothing. Teheran has attracted provincial Jews in large numbers and has become the center of Iranian Jewish life…The Pahlavi era has seen vastly improved communications between Iranian Jewry and the rest of the world. Hundreds of boys and girls attend college and boarding school in the United States and Europe. Israeli emissaries come for periods of two years to teach in the Jewish schools…A small Jewish publication industry has arisen since 1925…Books on Jewish history, Zionism, the Hebrew language and classroom texts have since been published…On March 15, 1950, Iran extended de facto recognition to Israel. Relations with Israel are good and trade is growing.

But Loeb, who finished his anthropological field work in southern Iran during the waning years of Pahlavi rule, concluded on this cautionary, prescient note, in 1976, emphasizing the Jews’ tenuous status:

Despite the favorable attitude of the government and the relative prosperity of the Jewish community, all Iranian Jews acknowledge the precarious nature of the present situation. There are still sporadic outbreaks against them because the Muslim clergy constantly berates Jews, inciting the masses who make no effort to hide their animosity towards the Jew. [emphasis added] Most Jews express the belief that it is only the personal strength and goodwill of the Shah that protects them: that plus God’s intervention! If either should fail… [emphasis added].


The Khomeini “Revolution”—Back to the Future

The so-called “Khomeini revolution”, which deposed Mohammad Reza Shah, was in reality a mere return to oppressive Shi’ite theocratic rule, the predominant form of Persian/Iranian governance since 1502.

Conditions for all non-Muslim religious minorities, particularly Bahais and Jews, rapidly deteriorated. David Littman recounts the Jews immediate plight:

In the months preceding the Shah’s departure on 16 January 1979, the religious minorities…were already beginning to feel insecure…Twenty thousand Jews left the country before the triumphant return of the Ayatollah Khomeini on 1 February…On 16 March, the honorary president of the Iranian Jewish community, Habib Elghanian, a wealthy businessman, was arrested and charged by an Islamic revolutionary tribunal with “corruption” and “contacts with Israel and Zionism”; he was shot on 8 May.

And Littman concluded this 1979 essay with the following appeal:

It is to be hoped that the new regime will not revert to the pre-Pahlavi attitudes of the Shi‘a clergy, but will prefer a path of equality for all of its citizens, thus demonstrating in practice the “tolerant” attitude of Islam so frequently proclaimed. [emphasis added]

Littman’s essay also alludes to the emigration of 20,000 Iranian Jews just prior to Khomeini’s assumption of power. The demographic decline of Iranian Jewry since the creation of Israel has been rather dramatic even including the relatively “halcyon days” before 1978/1979—from nearly 120,000 in 1948 to roughly 70,000 in 1978, and at present barely 20,000 (and perhaps even less).

The writings and speeches of the most influential religious ideologues of this restored Shi’ite theocracy—including Khomeini himself—make apparent their seamless connection to the oppressive doctrines of their forbears in the Safavid and Qajar dynasties. For example, Sultanhussein Tabandeh, the Iranian Shi’ite leader of the Ne’ematullahi Sultanalishahi Sufi Order, wrote an “Islamic perspective” on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to Professor Eliz Sanasarian’s important study of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic, Tabandeh’s tract became “…the core ideological work upon which the Iranian government…based its non-Muslim policy.” Tabandeh begins his discussion by lauding as a champion “…of the oppressed” Shah Ismail I (1502-1524), the repressive and bigoted founder of the Safavid dynasty, who “…bore hatred against the Jews and ordered their eyes to be gouged out if they happened to be found in his vicinity.” It is critical to understand that Tabandeh’s key views on non-Muslims, summarized below, were implemented “…almost verbatim in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” In essence, Tabandeh simply reaffirms the sacralized inequality of non-Muslims relative to Muslims, under the Shari’a:

Thus if [a] Muslim commits adultery his punishment is 100 lashes, the shaving of his head, and one year of banishment. But if the man is not a Muslim and commits adultery with a Muslim woman his penalty is execution…Similarly if a Muslim deliberately murders another Muslim he falls under the law of retaliation and must by law be put to death by the next of kin. But if a non-Muslim who dies at the hand of a Muslim has by lifelong habit been a non-Muslim, the penalty of death is not valid. Instead the Muslim murderer must pay a fine and be punished with the lash.

Since Islam regards non-Muslims as on a lower level of belief and conviction, if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim…then his punishment must not be the retaliatory death, since the faith and conviction he possesses is loftier than that of the man slain…Again, the penalties of a non-Muslim guilty of fornication with a Muslim woman are augmented because, in addition to the crime against morality, social duty and religion, he has committed sacrilege, in that he has disgraced a Muslim and thereby cast scorn upon the Muslims in general, and so must be executed.

Islam and its peoples must be above the infidels, and never permit non-Muslims to acquire lordship over them. Since the marriage of a Muslim woman to an infidel husband (in accordance with the verse quoted: ‘Men are guardians form women’) means her subordination to an infidel, that fact makes the marriage void, because it does not obey the conditions laid down to make a contract valid. As the Sura (“The Woman to be Examined”, [i.e., sura 60, specifically verse 60:10] ) says: “Turn them not back to infidels: for they are not lawful unto infidels nor are infidels lawful unto them (i.e., in wedlock).”

The conception of najis or ritual uncleanliness of the non-Muslim has also been reaffirmed. Ayatollah Khomeini stated explicitly, “Non-Muslims of any religion or creed are najis.”

Khomeini elaborated his views on najis and non-Muslims, with a specific reference to Jews, as follows:

Eleven things are unclean: urine, excrement, sperm, blood, a dog, a pig, bones, a non-Muslim man and woman [emphasis added], wine, beer, perspiration of a camel that eats filth…The whole body of a non-Muslim is unclean, even his hair, his nails, and all the secretions of his body…A child below the age of puberty is unclean if his parents and grandparents are not Muslims; but if he has a Muslim for a forebear, then he is clean…The body, saliva, nasal secretions, and perspiration of a non-Muslim man or woman who converts to Islam automatically become pure. As for the garments, if they were in contact with the sweat of the body before conversion, they will remain unclean…It is not strictly prohibited for a Muslim to work in an establishment run by a Muslim who employs Jews, if the products do not aid Israel in one way or another. However it is shameful [for a Muslim] to be under the orders of a Jewish departmental head.

The Iranian Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri further indicated that a non-Muslim (kafir’s) impurity was, “a political order from Islam and must be adhered to by the followers of Islam, and the goal [was] to promote general hatred toward those who are outside Muslim circles.” This "hatred" was to assure that Muslims would not succumb to corrupt, i.e., non-Islamic thoughts.

Khomeini’s views were the most influential in shaping the ideology of the revitalized Shi’ite theocracy, and his attitudes towards Jews (both before and after he assumed power) were particularly negative. Khomeini’s speeches and writings invoked a panoply of Judenhass motifs, including orthodox interpretations of sacralized Muslim texts (for e.g., describing the destruction of the Banu Qurayza), and the Shi’ite conception of najis. More ominously, Khomeini’s rhetoric blurred the distinction between Jews and Israelis, reiterated paranoid conspiracy theories about Jews (both within Persia/Iran, and beyond), and endorsed the annihilation of the Jewish State. Sanasarian highlights these disturbing predilections:

The Jews and Israelis were interchangeable entities who had penetrated all facets of life. Iran was being “trampled upon under Jewish boots”. The Jews had conspired to kill the Qajar king Naser al-Din Shah and had a historically grand design to rule through a new monarchy and a new government (the Pahlavi dynasty): “Gentlemen, be frightened. They are such monsters”. In a vitriolic attack on Mohammad Reza Shah’s celebration of 2500 years of Persian monarchy in 1971, Khomeini declared that Israeli technicians had planned the celebrations and they were behind the exuberant expenses and overspending. Objecting to the sale of oil to Israel, he said: “We should not ignore that the Jews want to take over Islamic countries”…In an address to the Syrian foreign minister after the Revolution Khomeini lamented: “If Muslims got together and each poured one bucket of water on Israel, a flood would wash away Israel.”

Sanasarian provides one particularly disturbing example of this Islamic state-sanctioned Jew hatred, involving the malevolent indoctrination of young adult candidates for national teacher training programs. Affirming as objective, factual history the hadith account (for eg., Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786) of Muhammad’s supposed poisoning by a Jewish woman from ancient Khaybar, she notes,

Even worse, the subject became one of the questions in the ideological test for the Teachers’ Training College where students were given a multiple-choice question in order to identify the instigator of the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad, the “correct” answer being “a Jewess. ”

Reza Afshari’s seminal analysis of human rights in contemporary Iran summarizes the predictable consequences for Jews of the Khomeini “revolution”:

As antisemitism found official expression…and the anti-Israeli state propaganda became shriller, Iranian Jews felt quite uncertain about their future under the theocracy. Early in 1979, the execution of Habib Elqaniyan, a wealthy, self-made businessman, a symbol of success for many Iranian Jews, hastened emigration. The departure of the chief rabbi for Europe in the summer of 1980 underlined the fact that the hardships that awaited the remaining Jewish Iranians would far surpass those of other protected minorities

Beyond the well publicized execution of Habib Elganian in May 1979, an excess of Jews compared to other “recognized religious minorities” were imprisoned, and by 1982, nine more Jews had been executed.

Afshari also captures the crushing psychosocial impact on Iran’s remaining Jews of restored Shi’ite theocratic rule- the recrudescence of a fully servile dhimmi mentality: 765

The Jewish leaders had to go so far as to openly denounce the policies of the State of Israel. It was disquieting to read a news item that reported the Jewish representative in the Majlis criticizing, in carefully chosen words…actions of his co-religionists in Israel, especially when upon the conclusion of his remarks the other (Shi’ite) deputies burst into the chant “Death to Israel!” The contemporary state violating the human rights of its citizens left behind a trail of pathological behaviors[emphasis added]…Equally baffling, if not placed against the Jewish community’s predicament, was the statement by the Jewish leaders concerning the arrests of thirteen Jews charged with espionage for Israel in June 1999. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has demonstrated to the world that it has treated the Jewish community and other religious minorities well; the Iranian Jewish community has enjoyed constitutional rights of citizenship, and the arrest and charges against a number of Iranian Jews has nothing to do with their religion.” The bureaucratic side of the state needed such a statement, and the Jewish leaders in Tehran had no choice but to oblige.

Afshari’s blunt description of this phenomenon among contemporary Iranian Jews labels such prototypical dhimmi behaviors a “pathological,” if understandable response to their “predicament.” The apotheosis of Iranian Jewish dhimmitude is perhaps Parviz Yeshaya. A staunch anti-Zionist, Yeshaya who until recently headed the Jewish Committee in Tehran, was one of the first Jews to support Ayatollah Khomeini, and has called for the destruction of the state of Israel. And public dhimmi behaviors were again evident in the summer of 2006. During the conflagration on the Israeli-Lebanon border—initiated by the Iranian regime’s jihadist proxy organization, Hezbollah—Jews from the southern Iranian city of Shiraz were prominently displayed on state-run television participating in a regime-sponsored pro-Hezbollah rally.

Demonizing Israel and Jews—via motifs in the Koran, hadith, and sira—Hezbollah views the jihad against the “Zionist entity” as an annihilationist war intrinsic to broader conflicts: the struggle between the Islamic world and the non-Muslim world, and the historical struggle between Islam and Judaism. The most senior clerical authority for Hezbollah, Husayn Fadlalah has stated, “We find in the Koran that the Jews are the most aggressive towards the Muslims…because of their aggressive resistance to the unity of the faith.” Fadlallah repeatedly refers to anti-Jewish archetypes in the Koran, hadith, and sira: the corrupt, treacherous and aggressive nature of the Jews; their reputation as killers of prophets, who spread corruption on earth; and the notion that the Jews engaged in conspiratorial efforts against the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Hassan Nasrallah, current Secretary General of Hezbollah, and a prote´ge of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, presently Iran’s highest ranking political and religious authority (i.e., its “Guardian Jurisprudent”), has reiterated these antisemitic views with particular vehemence. Invoking motifs from Islam’s foundational texts, Nasrallah has characterized Jews as the “grandsons of apes and pigs,” and as “Allah’s most cowardly and greedy creatures.” He elaborates these themes into an annihilationist animus against all Jews, not merely Israelis.

Anyone who reads the Koran and the holy writings of the monotheistic religions sees what they did to the prophets, and what acts of madness and slaughter the Jews carried out throughout history...

Anyone who reads these texts cannot think of co-existence with them, of peace with them, or about accepting their presence, not only in Palestine of 1948 but even in a small village in Palestine, because they are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment…There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel.

If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli…f they [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.

Hezbollah is viscerally opposed to Judaism and the existence of Israel, stressing the eternal conflict between the Jews and Islam. Eradicating Israel represents an early stage of Hezbollah’s Pan-Islamic ambitions, and its jihad against the rest of the non-Muslim world.

Support for Hezbollah abroad—which seeks the destruction of Israel, the Middle East’s lone state liberated from the system of dhimmitude—is mirrored by contemporary Iran’s treatment of its own Jews (and other non-Muslim populations) since 1979. Dhimmitude has been formally re-imposed, and in the case of Jews, complemented by state-supported antisemitism, irrespective of any given regimes “moderation.”

Discriminatory liabilities implicit in Iran’s legal code are exploited fully, worsening the plight of Iran’s Jews. These include: the imposition of collective punishment on a Jewish community for an individual act; a “contract of silence” regarding anti-Jewish discrimination and persecution; and an unrelenting campaign of virulent antisemitism openly expressed by the Iranian media, and religious and political hierarchy. Pooya Dayanim, an Iranian Jewish attorney, recently summarized these phenomena:

This reluctance to criticize, or even the eagerness to support the Islamic Regime, however, is not evidence of informal intimidation of the Jewish Community by government officials, but is also, and more significantly, a result of an obligatory contractual agreement between the minority community and the Islamic Republic. The silence, therefore, of the Iranian Jewish community inside Iran concerning discrimination and persecution is in itself evidence of the dangerous and precarious situation the community finds itself in and which it is unable to denounce without breaking its contractual agreement as a religious minority living in a Muslim land.

This contractual agreement under Shari’a Islamic Law presupposes complete loyalty to the Islamic Regime, in exchange for which the minority community receives second-class, limited privileges in practicing its religion. If the terms of this contract are breached, supposedly even by individual members of the community, the limited privileges of the entire community can be suspended or revoked or the minority community (in this instance the Jewish community) can even face deportation from the country. Under these circumstances the Iranian Jewish Community must avoid any statements that could be interpreted as critical of the regime and forces the government-imposed or government-tolerated leaders of the Iranian Jewish Community to turn in or turn against those individual members of the community who are brave enough to dare to speak out about the true condition of Jews in Iran.

After the arrest of 13 Jews in Shiraz and Isfahan in March of 1999 on trumped up charges of spying for Israel and the United States, the Iranian Jewish Community leaders inside Iran (Parviz Yeshaya, Manouchehr Eliasi and Maurice Motamed) not only did not inform anyone on the outside world about the situation but became enforcers of silence asking Iranian Jewish leaders outside of Iran to remain silent as well. It was only in July of 1999 that the case was revealed to the world in an exclusive interview granted the BBC by an Iranian Jewish leader based in the United States [home to 65,000 Iranian Jews compared to the ~ 20,000 that still remain in Iran] who feared that the imprisoned Jews faced immediate execution and decided to break his silence and save their lives. However, even during the trial, during which the Iranian Jewish Community knew they had the support of the international media and governments worldwide, statements from the official Iranian Jewish community were very measured, generally limiting themselves to faith that the accused would be treated fairly.

While the Islamic Republic does not guarantee the right of free speech and protest to any of its citizens, the situation, because of the Islamic Law, is considerably worse for the Jews. If an Iranian Muslim criticizes the Islamic Republic, he himself can be punished; if a Jew does it, under the laws of the Islamic Republic his actions may legally affect the well being of the entire Jewish community. Given, moreover, the suspicion in which Jews are generally held because of actual or perceived connections to Israel, the level of intimidation, especially regarding anyone who could be thought to speak for the community in general is extreme. Iranian Jewish leaders in the United States who have been brave enough to speak out have repeatedly been threatened by Iranian agents that their life and the life of their loved ones are in danger because of their decision to speak out and that they should stay silent.

Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader….in March 2001, denied the Holocaust and called the survivors of the death camps “…a bunch of hooligans who emigrated to Palestine.” On May 18, 2001, in a televised speech, Khamenei directly attacked the Jews, calling Jews the enemies of the prophet Mohammad and threatened the Jews with expulsion and expropriation of their property, citing a similar action taken by the prophet Mohammad against the three Jewish tribes in Medina, [during] which they were annihilated. This attack, placed in the context in which the Jews of Iran were still feeling shock of the Shiraz show trials reveals the true feelings of the Islamic Regime toward the Jews of Iran.

A large part of the Antisemitic campaign waged by the government takes place in Farsi [so as] to not raise [the] attention of the non-Farsi speaking world. For example, when some specifically Antisemitic articles appear in Farsi newspapers with wide distribution, the articles are omitted from their international edition and from the website of those newspapers. It is clear that the Iranian authorities do not wish to highlight their Antisemitic activities and want to present Iran as a shining example of religious tolerance. When Maurice Motamed, the sole Jewish MP in Iran's Parliament, was interviewed by the Forward in his trip to the United States [during early 2003] for example, there were Iranian diplomats present and the interview took place at the residence of Iran's Ambassador to the UN to make sure that he does not say anything that the regime finds unproductive to its PR efforts.

The threat of retaliation against the entire community is an ever present factor in the minds of Iranian Jews and all community leaders. The Islamic Republic reminds Iranian Jews of their uncertain fate and future from time to time in speeches that are delivered by the leaders of the regime…There is good reason to believe, therefore, that there is an effective mechanism of intimidation operating against the Iranian Jewish Community, and their refusal to report incidents of severe discrimination and persecution is in itself evidence of the dangerous situation that Jews in Iran live under.

Additional forms of legal and extra-legal discrimination adversely affect criminal proceedings for Jews, and limit their employment and educational opportunities. Even private religious education and observance are hindered, or abused by Iranian authorities to spy upon and threaten Jewish communities, despite continued spurious Western media claims that “…Jews face no restrictions on their religious practice.” Dayanim elaborates on what amounts to a nearly full recrudescence of the system of dhimmitude.

(Legal disabilities) The Jews suffer from official inferior status under Iranian Law and are not protected by police or the courts. The amount of financial compensation a Jew can receive from a Muslim in case of murder or accidental death of a relative is equal to one-eighth of that which would be paid if the victim was a Muslim. In practice this means that a life of a Jew in Iran has very little value. In addition, since Iranian courts routinely refuse to accept the testimony of a Jew against a Muslim, most cases of this sort are not even prosecuted and the police do not even investigate such claims. As a result of their legally inferior status, Jews find themselves outside the protection of the courts and police. This is not simply a perception on their part, but rather, sadly, a harsh reality. In none of the cases of the murder of Jews in Iran has a perpetrator ever been found, much less prosecuted.

(Limitations on employment/business opportunities) Ayatollah Khomeini's edicts concerning the Jews, published in his book Tozieh Almasael (Explanation of Problems), state clearly that while there is no Islamic law prohibiting a situation in which a Muslim may work under a Jew, this is a shameful situation for a Muslim to be in. These edicts still carry the force of law in Iran, and as a result, Jews have been barred from any position in which they would be superior to Muslims. Jews are excluded from most government positions. Virtually all government entities (most sectors in Iran are government-owned) have a "Muslim only" policy and they print this requirement in their job notices in newspapers. This formal exclusion of Jews from large areas of employment is badly damaging to the Jews.Most private companies, thanks to the anti-Semitic media campaign in Iran, do not hire Jews either. Most Jews are forced into self-employment, but due to general public prejudice, few buy anything from them. The US State Department Religious Freedom Report of 2001 confirms that Jewish businesses have been targets of vandalism and boycotts.

(Limitations on educational opportunities) All Jewish university students must pass a course on Islamic ideology. In general, the professors in these courses are, by definition, very dedicated to their ideology and many Jewish Students that I have interviewed have reported that attending such a course has been a humiliating experience, in which their religion has been ridiculed and trivialized. Jewish students who protest are expelled and blocked from entering the University. Jewish students have also reported that instructors have arbitrarily failed them to block their educational goals. Parents of Jewish elementary and secondary school students, I interviewed in Vienna (processing center for Iranian Jewish refugees) in July of 2002, report frequent verbal and even physical abuse of their children by allegedly anti-Semitic teachers. Iranian "Jewish" schools are forced to stay open on the Jewish Sabbath. Principals of “Jewish” schools in Iran by law must be Muslim and are generally selected based on their Islamic credential.

(Restrictions on private religious practice) Judaism is one of the recognized minority religions in Iran. Jews, therefore, are allowed to conduct religious services and give religious education to their children. The privileges of religious education, can, however, be suspended if it is thought by the authorities that such an education may prevent Jewish children from converting to Islam. Many informed observers believe that one reason that Jewish rabbis and teachers were arrested in Shiraz was the fact that they were instructing in the spirit of Orthodox Judaism. The US State Department Religious Freedom Report for 2001 notes that the Jewish community, and its religious, cultural and social organizations, are closely monitored by the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. The form that this monitoring has taken is either sending agents to synagogues posing as Jews, or forcing Jewish communal leaders to inform on the activities of the Jewish community. This situation has created an atmosphere of terror and mistrust in the Jewish community. Many Jews who flee Iran relate that they told no one of their plans to emigrate, not even friends or relatives in fear of an unknown collaborator informing authorities of their plans.

Since 1979, the restored Iranian theocracy—in parallel with returning, brutally, their small remnant Jewish community to a state of obsequious dhimmitude, through execution and intimidation—has always focused its obsessive anti-Jewish animus on the autonomous Jewish state of Israel.

Iran’s steadfast pursuit of nuclear weapons may have even accelerated under the “progressive” regime of Muhammed Khatami, who denounced U.S. and European Union demands that Iran sign an agreement to terminate such efforts, transparently and verifiably. An early 2002 report by Michael Rubin warned,

Nearly five years after his first election, Khatami has enacted few if any tangible reforms. Indeed, while many younger Iranians do enjoy some additional flexibility in dress, freedoms have actually declined under the Khatami administration. Khatami has accomplished one important task, though. With a gentle face, soft rhetoric, and numerous trips abroad, Khatami has succeeded in softening the image of the Islamic Republic. No longer is Iran associated with waves of 14-year-olds running across minefields, nor do many Western academics and commentators dwell on Iran's export of terror, so long as Tehran keeps its assassination squads away from Europe. However, the fundamentals of the regime’ behavior have not changed. Indeed, under Khatami, Iran has accelerated not only its drive for a nuclear capability, but also actively increased its pursuit of chemical and biological weapons, as well as long-range ballistic missiles

Previously, the “Al-Quds Day,” December 14, 2001 sermon of former Iranian President Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani made clear the purpose of such weapons. During this “pious” address, Rafsanjani, who was also deemed a “moderate” while President, argued that nuclear weapons could solve the “Israel problem”, because, as he observed, “…the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.” Indeed, Rafsanjani was merely reiterating motifs of Jew hatred and jihad martyrdom expressed continuously by his spiritual inspiration, Ayatollah Khomeini. Between 1963 and 1980, for example, Khomeini made these statements:

(1963) Israel does not want the Koran to survive in this country. . . . It is destroying us. It is destroying you and the nation. It wants to take possession of the economy. It wants to demolish our trade and agriculture. It wants to grab the wealth of the country. [Iran]

(1977) The Jews have grasped the world with both hands and are devouring it with an insatiable appetite, they are devouring America and have now turned their attention to Iran and still they are not satisfied.

(1980) We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.

For current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the destruction of Israel is an openly avowed policy, driven by his eschatological beliefs. Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, representative of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, summarized this annihilationist eschatology, redolent with Koranic Jew hatred (see Koran 5:82)—which pertains to Jews, generally, not “Zionists”—on November 16, 2006, stating: “The Jew is the most obstinate enemy (Koran 5:82) of the devout. And the main war will determine the destiny of mankind. . . . The reappearance of the Twelfth Imam will lead to a war between Israel and the Shia.”

As characterized in the hadith, Muslim eschatology highlights the Jews’ supreme hostility to Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjâl—the Muslim equivalent of the Anti-Christ—or according to another tradition, the Dajjâl is himself Jewish. At his appearance, other traditions maintain that the Dajjâl will be accompanied by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan wrapped in their robes, and armed with polished sabers, their heads covered with a sort of veil. When the Dajjâl is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered— everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharkad tree (as per the canonical hadith included in the 1988 Hamas Charter, in article 7). Another hadith variant, which takes place in Jerusalem, has Isa (the Muslim Jesus) leading the Arabs in a rout of the Dajjâl and his company of 70,000 armed Jews. And the notion of jihad “ransom” extends even into Islamic eschatology—on the day of resurrection the vanquished Jews will be consigned to Hellfire, and this will expiate Muslims who have sinned, sparing them from this fate.

The rise of Jewish nationalism—Zionism—posed a predictable, if completely unacceptable challenge to the Islamic order—jihad-imposed chronic dhimmitude for Jews—of apocalyptic magnitude. As historian Bat Ye’or has explained,

…because divine will dooms Jews to wandering and misery, the Jewish state appears to Muslims as an unbearable affront and a sin against Allah. Therefore it must be destroyed by Jihad.

This is exactly the Islamic context in which the widespread, “resurgent” use of Jew annihilationist apocalyptic motifs—Sunni and Shi’ite alike—would be an anticipated, even commonplace occurrence.

Moshe Sharon recently provided a very lucid summary of the unique features of Shi’ite eschatology, its key point of consistency with Sunni understandings of this doctrine, and Ahmadinejad’s deep personal attachment to “mahdism”:

Since the late ninth century, the Shi’ites have been expecting the emergence of the hidden imam-mahdi, armed with divine power and followed by thousands of martyrdom-seeking warriors. He is expected to conquer the world and establish Shi'ism as its supreme religion and system of rule. His appearance would involve terrible war and unusual bloodshed.

Ahmadinejad, as mayor of Teheran, built a spectacular boulevard through which the mahdi would enter into the capital. There is no question that Ahmadinejad believes he has been chosen to be the herald of the mahdi. [emphasis added]

Shi'ite Islam differs from Sunni Islam regarding the identity of the mahdi. The Sunni mahdi is essentially an anonymous figure; the Shi'ite mahdi is a divinely inspired person with a real identity.

However both Shi’ites and Sunnis share one particular detail about “the coming of the hour” and the dawning of messianic times: The Jews must all suffer a violent death, to the last one. Both Shi'ites and Sunnis quote the famous hadith [Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985] attributed to the Prophet Muhammad: The last hour will not come unless the Muslims fight against the Jews, and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and the stone or the tree would say: “Muslim! Servant of Allah! Here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!” Not one Friday passes without this hadith being quoted in sermons from one side of the Islamic world to the other.

Despite an international outcry of condemnation following Ahmadinejad’s statements in late October, 2005 that Israel “…should be wiped off the map,” and “…very soon this stain of disgrace will be purged from the center of the Islamic world,” he continued to express such annihilationist sentiments throughout 2006, while simultaneously referring to the “myth of the Holocaust,” and even sponsoring a December, 2006 Holocaust deniers “conference” in Tehran. Ahmadinejad also recently maintained he has “…a connection with God,” and his genocidal pronouncements have been endorsed by the upper echelons of Iran’s national security establishment. The conclusion that Israel’s eradication has become “Iran’s principal foreign policy objective,” does not seem unwarranted. Finally, Matthias Kuntzel has highlighted the unique dangers posed by Iran’s fusion of a martyrdom mentality, with nuclear weapons capability, and Holocaust denial.


Conclusions

Holocaust scholar Daniel Goldhagen has put forth the controversial argument that the Nazis melded centuries of annihilationist German Jew hatred to a state machinery capable of implementing the systematic mass murder of Jews. Citing the independent statements of Rafsanjani (from December 2001) and Ahmadinejad (from October 2005), Goldhagen, in a November 3, 2005 opinion editorial, cautioned,

Two Iranian presidents have now openly spoken about destroying Israel, with Ahmadinejad defiantly repeating his genocidal hopes again…despite the world’s condemnation of him.

Goldhagen’s visceral concern that “…it would be folly for the world to treat the Iranian leaders’ words as anything but an articulation of their intent,” remained oddly de-contextualized for an historian of antisemitism with his particular mindset. Yet four centuries of najis-inspired Jew hatred in Shi’ite Iran, accompanied by pogroms, forced conversions, and other less violent, but continuous forms of social and religious persecution—none of which are ever mentioned by Goldhagen—surely meets his own prior standard—regardless of its validity—of an established “annihilationist” mentality in Germany.

Irrespective of the controversy surrounding his earlier work on Nazi Germany, Goldhagen’s utter ignorance of Shi’ite Iran’s centuries old history of Jew hatred is pathognomonic of the current state of “scholarship” on Islamic antisemitism. Such ignorance may also explain the inability of our intellectual and policymaking elites to appreciate the prevalence and depth of support for such annihilationist views in contemporary Shi’ite Iran. Regardless, Iran must not be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, certainly now, under the current regime, and into the foreseeable future.


Appendix

Table 1. Behavior Code of Abul Hassan Lari (1622)


[i]
  1. Houses that are too high (higher than a Muslim’s) must be lowered. "Jews may not circulate freely among the Believers "In their stores, Jews must sit on low stools, in order they not see the purchaser’s face. "Jews must wear a specially constructed hat of eleven colors. "Around this hat they must sew a yellow ribbon, three meters long. "Women must tie many little bells on their sandals "Jewish women must also wear a black chador
  2. When a Jew speaks to a Muslim, he must humbly lower his head.
Table 2. The Jam’i Abbasi of al-Amili, Instituted by Shah Abbas I (1588-1629) and Administered in Some Measure Until 1925



  1. Jews are not permitted to dress like Muslims A Jew must exhibit a yellow or red “badge of dishonor” on his chest A Jew is not permitted to ride on a horse "When riding on an ass, he must hang both legs on one side "He is not entitled to bear arms. "On the street and in the market, he must pass stealthily from a corner or from the side "Jewish women are not permitted to cover their faces "The Jew is restricted from establishing boundaries of private property. "A Jew who becomes a Muslim, is forbidden to return to Judaism. "Upon disclosure of a disagreement between Jew and Muslim, the Jew’s argument has no merit. "In Muslim cities, the Jew is forbidden to build a synagogue
  2. A Jew is not entitled to have his house built higher than a Muslim’s
Table 3. Listing by Israel Joseph Benjamin (1818-1864) of the “Oppressions” Suffered by Persian Jews, During the Mid-19th Century






  1. "Throughout Persia the Jews are obliged to live in a part of town separated from the other inhabitants; for they are considered as unclean creatures, who bring contamination with their intercourse and presence.
  2. They have no right to carry on trade in stuff goods.
  1. "Even in the streets of their own quarter of the town they are not allowed to keep open any shop. They may only sell there spices and drugs, or carry on the trade of a jeweler, in which they have attained great perfection. "Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity, and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mob with stones and dirt. "For the same reason they are forbidden to go out when it rains; for it is said the rain would wash dirt off them, which would sully the feet of the Mussulmans. "If a Jew is recognized as such in the streets, he is subjected to the greatest of insults. The passers-by spit in his face, and sometimes beat him so unmercifully and is obliged to be carried home. "If a Persian kills a Jew, and the family of the deceased can bring forward two Mussulmans as witnesses to the fact, the murderer is punished by a fine of 12 tumauns (600 piastres); but if two such witnesses cannot be produced, the crime remains unpunished, even thought it has been publicly committed, and is well known. "The flesh of the animals slaughtered according to Hebrew custom, but as Trefe declared, must not be sold to any Mussulmans. The slaughterers are compelled to bury the meat, for even the Christians do not venture to buy it, fearing the mockery and insult of the Persians. "If a Jew enters a shop to buy anything, he is forbidden to inspect the goods, but must stand at respectful distance and ask the price. Should his hand incautiously touch the goods, he must take them at any price the seller chooses for them. "Sometimes the Persians intrude into the dwellings of the Jews and take possession of whatever pleases them. Should the owner make the least opposition in defense of his property, he incurs the danger of atoning for it with his life. "Upon the least dispute between a Jew and a Persian, the former is immediately dragged before the Achund [Muslim cleric] and, if the complainant can bring forward two witnesses, the Jew is condemned to pay a heavy fine. If he is too poor to pay this penalty in money, he must pay it in his person. He is stripped to the waist, bound to a stake, and receives forty blows with a stick. Should the sufferer utter the least cry of pain during this proceeding, the blows already given are not counted, and the punishment is begun afresh. "In the same manner, the Jewish children, when they get into a quarrel with those of the Mussulmans, are immediately lead before the Achund, and punished with blows. "> Jew who travels in Persia is taxed in every inn and every caravanserai he enters. If he hesitates to satisfy any demands that may happen to be made on him, they fall upon him, and maltreat him until he yields to their terms. "If, as already mentioned, a Jew shows himself in the street during the three days of Katel (feast of the mourning for the death of the Persian founder of the religion of Ali) he is sure to be murdered.
  2. Daily and hourly new suspicions are raised against the Jews, in order to obtain excuses for fresh extortion; the desire of gain is always the chief incitement to fanaticism.
Table 4. Conditions Imposed Upon the Jews of Hamadan, 1892


1. The Jews are forbidden to leave their houses when it rains or snows [to prevent the impurity of the Jews being transmitted to the Shiite Muslims]
2. Jewish women are obliged to expose their faces in public [like prostitutes].
3. They must cover themselves with a two colored izar (an izar is a big piece of amterial with which eastern women are obliged to cover themselves when leaving their houses].
4. The men must not wear fine clothes, the only material being permitted them being a blue cotton fabric.
5. They are forbidden to wear matching shoes.
6. Every Jew is obliged to wear a piece of red cloth on his chest.
7. A Jew must never overtake a Muslim on a public street.
8. He is forbidden to talk loudly to a Muslim.
9. A Jewish creditor of a Muslim must claim his debt in a quavering and respectful manner.
10. If a Muslim insults a Jew, the latter must drop his head and remain silent.
11. A Jew who buys meat must wrap and conceal it carefully from Muslims.
12. It is forbidden to build fine edifices.
13. It is forbidden for him to have a house higher than that of his Muslim neighbor.
14. Neither must he use plaster for whitewashing.
15. The entrance of his house must be low.
16. The Jew cannot put on his coat; he must be satisfied to carry it rolled under his arm.
17. It is forbidden for him to cut his beard, or even to trim it slightly with scissors.
18. It is forbidden for Jews to leave the town or enjoy the fresh air of the countryside.
19. It is forbidden for Jewish doctors to ride on horseback [this right was generally forbidden to all non-Muslims, except doctors].
20. A Jew suspected of drinking spirits must not appear in the street; if he does he should be put to death immediately.
21. Weddings must be celebrated in the greatest secrecy.
22. Jews must not consume good fruit.
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Exclamation Khomeini on Iran: "Let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant

Khomeini on Iran:
"Let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world"
And remember: Khomeinists are still in power in Iran.
"Hillary Clinton's loose talk on Iran: Her idea of a US ‘defense umbrella’ against Iranian nukes may only trigger war," from the Christian Science Monitor, July 24;
[...] After all, the ruling Islamic mullahs in Iran are driven in part by a messianic Shiite theology, one that supports suicide bombers striking civilians. The regime's founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, once said: "Let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world."And the current "supreme" leader, Ali Khamenei, is willing to kill his own people when they peacefully protest a flawed election....
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Arrow Tehran's Genocidal Incitement against Israel

Tehran's Genocidal Incitement against Israel

by Elihu D. Richter and Alex Barnea
Middle East Quarterly
http://www.meforum.org/2167/iran-gen...itement-israel


Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made international headlines when on October 27, 2005, he declared in Persian that Iran would "wipe Israel off the map." Some commentators in the United States, most notably University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, argued that the phrase was a mistranslation and that Ahmadinejad did not have genocidal intent.[1] But, the Islamic Republic's official English translation rendered the phrase "Israel must be wiped off the map," [2] and the regime reiterated its English translation on billboards and murals.[3]



President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lectures above a sign saying "Death to Israel" in Persian and Arabic, not "Down with Israel" as in the English translation below. Ahmadinejad has also declared in Persian that Iran will "wipe Israel off the map." University of Michigan's Juan Cole argued that the phrase was a mistranslation and that Ahmadinejad did not have genocidal intent.

Iranian statements demonizing Jews are not new and, indeed, have long been part of Iranian political and religious culture,[4] but they have acquired new significance in the light of Iran's pursuit of nuclear enrichment technology, its development of missile delivery systems, and its support of terror proxies. Tel Aviv University professor Meir Litvak has extensively chronicled official Iranian anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.[5]

Background

It was under the shah that the government began a massive dissemination of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the hundred-year old Russian forgery alleging a Jewish plot to take over the world; its publication was subsidized and was made even more widely available after the Islamic Revolution. Excoriation of Jews was a frequent theme in Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's writings going back to the 1970s. In his famous Hukumat-i Islami (Islamic governance),[6] the 1970 book which laid out the philosophy of clerical rule, Khomeini referred to "wretched Jews" and offered allusions to Islamic history to depict Jews as a source of corruption among Muslims, asking God to curse them.[7] Khomeini declared, for example, that the "Jews … wish to establish Jewish domination … Since they are a cunning and resourceful group of people, I fear that … they may one day achieve their goal,"[8] and that the "Jews have grasped the world with both hands and are devouring it with an insatiable appetite; they are devouring America and have now turned their attention to Iran and still they are not satisfied."[9]

After the Islamic Revolution, statements calling for the eradication of Israel and hate language using dehumanizing medical metaphors to describe Jews and Israel became commonplace although Khomeini began substituting the word "Zionist" for "Jew."[10] The Iranian leadership has made such statements more frequently since Ahmadinejad assumed office in 2005. While Khomeini's image personifies radicalism in the West, it was his successor, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid'Ali Hosayni Khamane'i, who began to dehumanize Israel as a "cancerous tumor,"[11] a term he and his allies have continued to use through the years. However, the frequency and intensity of such anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist statements fluctuates across time. Evidence suggests that Iranian leaders' genocidal rhetoric declines in frequency as the international community augments pressure. Conversely, when diplomats engage with and relieve pressure on the Islamic Republic, the severity of Iranian oratory increases—a trend present through March 2009.

Rhetoric matters and words kill. The U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and Incitement to Genocide specifies that incitement to genocide is a crime against humanity.[12] Since the Holocaust, genocide scholars have identified hate language and incitement—notably the use of dehumanizing medical metaphors—as predictors, promoters, and catalysts of genocidal agendas in Cambodia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and the Sudan.[13] Gregory Gordon, former legal officer of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, has written that genocide cannot occur without incitement. He has outlined the legal tools available for the international legal community to deal with incitement to genocide and spelled out five questions relevant to defining such incitement: "Where was the statement made? Is it sufficiently public? Is it sufficiently direct? Is it permissible free speech or criminal incitement?

What is the state of mind of the person uttering the statements—is there intent to incite?" Gordon notes that, given the precedents in international law, "causation is not an element," and that even if incitement does not result in genocide, the person who incites may still be guilty of incitement to genocide—a principle applicable to the repeated statements by Khamane'i, Ahmadinejad, and other Iranian officials.[14]

While Cole and the National Iranian American Council—the Islamic Republic's de facto lobby in Washington—play down Iranian rhetoric and deny any incitement to genocide, a number of scholars, most prominently Tel Aviv University scholar Joshua Teitelbaum, editor-designate of the Middle East Quarterly Denis MacEoin, and German political scientist Matthias Küntzel, have chronicled Iranian rhetoric, including its dehumanizing medical metaphors recalling those used by Nazi propagandists since Adolf Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.[15]

Table 1 compiles statements by members of the Iranian political hierarchy and clerical leaders going back to 2000. Public statements appear to have increased in frequency from February 2008 and generally conform to Khomeini's substitution of Zionists for Jews although there have been exceptions. On April 14, 2005, for example, Grand Ayatollah Hosein Nuri-Hamadani, one of Shi'ism's top twenty-three authorities, declared, "One should fight the Jews and vanquish them so that the conditions for the advent of the Hidden Imam are met."[16] Nuri-Hamadani is also noted for his extreme views on women, secularism, liberalism, and Islamic mysticism.

Table 1: Timeline of Statements by Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders (2000-2008)

http://www.meforum.org/2167/iran-gen...itement-israel

Source: Genocide Prevention Now World Situation Room of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem, and Genocide Prevention Program of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Published with the permission of Genocide Prevention Now website. An expanded version of this paper and timeline will be posted on the Genocide Prevention Now website.

Based on available citations, Iranian hate language and incitement against Israel has varied in frequency and intensity across time. Between the September 11, 2001 attacks and the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, incitement decreased. This was at the height of Iranian president Mohammad Khatami's so-called "dialogue among civilizations." Khatami was widely feted as a reformer interested in rapprochement, and it was in this guise that the West embraced him. When his presidency came to an end, both Harvard University and the National Cathedral in Washington invited him to deliver high-profile speeches,[17] and St. Andrews University in Scotland sought to bestow an honorary degree on him; here, however, protestors outraged by his weak endorsement of human rights forced the university to downgrade the award to one not related to human rights.[18] The protestors were not wrong. Khatami's own staff acknowledged his insincerity. "We had one overt policy, which was one of negotiation and confidence building, and a covert policy, which was continuation of the activities," the president's former spokesman, 'Abd Allah Ramadan-Zada, acknowledged during a June 2008 speech at the University of Gilan.[19]

President Ahmadinejad

On June 24, 2005, Ahmadinejad was elected president. The mayor of Tehran for only two years, he was a virtual unknown in the West. Many Western officials hoped that he would continue the rhetorical trend initiated by Khatami and the so-called reformists and, indeed, Ahmadinejad's spokesman promised he would do just that.[20]

It was not to be. On October 26, 2005, Ahmadinejad declared, "As the Imam said, the Jerusalem-occupying regime must be erased from the pages of time."[21] He followed shortly after with "this stain of disgrace will be cleaned from the garment of the world of Islam, and this is attainable."[22] Such statements were met with outrage from world leaders, most vocally German chancellor Angela Merkel.[23]

There were six inflammatory statements reported in 2006 although there was a pause in the incitement when, at the end of the year, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed the first of three resolutions sanctioning the Islamic Republic for its nuclear activities,[24] and, in 2007, when the U.S. House of Representatives voted 411 to 2 for House Resolution 21, "Calling on the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and United Nations Charter because of his calls for the destruction of the State of Israel."[25]

Genocide scholars have noted that architects and perpetrators of mass murder are often sensitive to outside public opinion and conceal, camouflage, or calibrate their agendas.[26] This may explain why the frequency and intensity of the hate language and incitement abated after the U.N. Security Council resolutions, even if the personalities holding office in the Iranian government remained constant.

Iranian incitement increased after the U.S. National Intelligence Council released its November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that Tehran had ceased its pursuit of a nuclear weapon in the spring of 2003 when the United States invaded Iraq—an association missed by the council. The release of the estimate relieved diplomatic pressure on the Islamic Republic, whose senior leaders had previously believed there was some possibility that the Bush administration might order military strikes against it.[27] Thereafter, throughout 2008, the Iranian media quoted not only Ahmadinejad but also Khamane'i and a range of other senior officials including Kayhan editor Hossein Shariatmadari, Council of Guardians chairman Ahmad Jannati, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Mohammad Ali Jaafari, and Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, a senior expediency council official, making inflammatory statements containing dehumanizing medical metaphors. (See Table 1.)

During the same period, Western universities and media began to book Ahmadinejad as a guest or host him for speeches coinciding with his annual visits to the opening annual sessions of the U.N. General Assembly, thereby bestowing the legitimacy of statesmanship upon him. The Council on Foreign Relations, for example, invited Ahmadinejad to a meeting on September 20, 2006, and Columbia University hosted a speech by Ahmadinejad in September 2007. During his September 2008 trip to the United States, both The New York Times and CNN's Larry King interviewed him, and various religious figures—including the leadership of the American Friends Service Committee, the leading Quaker nongovernmental organization, dined with him. Three months later, Britain's television Channel 4 invited Ahmadinejad to deliver its annual alternative Christmas address, [28] a broadcast that, with some irony, occurred concurrently with Iranian police raids on the BBC Persian offices in Iran.[29] True to the pattern, as international isolation continued to ease, incitement using the medical metaphors of hate language returned. Hassan Rowhani, Supreme Leader Khamane'i's representative on the Supreme National Security Council, referred to Israel as a "cancerous tumor" on January 12, 2009.[30] Soon after President Barack Obama called for a renewal of U.S. engagement with Iran, Khamane'i again referred to Israel as a "cancerous tumor."[31]

The record suggests that a mixture of increased complacency, acquiescence, and tolerance for ever harsher Iranian hate language, at times with a subtext of legitimization, may have removed the inhibitions to the increasing use of such language, provided it is interspersed occasionally with more circumspect language, such as in Ahmadinejad's U.K. Christmas Channel 4 oration.

Conclusion

Thirty years have passed since the inauguration of the Islamic Republic. Senior members of the Iranian leadership, first under Khomeini and now under Khamane'i and Ahmadinejad, have successfully transmitted incitement and hate language across generations. The reach of this message is now prolonged, far-reaching, and deep—in part because such messages play on preexisting anti-Semitic motifs already embedded in Middle Eastern and Islamic political culture.[32]

Iranian official rhetoric may serve two purposes. First, it may provide a window into regime thinking: Public hate language and incitement from the senior Iranian leadership signal genocidal intent to destroy Israel, an accomplishment that would deter anyone in the Islamic world from resisting Tehran in the future. Second, with their economy sinking,[33] Iranian leaders may believe that demonizing internal and external enemies could be a useful diversionary tactic.

Whatever the case, the Iranian leadership appears to calibrate the output and intensity of its incitement to the intensity of world reactions. If there is to be any engagement with the Iranian leadership, it must include specific demands for the cessation of incitement to genocide. Such engagement should occur concurrently with the application of the existing tools of international law such as prosecuting individual Iranian leaders for incitement to genocide, or referring the Islamic Republic to the International Court of Justice. Without such tangible measures, Iran's leaders may believe they have a free hand to implement a genocidal agenda.
Elihu D. Richter heads the Genocide Prevention Program at Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine and is associate director, Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide. Alex Barnea is research assistant and project manager of the World Genocide Situation Room.
[1] The New York Times, June 11, 2006.
[2] Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (Tehran), Oct. 27, 2005.
[3] Agence France-Presse, Mar. 9, 2008; Reuters, Mar. 9, 2008.
[4] For nineteenth century instances, see Daniel Tsadik, Between Foreigners and Shi'is (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007).
[5] Meir Litvak and Ester Webman, From Empathy to Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009).
[6] The book was published under three different titles, the other two being Vilayat-e Faqih and Nama'i az Imam Musawi Kashef al-Ghita'.
[7] Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini, Hamid Algar, ed. and trans. (Los Angeles: Mizan Press, 1981), pp. 47, 89, 127.
[8] Matthias Küntzel, "Iran's Obsession with the Jews," The Weekly Standard, Feb. 19, 2007.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Joshua Teitelbaum, "What Iranian Leaders Really Say about Doing away with Israel," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, July 1, 2008.
[12] Irwin Cotler, "Incitement to Genocide: Record of the Past and Challenges for the Future," presentation, "State-Sanctioned Incitement to Genocide: What Can Be Done?" Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2008.
[13] Ibid.
[14] See Gregory Gordon, "Incitement to Genocide in International Diplomacy and Law," presentation, "State-Sanctioned Incitement to Genocide: What Can Be Done"; idem, "From Incitement to Indictment? Prosecuting Iran's President for Advocating Israel's Destruction and Piecing Together Incitement Law's Emerging Analytical Framework," The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Spring 2008.
[15] Teitelbaum, "What Iranian Leaders Really Say"; Küntzel, "Iran's Obsession with the Jews."
[16] Küntzel, "Iran's Obsession with the Jews"; Matthias Kuntzel, "Defining Jew-Hatred Down: The Curious Response to Ahmadinejad at the U.N.," The Weekly Standard, Nov. 17, 2008.
[17] BBC News, Sept. 14 2006.
[18] BBC News, Oct. 31, 2006.
[19] Fars News (Tehran), June 14, 2008.
[20] Islamic Republic News Agency (Tehran), June 26, 2005.
[21] Teitelbaum, "What Iranian Leaders Really Say."
[22] Ibid.
[23] Tagesschau (Hamburg), Dec. 15, 2005.
[24] U.N. Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008).
[25] House Congressional Resolution 21, June 20, 2007.
[26] Gordon, "From Incitement to Indictment?"
[27] Sobh-e Sadegh (Tehran), May 3, 2008.
[28] "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Alternative Christmas Message," Channel 4, Dec. 25, 2008.
[29] Abrar (Tehran), Dec. 25, 2008.
[30] Aghasazi.com (Tehran), Jan. 12, 2009.
[31] The Jerusalem Post, Mar. 4, 2009.
[32] Bernard Lewis, "Muslim Anti-Semitism," Middle East Quarterly, June 1998, pp. 43-9.
[33] Michael Rubin, "Iran's Economy Runs out of Steam," Forbes.com, Oct. 17, 2008.
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Arrow Gauging the Iranian Threat

Gauging the Iranian Threat
Should Israel – and the world – worry about nuclear-armed mullahs?
by Matt Gurney

In a recent interview with the Canadian news magazine Maclean’s, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy offered fascinating, expert insight into Israel’s current security situation.

Unsurprisingly, his interview focused largely on the questions of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians and the threat posed by Iran. On the Palestinian question, Halevy said that the prospect for peace between Israelis and Palestinians hinges upon the ability of the Palestinians to forge their own state, without relying on foreign benefactors to do it for them. (Left unsaid is that such a Palestinian state would have to renounce the fanatical hatred of Israel that has consumed it for three generations.) But the real crux of the interview is Halevy’s thoughts on the threat posed by Iran.

When asked about Iran developing a nuclear strike capability, Halevy responded with words worth quoting at length:
“It is a serious threat. It is not an existential threat. It is not within the power of Iran to destroy the state of Israel — at best it can cause Israel grievous damage. Israel is indestructible. I believe that Israel has a sufficient capability, both offensive and defensive, to take care of any threat, including the Iranian threat.”
Few can match Halevy’s expertise. Yet, when he says that Iran at best can “cause Israel grievous damage,” one has to wonder exactly how much damage he means. When discussing the prospect of being attacked with nuclear weapons, what level of destruction would Israel be willing to absorb before it deemed itself destroyed, rather than merely virtually destroyed? And if Iranian-issue nuclear bombs are exploding in Israeli cities, meeting the technical definition of “not destroyed” would hardly be a consolation for the Israeli populace.

It is true that nuclear weapons are not quite as powerful as shown in popular culture. A bomb exploding ten miles away will not instantly and painlessly kill every living thing. The nuclear weapons that Iran is developing would likely be fairly crude designs, not much more powerful than the weapons that America dropped on Japan in 1945. Even so, the difference is academic. A country with a majority of its citizens still alive, but its centers of culture, governance and commerce destroyed, may cling to existence, but the state of Israel, a modern, advanced liberal democracy, would be lost in the scramble to merely survive. It is odd in the extreme to hear Halevy sound so unconcerned with the prospect of a nuclear attack upon his home.

Halevy’s comments on Israel’s ability to fend off an attack, or retaliate against one, are also of interest. Israel is a leader in the development of missile defense technology. Indeed, its Iron Dome system was tested successfully just last week. And while never having publicly admitted to possessing nuclear weapons, Israel’s nuclear stockpile is a known secret. If Iran drops a bomb on Israel, it can expect to receive dozens if not hundreds back. Perhaps, then, Halevy’s words are not meant for journalists or magazine readers, but for the Iranian regime. If so, Halevy’s meaning becomes clearer: “You cannot destroy us, we can and will protect ourselves and we don’t take you as seriously as you do us. Consider that before you mess with us.”

But Halevy’s most noteworthy comments are his observations on the corner into which the Tehran regime has painted itself. “By its own doing,” he said, “Iran has created a situation whereby it cannot reach an ultimate accommodation with the U.S. without relinquishing its active pursuit of the destruction of Israel — because the U.S. would never permit this to happen.” Halevy’s hope is that Iran, when it realizes that it is in an untenable position, will seek a truce with Washington by backing off its threats to Israel.

Halevy could be right that a solution to the Iranian threat is just a matter of time. Recent events, however, give little cause for optimism. Iran is once again in the midst of a brutal crackdown on dissidents. The recent death of a prominent reformist cleric has led to renewed protests and a subsequent assault by the Iranian state upon its own people. Hundreds have been arrested for protesting, cast into a prison system known for its systemic abuses of human rights. The arrested include reformists, journalists and members of the Bahai faith. Other journalists have already been sentenced to jail or exile. Iran’s reformist leader, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, has paid a personal price for his opposition to the Ahmadinejad regime. His young nephew, Ali, is among the latest protesters to be killed by Iranian security forces.

As if this isn’t troubling enough, Iran continues to provoke the West through outright belligerence. Next month it will hold large-scale military exercises, designed to prepare the country’s armed forces to resist an armed attack by foreign enemies, a rather transparent euphemism for America and Israel. The absurdity of this hardly needs to be pointed out: if Iran would simply behave responsibly as a cooperative, transparent member of the international community, such provocative exercises would be unnecessary, as there would be no reason for Iran to fear attack. If Iran accepts any of the numerous international agreements already proposed as an alternative to its continuing to developing its nuclear program, the threat of war would vanish overnight.

Despite former Mossad chief Halevy’s confidence that Iran does not pose an existential threat to Israel, Iran seems to be doing its best to convince the world otherwise. At this date, it is hard to know who is right. But when a country as provocative as Iran presses ahead with its nuclear program, and shows no signs of backing down, it’s hard to share Halevy’s optimism.
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Arrow Our Missiles Can Cause "Big Holocaust" in Israel

Senior Iranian Official Mohammad Hassan Rahimian:
Our Missiles Can Cause "Big Holocaust" in Israel

Click to view video> http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/108/0/2342.htm
Clip #2342 Broadcast: January 12, 2010

From Memri
Transcript:

Following is an excerpt from a statement by Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei's representative in the Iranian Martyr Foundation, which aired on Al-Manar TV on January 12, 2010.


Mohammad Hassan Rahimian: The economic siege and everything they have done against us... "The plotting of evil will hem in only its authors." The outcome was the opposite. Before the war, we had no military equipment. We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary, to replace (sic) Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:12 PM
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Exclamation Iranians Boost Efforts to Arouse the Palestinian Masses

http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/4052.htm




March 23, 2010
Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No.598




Iranians Boost Efforts to Arouse the Palestinian Masses

By: A. Savyon and Y. Mansharof*

In recent weeks, Iran has been noticeably ratcheting up its efforts to arouse the Palestinian resistance organizations against Israel, particularly in public declarations and with promises of support and aid.

Iran's moves apparently come against the backdrop of Tehran's preparations for the expansion of sanctions against it.

Tehran's focus on mobilizing the Palestinian resistance organizations and its recurrent declarations of the imminent outbreak of a third intifada stem from its assessment that politically, it is more prudent to act in the Palestinian arena than in the Lebanese arena – where Tehran, Damascus, and Hizbullah would pay a high price for it.[1] In contrast, stirring up the Palestinian arena, which at present is at an impasse, yields immediate results for Tehran in establishing its position in the Islamic world – at the expense of Egypt and Saudi Arabia and without any cost whatsoever to it globally. Such moves also appear to constitute defiance of the U.S., particularly in light of the U.S. administration's efforts to restart Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Immediately after the February 25, 2010 Damascus summit, attended by Syrian President Al-Assad and Iranian President Ahmadinejad,[2] Tehran pointedly hosted the leaders of the Palestinianfactions, at a two-day conference on National and Islamic Solidarity for the Future of Palestine.[3] At the conference, Ahmadinejad made particularly virulent anti-Israel statements.

It must be stressed, however, that Hamas, an Arab Sunni movement, is in no hurry to place itself under the authority of Shi'ite Iran, and that there are differences of opinion as well as rivalry between Hamas officials in Gaza and Hamas leaders in Damascus.

Khamenei at Tehran Palestinian Resistance Conference: The Resistance Will Be Successful in "Destroying Israel"
The Tehran conference was attended by Palestinian faction leaders – including Damascus-based Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mash'al, Islamic Jihad leader Ramadhan Shallah, and PFLP-GC leader Ahmad Jibril.[4] (See also MEMRI TV Clip No. 2407, "Iranian Leader Khamenei Meets with Heads of Palestinian Factions," March 1, 2010[5]).

At a meeting with the leaders, on the eve of the conference, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei went all out in his praise for the Palestinian resistance, calling it "an incredible phenomenon" that was driving Israel to "defeat and destruction." He added that the resistance had united the various Palestinian movements and had led to belief in God, that that the resistance would succeed in liberating Palestine, and that its increased strength in confronting "the front of arrogance and disbelief" was undeniable. Khamenei, emphasizing the importance of establishing a “new Islamic Middle East,” declared that the U.S. would suffer defeat at the hands of the Palestinian nation. He also took the opportunity to criticize Egypt's call to Iran to cease its interference in the Palestinian arena, saying that when the Arabs were asked to help the Palestinians, they abandoned them because of the enemy and its allies. Khamenei stressed that the conduct of the Arabs would be condemned in the annals of history.[6]

Ahmadinejad: The Hidden Imam Is Aiding the Palestinians; "The Hand of God... Will Purge the Region" of the Zionist Existence by Means of the Palestinians
At the conference, Ahmadinejad gave a particularly virulent anti-Israel speech, declaring that Tehran would help the Palestinian resistance movements, and stressing that Israel would be destroyed by the resistance.[7] In this speech, Ahmadinejad highlighted the role of the Hidden Imam, the Shi'ite messiah, as helper of the Palestinians.

He said: "You [the Palestinians] must be in a state of maximal readiness: the moment the Zionist regime makes a mistake, you must end its shameful life once and for all, and the Iranian nation will stand alongside you and will support you with all its might... The era of Israel and of its supporters has reached its end... and the signs of final victory are evident.”

Addressing the Israelis themselves, he said: “Respect the rights of the Palestinian people, and go back to wherever you came from – and if you do not do so, know that the hand of God will emerge from the sleeves of the faith of the Palestinian nation and of the nations of the region, and will purge the region of your existence."

Ahmadinejad told the conference participants: "Rest assured that the honorable Mahdi is standing alongside you and supporting you in carrying out your divine duty... The Hidden Imam lives, and He is aware of what is happening around us... His existence serves as a sanctuary and sows despair among the [sons of] Satan and of the arrogance [i.e., the West, especially the U.S.]..."

He continued: "[Israel,] the virus of corruption, has lost its raison d’être, thanks to God and to the brave resistance of the sons of Palestine; 60 years of the West’s unconditional support for [Israel] and the failure of the plans for reconciliation demonstrate that the resistance alone will realize the Palestinian rights."

Rejecting Israel's right to exist even within only part of its current borders, Ahmadinejad said: "The existence of the criminal Zionist regime is an insult to all humanity... The Zionists are a racist group; [they] are not committed to a single human principle, and their presence on even a single centimeter of the land of Palestine and the region leads to threat, to consecutive wars, and crimes...

"Today, it is clear that the Zionist party and Zionism aspire to take over the entire world, and that the international [political] and financial centers are under their influence...

Praise be to God and the Palestinian resistance, today it is evident to all that the Zionists have no religion – on the contrary, they oppose the prophets and religion, and it is known to all that the establishment of the Zionist regime was planned and carried out by the 'global arrogance' and by the tyrannical rule that prevails on the basis of corruption and lies, and with the aim of establishing a base in the heart of our sensitive and crucial region...

"Today, it is known to all that the mission of the Zionist regime is occupation, aggression, threat, and preparing the ground for the rule of the oppressors in the world... The slogans of human rights and the struggle against terrorism, uttered by the supporters of the Zionist regime, are a pretext for their presence in the region and for the expansion of their control over it...

"Today, it is clear that the Zionists are the source of all wars, of the destruction of cultures and human values, and of terrorism... Today, it is clear that the only means to combat them is through courageous and fiery resistance, by the faithful sons of Palestine and by the nations of the region...

"The 60 years of crime [perpetrated] by the Zionists, the unconditional support of them by Western politicians, and the failure of the reconciliation plan [with them] are evidence of the mission of this regime and of the justice of the resistance. This proves, therefore, that this is the only path to end the occupation and to realize the rights of the Palestinian nation...

"[Even] the European nations are interested in an end being put to the disgraceful life of Zionist thought. Were the European and U.S. governments to hold an internationally monitored referendum on this issue, it would become clear that the[ir own] peoples do not want [Israel.]

"Praise be to God, the Zionist regime is at the end of its road, on a downward slope and at a complete dead end, and time is working against it... They [the Zionists] are ready to set the entire world on fire to save themselves...

"The signs of final victory can be seen, and the only path is the continuation of the resistance, love of God, and certainty of victory... The destiny of the Zionist regime is for it to be completely eliminated."[8]

Palestinian Faction Leaders at the Tehran Conference
In an interview with the Iranian news agency Qodsna, Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mash'al said that the resistance owed its very existence to Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei, and stressed the importance of the meeting with him for the future of the resistance: "If the resistance in the region breathes today, it is by virtue of Khamenei, who has always defended it unconditionally... This meeting [with Khamenei] was highly important to the future of the moral values of Palestine and the resistance, particularly under the current conditions in the region."[9]

Mash'al said at the conference that Israel is destined to pass from the world, and warned against “[Israel’s] decision to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque and the rest of the holy sites in Palestine.”[10]

The other Palestinian faction leaders also thanked Iran for supporting the Palestinians, and stressed that they would continue with the resistance, as the only path to victory over Israel. PFLP-GC leader Ahmad Jibril said that resistance was a step along the path of the Prophet Muhammad, and that the resistance had established a new Middle East, starting with Tehran and stretching throughout the entire region.
Also attending the conference was Haitham Sataihi, from the Syrian Ba'th Party leadership; during a meeting with him, Khamenei said that the resistance was the shortest path to attaining the rights of the resistance.[11]

Iranian Media: A Third Intifada Is On the Way
The Iranian media have stated repeatedly in recent weeks that a third intifada against Israel is on the verge of breaking out. A March 1, 2010 article in the Iranian daily Javan, which is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), stated, "The only route before the Palestinians in response to Israel's desecration of the Islamic holy sites is to ignite a new intifada."[12]

On March 2, the Iranian daily Kayhan, affiliated with Iranian Leader Khamenei, assessed that in light of developments within Israel and outside it, a third intifada was taking shape there, and that the liberation of Palestine would be attained by the resistance and by popular struggle.[13]

A March 17 article in the Jomhouri-ye Eslami daily, titled "Intifada – The Successful Model for Fighting the Occupation," praised the recent Palestinian protests, and added that if a new intifada were to break out, "no force will be able to prevent it from accomplishing its goals."[14]

The Qods daily stated, also on March 17, that a third intifada was almost a certainty, because of the "provocative and insane" moves of the “Tel Aviv regime" and its imperialist and racist policy.[15]

A March 15 article in the IRGC weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, titled "A New Intifada Sets Out," stated that "the only path to attain the rights of the Palestinian people and the struggle against the expansionist aspirations of the Zionists is the continuation of the resistance and the start of a new intifada throughout Palestine – even though the reconciliation [front, i.e., of the Arab countries belonging to the Egyptian and Saudi camp,] has taken and will continue to take extensive steps to fight this operation."[16]

In addition, the Iranian news agency Qodsna stated, on March 3, that the previous day's attempted attack on Route 443 by Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades-'Imad Mughniya Groups was "the first spark of the third intifada."[17]

*A. Savyon is Director of the Iranian Media Project; Y. Mansharof is a Research Fellow at MEMRI.

Endnotes:

[1] Tehran is not calling publicly upon Hizbullah to attack Israel, but to prepare for an Israeli attack. For statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to prepare to eliminate Israel, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No, 2826, "Iranian President Ahmadinejad Repeatedly Calls for Eliminating Israel," February 25, 2010, http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/108/0/3997.htm.

[2] For statements by these two at the conference, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 2829, "At Damascus Summit, Ahmadinejad and Assad Attack U.S. and Israel; Ahmadinejad: Israel's Elimination is Near; Assad: The Resistance Is Winning," February 29, 2010, http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/4000.htm.

[3] The conference was held on February 27-28, 2010.

[4] Fars (Iran), February 27, 2010.


[6] Jam-e Jaam (Iran), February 28, 2010.

[7] In a speech delivered a few days later at Bandar Abbas in southern Iran, Ahmadinejad said that after having planted Israel in the region by means of lies, the West was now doubting the value of its continued existence. He added that Israel, the most hated regime in the world, would be eliminated by the Palestinians and by the nations of the region, and even if Israel generated a war, it would not succeed in preventing its elimination. Press TV (Iran), March 11, 2010.

[8] Fars, Iran, February 28, 2010

[9] Qodsna (Iran), February 28, 2010.

[10] Palestine-info.info, February 28, 2010.

[11] Mehr, Press TV (Iran), February 27, 2010; Al-Thawra (Syria), February 28, 2010.

[12] Javan (Iran), March 1, 2010.

[13] Kayhan (Iran), March 2, 2010.

[14] Jomhouri-ye Eslami, (Iran), March 17, 2010.

[15] Qods (Iran), March 17, 2010.

[16] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), March 15, 2010.

[17] Qodsna (Iran), March 3, 2010.




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Exclamation Iranian freedom fighter Amil Imani: Jews as scapegoats

Iranian freedom fighter Amil Imani: Jews as scapegoats
The courageous Iranian freedom fighter Amil Imani writes about the Muslim scapegoating of Jews:
[...] Sadly, the Jewish people have been used as scapegoat for many centuries by a variety of non-Jews. Regrettably, Muslims for their part and have adopted scapegoating as an article of faith. The Muslims blame the Jews for all kinds of heinous things, dating back to the time of Muhammad himself. They say that the Jews of Medina betrayed the holy prophet by their treachery. They charged the poor exorbitant sums for their goods; did no productive work, yet made fortunes through money lending. To make matters worse, the Jews refused to embrace Muhammad's religion, they say. The story of Banu Qurayza's Massacre from Quranic verses, is very clear how Allah actually rejoices this in slaughter and enslavement of the tribe of Banu Qurayza's Jews.
Quran-33:25- "Allah turned back the unbelievers [Meccans and their allies] in a state of rage, having not won any good, and Allah spared the believers battle. Allah is, indeed, Strong and Mighty."

Quran-33:26- "And He brought those of the People of the Book [Jewish people of Banu Qurayza's] who supported them from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts, some of them you slew (beheaded) and some you took prisoners (captive)"

Quran-33:27- "And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods, and of a land which ye had not frequented (before). And Allah has power over all things." [Merciful Allah asked Prophet Muhammad to confiscate entire properties of surrendered Jews.]

Hence, following the example of Muhammad, many Muslim societies have been blaming the Jews for everything and find them deserving of victimization. The litany of atrocities committed against the Jews by the followers of Muhammad is long indeed.

Regrettably, ascribing blame to others and legitimizing their victimization has become a way of life with the rabid Islamists. As sick as scapegoating is, it confers advantages to its practitioners. For one, it rallies the faithful against an enemy portrayed as depraved and dangerous. That's how Hitler and his gang of thugs aroused the German nation against the Jews. They falsely, yet successfully, blamed the Jews for Germany's economic problems.

The Islamists, for their part, are still playing the Jewish blame card as best as they can. The State of Israel, by its very existence, has provided the inept and habitually devious Islamists a palpable target to blame and attack. Yet, Israel still not only exists, but thrives in their midst. None of the dastardly actions of the Islamists has been effective at realizing their dream of pushing the children of Israel into the sea....
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:34 PM
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Arrow Why a new leader wouldn't change Iran much


http://www.iranpressnews.com/english/source/080732.html


http://www.csmonitor.com


Ahmadinejad assassination attempt: Why a new leader wouldn't change Iran much

Iran downplayed early reports of an assassination attempt on populist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this morning, saying a firecracker exploded near his convoy. Would an Iran without Ahmadinejad be much different?


Boston —
Iran dismissed early reports today that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had survived an assassination attempt in the western city of Hamadan, saying instead that a firecracker tossed by a supporter had simply detonated after his convoy had passed.

Early reports on Iranian news services, one closely tied to the government, had it that a grenade had been tossed at his car. Whatever the truth, no one was hurt and Ahmadinejad went on to a local sports stadium to deliver a scheduled speech.

The populist leader made no mention of the incident during his televised address, instead lashing out at American and European efforts to rein in his country's nuclear program. "It will be one of your big mistakes if you think you, resorting to lies ... we will give you any concessions," he told supporters.

But the incident, involving a leader who publicly reviles America, is demonized by the United States in turn, and is the face of a nuclear effort that appears to be grinding inexorably forward, does allow for an interesting thought experiment. What would an Iran without Ahmadinejad look like? And would it to be any advantage to the outside powers like the US that are deeply hostile to his regime?

The short answers are: 1. Not much different. And, 2. Probably not.
The reasons why have to do with the nature of Iranian politics and the fact that Ahmadinejad is as much an expression of hard-line, anti-Western elements at the top of Iran's government now as much as he is their symbol.

Despite the fact that his reelection in June 2009 was badly marred by fraud and sparked democracy protests by reformers often referred to as the "Green Movement," Ahmadinejad and his allies have since consolidated their positions.

A brutal crackdown on reformers, with show trials, executions, and allegations of torture, has been largely effective in quelling opposition, at least on the surface. The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the paramilitary group that is closely aligned with Ahmadinejad and led the crackdown, has expanded its financial and political power in the past year, leading to an unprecedented degree of militarization at the top of the state and making the group one of the handful of key power-brokers in the country.

Ahmadinejad's current position is as much a reflection of IRGC power as the IRGC's ascendancy is a reflection of their close alignment with Ahmadinejad. An Iran tomorrow without Ahmadinejad, whether through election, accident, or attack, is conceivable. An Iran without with the IRGC and the strong voice it would have in a successor, less so.

None of this is to say that change isn't possible in Iran or unlikely to happen some day. Just that no bolt of lightning appears to be on the horizon to shift Iran from its stance of confrontation with the West that has prevailed for most of the 30 years since the revolution.

Flawed practice of democracy
The flaws in Iran's practice of democracy are manifest, from electoral fraud to restrictions on who can run for office and the overall authority Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the unelected cleric who is seen within Iran as the interpreter of God's will on earth. But that shouldn't obscure the fact that the country is far from a dictatorship like, say, the regime of Saddam Hussein that the US and its allies toppled in 2003.

Ahmadinejad is part of a generation of politicians who came of age during the Islamic revolution and its fiery anti-Western rhetoric in 1979 who now are larded throughout the senior bureaucracy. It's this generation of people -- not Ahmadinejad himself -- who stand in the way of Iran's reformers, so change will have to be about far more than just one man.

To be sure, a recent poll in Iran found that 56 percent of Iranians believe Ahmadinejad's popularity has declined in the past year and there's substantial anecdotal evidence that many millions of Iranians want a more open political system and better relations with the outside world. But their ability to effect top level politics and policy making is unclear, at best, for the moment.

Many analysts believe that tightening sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program may hurt average Iranian's far more than the leaders the US and its allies say are there intended targets, and could in fact end up bolstering hard liners. A decade of sanctions against Iraq after the first Gulf War crippled the Iraqi economy but did nothing to dislodge Saddam Hussein -- instead helping to fuel a criminal class allied with the Hussein committed to regime survival, and not the interests of average citizens.

There is anecdotal evidence that the Revolutionary Guards, by some accounts already the largest business entity in the country, are deepening their economic influence thanks to their taxation and control of the country's lucrative smuggling trade.

Mir-Hussein Mousavi, the political reformer who lost to Ahmadinejad in the fraud-marred election, has criticized the sanctions as hurting poor Iranians. He said the economic effect so far was ""like undergoing a massive attack by foreign enemies" and argued that the international community "turning back toward the people is the only solution and then you will see that again there is a backdrop of hope."

"There is a lot of skepticism about the utility of sanctions, in part because there are very few instances where you can point to sanctions directly delivering a result," Meghan O'Sullivan, a professor of international relations at Harvard's Kennedy School and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CFR in July.

She says that sanctions could work if coupled with the right kinds of diplomatic engagement, but is skeptical that is going to happen. "There is the difficulty of translating the impact of sanctions into political change in Tehran. No one is very clear on how this is going to happen, mostly because this depends primarily with how the regime works and on internal Iranian dynamics."
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Arrow Grand Ayatollah Dismisses Nazi Holocaust as 'Superstition'





A senior Iranian cleric has dismissed the Nazi Holocaust during World War II as a 'superstition' created by the West.

Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi - among the highest authorities in Shiite Islam - said in reports released yesterday. 'The Holocaust is nothing but superstition, but Zionists say that people of the world should be forced to accept this,' he was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

'Americans and Westerners are affected by newly appeared superstitions such as the Holocaust.'


Denied: The cleric has denied the genocide of nearly six millions Jews, such as those at Auschwitz, southern Poland

The comments came after Ahmadinejad scoffed at attempts on Friday to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, calling them 'doomed' to fail and said the people of the Middle East are 'capable of removing the Zionist regime' from the world scene.

Iran does not recognise Israel -- the sole if undeclared nuclear-armed state in the Middle East -- which accuses the Islamic republic of seeking nuclear weapons and has never ruled out a military strike to curb its atomic drive.

The Nazi Holocaust involved the genocide of approximately six million Jews from mainland Europe as part of Adolf Hitler's 'Final Solution' to scourge the area of its nine million strong Jewish population.

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Old 11-09-2010, 05:05 PM
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Arrow Iran Calls its Quran Schools 'Autobahns of Martyrdom'

Iran Calls its Quran Schools 'Autobahns of Martyrdom'




Teheran (AsiaNews) - The expansion of the culture of martyrdom is the "decision" of General Mohammad-Reza Naghdi, head of the Basij paramilitary group - which operates under the command of the Revolutionary Guard and has distinguished itself in the violent repression of opposition demonstrations - taken together with the Ministry of Education.

The general added that he was pursuing the goal adding “values of divine defence of the Iranian nation” into the classrooms and books. The "Divine defense” (defae moghadas) is a term coined to refer to the 8-year war Iran had with Iraq for most of the 1980s, when tens of thousands of children and young people, used as the first wave of attacks, lost their lives.

The "demand" made by Naghdi, reports Rooz, the voice of Iranian exiles, is to confront what he called the “soft war” and promote “the expansion of the culture of selflessness and martyrdom". Moreover, he expects this in educational programs, particularly from the “research and educational planning organization.”

Previously, the education minister had spoken of the intention to add "selflessness and martyrdom" as a topic in school books and had mentioned the creation of "ten thousand Quran schools, termed "autobahns for martyrdom and humanity " .

Naghdi General has also expressed the intention of the Basij to have a "more direct involvement" in the publishing of scholastic texts. Ideological changes in the textbooks entered the program of the Ministry of Education since Ahmadinejad became president, particularly since the start of his second term.

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  #12  
Old 06-28-2012, 05:14 AM
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Arrow Iran Declares War against the Jewish People

Iran Declares War against the Jewish People
Hitlerian rhetoric from the Islamic Republic
by Alan M. Dershowitz

The Iranian government, long known for its Holocaust denial and anti-Zionism, has now declared war against the Jewish people. In a speech delivered in Tehran, Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi accused the Jewish people of spreading illegal drugs around the world, killing black babies, starting the Bolshevik Revolution and causing many of the world’s other ills. His “proof”: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anyone who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict. They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.”

There are, of course, numerous addicts among Jews and Zionists, as there are among all groups. Israel has several treatment centers for drug addicts as do Jewish communities throughout the world. He also cited “proof” that the Jews caused the Bolshevik Revolution: not a single Jew was killed during that Revolution. Of course, thousands of Jews were murdered during the Bolshevik Revolution as well as during Stalin’s purges in the decades following the establishment of the Soviet Union.

But don’t expect truth from a country whose leaders deny the existence of even a single gay person in all of Iran.

Vice President Rahimi cited the Talmud as the source of his claptrap and in support of his claim that Jews believe that they are racially superior and that “God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them.”

These bigoted claims would be laughable if they did not have such a long and disturbing history. Virtually everything stated by Vice President Rahimi came directly out of Hitler’s playbook of the 1930s and Stalin’s playbook of the 1940s and 50s. They must be taken seriously in light of the fact that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and has already called for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map. Moreover, Iran’s surrogate, Hezbollah, has invited all the Jews of the world to move to Israel so that it will be easier to destroy them in one fell swoop.

Taken together, these statements and actions constitute a clear incitement to genocide, which is explicitly prohibited by international law and by the rules governing the International Criminal Court. Professor Irwin Cotler, the former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, has drafted a brilliant brief making the case for indicting the Iranian leaders for inciting genocide against the Jewish people. Vice President Rahimi’s speech constitutes additional evidence of that crime, if any were needed.

If the leaders of Iran are guilty of incitement against the Jewish people, as they plainly are, they have many coconspirators and facilitators. In recent years these have included several prominent church leaders, such as Cardinal Glemp of Poland, Father Daniel Berrigan of the United States, Cardinal Rodriguez of Honduras, Bishop Tutu of South Africa and numerous others who have crossed the line from anti-Zionism to overt anti-Semitism.

Cardinal Glemp, while serving as the primate of Poland, accused the Jews of bringing Communism, alcoholism and poverty to Poland. He also accused them of provoking anti-Semitism. Father Daniel Berrigan characterized the Jewish state as “a criminal Jewish community” that “manufactures human waste.” A current cardinal of the Catholic Church Oscar Andres Rodriguez Meridiaga, who is the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, has been telling anyone who is willing to listen that “the Jews” are to blame for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! How did Cardinal Rodriguez ever come up with this ridiculous idea? Here is his “logic:” the Vatican is anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. It follows, therefore, that “the Jews” had to get even with the Catholic Church, while at the same time deflecting attention away from Israeli injustices against the Palestinians. The Jews managed to do this by arranging for the media which they, of course, control to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal.

Not to be outdone, Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu claims that Americans are frightened of excessive Jewish influence in America because “the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful.” He compared the Jewish influence in America to that of “Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic and Idi Amin”—all of whom who were “powerful, but in the end they bit the dust.”

And now joining in the incitement is Pulitzer Prize willing author Alice Walker, who says that the situation of Arab citizens in Israel is much worse that what blacks experienced in the South during Jim Crow, thus trivializing the suffering of her own people about which she has written so poignantly! She has now decided to withhold her writings from all readers of Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people.

These hateful voices, from the left, the right and the center, are influencing conduct around the world. Anti-Semitic violence is increasing as is anti-Semitic incitement. The time has come to take this threat seriously, whether it comes from absurd sources such as Iran or more respected personages such as Bishop Tutu and Alice Walker.

I am not seeking to constrain freedom of expression through governmental censorship. I am asking people of good will to condemn all anti-Jewish bigotry even when expressed by those who are admired, and to take action against the danger posed by the noxious combination of radioactive words and radioactive weapons.

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Old 08-14-2012, 05:55 PM
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Arrow Iran’s Longing for a New Holocaust

Iran’s Longing for a New Holocaust
Why we should take seriously the fanatical rants of the Islamic Republic
by Giulio Meotti




The late Ayatollah Khomeini reshaped Iran in a manner that was much more in tune with the Islamic character than the late Shah’s modernizing spirit, who was despised exactly because he tried to modernize Iranian society. Iran’s Revolution is both motivated by the establishment of a universal Islamic regime and by a genocidal and annihilationist anti-Semitism.

Iran today is a country where the perpetrators of the “lavat” (the “crime” of homosexuality) are going to the gallows, adulterers are stoned to death, “blasphemers” are hanged from trees and women who fight against the obligation of veiling are defaced with razors. But above all, the Islamic ayatollahs are planning a new Holocaust of the Jewish people and they will soon have enough enriched uranium to implement their “Final Solution of the Israeli question.”

The West is dismissing the Iranian obsession with plots, which resembles that of Joseph Stalin, who accused Jewish doctors of plotting to poison him. The doctors’ show trial was meant to cleanse the Soviet Union of “foreign,” “cosmopolitan” and “Zionist” (read: Jewish) threats. Adolf Hitler, too, believed that there was a Jewish plot to destroy Europe.

Khomeini declared a war against the Jews. The founder of Iran’s Islamic Republic recalled that the Persian King Cyrus had liberated the Jews from their Babylonian captivity in the sixth century B.C. as someone “preventing the natural disappearance of [those] who would never be satisfied with anything less than world domination.” According to Khomeini, the Jews plot to destroy Islam. “From the very beginning, the historical movement of Islam has had to contend with the Jews, for it was they who first established anti-Islamic propaganda. . . . They are wretched people who wish to establish Jewish domination throughout the world.”

According to this Iranian mad cult, the establishment of the State of Israel in an area historically Muslim represents a challenge to Islamic eschatology. No previously Muslim country should ever be able to become non-Muslim. Khomeini wrote that the Jews were “perverting Islam” and thus deserving of “divine retribution.” He regarded the Jews as an “embodiment of filth” and the contaminating source of ritual “impurity” — which gives another religious justification to Muslims to rid themselves of the Jews and their state.

Since October 25, 2005, when Tehran hosted an anti-Zionism conference, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called for Israel to “be wiped off the face of the map,” the first in a long series of incendiary speeches advocating the liquidation of the Jewish State.

Ahmadinejad then publicly warned Israeli Jews that their country “will one day vanish,” “will be gone, definitely” and that “they are nearing the last days of their lives.”

After Khomeini’s death in 1989, Islamic clerics chose Iran’s outgoing president, Ali Khamenei, to be Supreme Leader. On December 31, 1999, Khamenei stated that the “only possible solution” to political unrest in the Middle East would be “the annihilation and destruction of the Zionist state.” In 2000, Khamenei called Israel “this cancerous tumor of a state” which “should be removed from the region.” On January 15, 2001, at a meeting with organizers of the International Conference for Support of the Intifada, Khamenei also stated: “The foundation of the Islamic regime is opposition to Israel and the perpetual subject of Iran is the elimination of Israel from the region.” In 2002 President Rafsanjani stated: “If one day . . . the world of Islam comes to possess . . . nuclear weapons — on that day Israel’s method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This … is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.” In 1997, even the “moderate” president Mohammad Khatami called Israel a “racist, terrorist state.” Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, representative of the Supreme Leader Khamenei, explained: “The Jew” – not the Zionist, note, but the Jew – “is the most obstinate enemy of the devout. And the main war will determine the destiny of mankind. . . . The reappearance of the Twelfth Imam will lead to a war between Israel and the Shia.”

Ahmadinejad, Rafsanjani, Khamenei and all the other Iranian leaders are calling for Israel’s destruction, they predict Israel’s destruction, they dehumanize the Israeli Jews, they accuse Israel of perpetrating mass murder (a blood libel), they advocate the expulsion of Israeli Jews from the Middle East and they deny the Holocaust to facilitate the next one.

The Iranian leaders are saying that the Israelis “are like cattle, nay, more misguided.” They call the Jews “a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians,” “an insult to human dignity,” a “stinking corpse,” a “wild beast” and a “scarecrow.” Like the Nazi weekly Der Stürmer portrayed Jews as “parasites” and “locusts,” or the Hutu propaganda in Rwanda against the Tutsis described them as “cockroaches,” the Iranian leaders have called Israeli Jews “filthy” and “bacteria.” Yahya Rahim Safavi, one of the founders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and now senior adviser to Supreme Leader Khamenei, called Israel “impure,” “unhygienic” and “contaminated.”

Iran has the motivation to destroy Israel, and if it is allowed to gain nuclear weapons it will not need an excuse to do so. But liberal, naïve commentators are contending that these anti-Jewish statements constitute direct incitement to commit genocide. By denying this Iranian willingness to commit another Holocaust of the Jewish people, the Western commentators are becoming accomplice to the potential crime.

Just as Hitler sought to “liberate” humanity by murdering the Jews, so the Iranian Ayatollahs believe they can “liberate” humanity by eradicating Israel. Today there are just two possible reactions: being concerned and resisting or being complacent and collaborating. How many “pro-Israel” friends can the Jewish State count these days?

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Old 08-16-2012, 03:16 AM
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Exclamation Khamenei: Zionist regime will disappear from map

Khamenei: Zionist regime will disappear from map
By HERB KEINON, JOANNA PARASZCZUK


08/15/2012
http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/N...aspx?id=281366


Iranian officials ramp up rhetoric ahead of Al-Quds Day; Israeli official responds, says statement "not aberration."

With the US sending clear public signals to Israel that it is opposed to military action now against Iran, and a cacophonous debate on the matter in Israel, senior Iranian officials continue to threaten Israel with destruction.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that he was confidant "the fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography,” Iran's Mehr News Agency reported.

Khamenei made the comments during a meeting with veterans of the Iran-Iraq War.

"The light of hope will shine on the Palestinian issue, and this Islamic land will certainly be returned to the Palestinian nation," Khamenei was quoted as saying.

Earlier on Wednesday Brig.- Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran's Passive (civil) Defense Organization and a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, during a speech ahead of Al-Quds Day, an anti-Israel event initiated by Iran, said that in order to liberate Palestine there was no other option but to destroy Israel.

"[Al-Quds Day] is a reflection of the fact that no other way exists apart from resolve and strength to completely eliminate the aggressive nature and to destroy Israel," Jalali said, according to a report by Iran's ISNA news agency.

The report was also picked up by other news outlets including Mashregh News, which is affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards.

Al-Quds Day is an annual Iranian anti-Zionist event established in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini and which falls this year on August 17. Iran also seeks to export the event to other Muslim countries.

Jalali said that the message of Khomeini's Al-Quds Day initiative was that the Muslim world must support the "oppressed people of Palestine" in a show of resistance against "the Zionist usurpers."

The Passive Defense Organization head added that the Islamic Revolution was a "beacon of light" and that the plight of the Palestinians was not forgotten.

Calling on Muslims to rally on Al-Quds Day, he expressed hope that the Islamic world would be "strong against the Zionist threat," adding that the "Islamic front in Syria has been strengthened," presumably a reference to Iran's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

An Israeli government official responded to Jalali's comments by saying it was simply a "reaffirmation of what we continually hear from the Iranian leadership."

The official said that the statement was "not an aberration," and that Israel was taking the Iranian threat very seriously. "We urge others to do the same," he said. "The Iranians use unequivocal language, and their words speak for themselves."

The official said that it would be in the interest of Iran's leadership to rein in these comments in at this time to reduce international pressure, and the fact that Iran's leaders continue to utter such remarks just shows the degree to which they actually believe them.

The official, meanwhile, dismissed a report on a left-wing, anti-Netanyahu blog called Tikun Olam Wednesday purporting to have "an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel's war plans against Iran." The blogger, Richard Silverstein, said the document "feels" like it came "from the shop of national security advisor Yaakov Amidror, a former general, settler true believer and Bibi confidant. It could also have been produced by Defense Minister Barak, another pro-war booster."

According to Silverstein the document talks about a coordinated strike that will include an "unprecedented cyber-attack" that will totally paralyze the Iranian regime, as well as a barrage of ballistic missiles launched from Israel and Israeli submarines near the Persian Gulf. IAF planes, according to the "document," will be armed with electronic warfare gear previously unknown even to the US that will render the planes "invisible."

One government official said there is "a lot of press speculation out there, and everyone has their 'secret source.' It is not the government's policy to comment on any piece of speculation."

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/N...aspx?id=281366
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  #15  
Old 08-17-2012, 03:52 PM
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Arrow Iran: Israel's existence 'insult to all humanity'

Iran: Israel's existence 'insult to all humanity'


http://news.yahoo.com/iran-israels-e...093922735.html


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Israel's existence is an "insult to all humanity," Iran's president said Friday in one of his sharpest attacks yet against the Jewish state, as Israel openly debates whether to attack Iran over its nuclear program.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said confronting Israel is an effort to "protect the dignity of all human beings."

"The existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to all humanity," Ahmadinejad said. He was addressing worshippers at Tehran University after nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies, an annual event marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

Israel considers Iran an existential threat because of its nuclear and missile programs, support for radical anti-Israel groups on its borders and repeated references by Iranian leaders to Israel's destruction.

Ahmadinejad himself has repeatedly made such calls, as has Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran has denied allegations that it is seeking to build nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear program is peaceful and aimed at producing electricity and radioisotopes used to treat cancer patients.

Israel has been carrying on an increasingly public debate about whether to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Israel's official position is to favor diplomatic and economic measures to persuade Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program, but Israel insists that Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons. Israeli leaders say "all options are on the table," a clear reference to a military strike, if they determine that other measures have failed.

Iran has warned it would hit back at Israel if it is attacked, also threatening to strike at American interests in the region.

Ahmadinejad called Israel "a corrupt, anti-human organized minority group standing up to all divine values."

"Today, confronting the existence of the fabricated Zionist regime is in fact protecting the rights and dignity of all human beings," said Ahmadinejad, with a black and white scarf many Palestinians wear around his neck.

Demonstrators in Tehran set U.S. and Israeli flags on fire and chanted "Death to the U.S." and "Death to Israel" during their pro-Palestinian rally.
Iran and Israel have been bitter enemies for decades. Khamenei has called Israel a "cancerous tumor" that must be wiped out.

Tensions between Iran and Israel have intensified since 2005, when Ahmadinejad said in a speech that Israel will one day be "wiped off the map." The Iranian president has also described the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were killed by German Nazis and their collaborators during World War II, as a "myth."

http://news.yahoo.com/iran-israels-e...093922735.html
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  #16  
Old 09-21-2012, 04:11 PM
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Arrow Iran's Defense Minister: We Can Wipe Israel Off the Earth

Iran's Defense Minister:
We Can Wipe Israel Off the Earth
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi: Tehran is capable of wiping the Israeli regime off the earth.

By Elad Benari

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/160159



Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Flash 90


Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi on Thursday downplayed Israel's threats against the Islamic Republic, warning that Tehran is capable of wiping the Israeli regime off the earth.

The Iranian-based Fars news agency quoted Vahidi as having told reporters that Iran's defensive power against Israel’s threats has become so developed that it "would easily wipe off the Zionist regime from the face of the earth."

"Faced with various problems, the usurper regime of Israel makes such absurd threats to compensate for its internal crisis," the minister was quoted as saying.

Iran’s leaders have repeatedly threatened to attack Israel if it launches a strike on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.

On Sunday, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned of retaliation against the Gulf's strategic Strait of Hormuz, U.S. bases in the Middle East and Israel if his country was to be attacked.

General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that Tehran believed Israel was unsuccessfully trying to push the United States to take part in military action against Iran's nuclear facilities.

"I do not think the attack would be carried out without U.S. permission," said Jafari.

However if Israeli jets or missiles did strike Iran, "nothing of Israel will be left, considering its size," he warned.

"I do not think any part of Israel will be untouched given our missile capabilities. Thus, our response is in itself a deterrent,” said Jafari.

Last month, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, called Israelis “ferocious Zionist wolves who digest the Palestinian people.”

The head of Israel's Nuclear Energy Commission, Shaul Horev, seemed to hit back at Iran on Wednesday, when he said that Israel has the ability to defend itself on its own.

Horev made the remarks during a speech to the annual meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

While he did not specifically mention an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, his speech more than hinted that the verbal confrontation between Jerusalem and Tehran could escalate into a military confrontation.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/160159
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2012, 03:33 PM
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Arrow Ahmadinejad: Zionists "at the end of the line"

Ahmadinejad: Zionists "at the end of the line"

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/09/ah...-the-line.html

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Ne...9#.UF-6kxg-K8U


Note his chutzpah, in complaining about Iran being threatened, when he has threatened Israel so many, many times. "Ahmadinejad: Zionists Are 'At the End of the Line,'" by Elad Benari in Israel National News, September 24 (thanks to Voice of the Copts):
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reiterated that should Israel attack his country, the Islamic Republic will retaliate.

Ahmadinejad made the comments in an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan. The full interview will air on Monday, but excerpts were released on Sunday.

Asked by Morgan what his country’s response will be if it is attacked by Israel, the Iranian President replied, “The response of Iran is quite clear, I don't even need to explain that; any question in any nation has the right and will indeed defend herself. But my question is this, why should the world be managed in such a way that an individual can allow himself to threaten a rich and deeply-rooted historical, ancient country, such as Iran. A great country, such as Iran, based on an excuse of his own fabrication. So anyone can do this. Another country can say, I am guessing that country B is doing activity X, therefore I will attack that country. Can this be a successful formula for the management of the world?”

Morgan asked Ahmadinejad if he fears that war is imminent and whether he fears that there will be military conflict, perhaps before the end of this year, between Iran and Israel.

“Of course the Zionists are very much, very adventuresome, very much seeking to fabricate things and I think they see themselves at the end of the line and I do firmly believe that they seek to create new opportunities for themselves and their adventurous behaviors,” Ahmadinejad responded.

The interview also focused on the protests in the Middle East over the “Innocence of Muslims” film. Asked whether he condemned the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was murdered, Ahmadinejad answered, “Fundamentally, first of all, any action that is provocative, offends the religious thoughts and feelings of any people, we condemn. Likewise, we condemn any type of extremism.

“Of course, what took place was ugly,” he added. “Offending the Holy Prophet is quite ugly. This has very little or nothing to do with freedom and freedom of speech. This is the weakness of and the abuse of freedom, and in many places it is a crime. It shouldn’t take place and I do hope the day will come in which politicians will not seek to offend those whom others hold holy, or sanctity. But we also believe that this must also be resolved in a humane atmosphere, in a participatory environment and we do not like anyone losing their lives or being killed for any reason anywhere in the world.”...
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  #18  
Old 11-16-2012, 03:53 PM
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Arrow Thousands of Iranians Protest ‘Zionist Crimes’ After Friday Muslim Prayers

Thousands of Iranians Protest ‘Zionist Crimes’ After Friday Muslim Prayers



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/thou...uslim-prayers/


The Iranian Fars News Agency is reporting that after prayers on the Muslim Sabbath which is Friday, thousands poured into the streets to protest “Zionist crimes in Gaza.”

According to a translation from Ynet, they also took the opportunity to bash the United States, chanting: “death to America” and “death to Israel.”

Friday is the third day of Israel’s military campaign Pillar of Defense (or Pillar of Cloud in Hebrew) aimed at thinning the terrorist infrastructure of Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza.

The Times of Israel reports:
Thousands of worshippers have taken to the streets of Tehran following Friday prayers in protest at the “Zionist crimes in Gaza,” Iranian semi-official Fars News Agency reports.

According to Fars, the protesters are chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”

Similar protests are reportedly taking place at various other cities across the country.

Iranian Revolutionary News Agency reports that Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami told worshippers in Tehran during a Friday prayer sermon that ”the blood-soaking and tyrant Zionist regime once again attacked Gaza. The point is: The dirty life of the usurper regime is linked with such brutalities.”

Hundreds of Israeli Arabs are protesting the IDF operation in Gaza in the towns of Umm al-Fahm and Qalansawe [in Israel], Ynet reports. They are waving Palestinian and black flags and demanding an end to the attack.

Israeli Arab members of Knesset and Sheikh Raed Saleh, the head of the northern branch of the Islamist movement, are present at the protests, according to Ynet.
Israeli officials since Wednesday have been emphasizing the alliance between Hamas and the Islamic Republic of Iran, accusing the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip of constituting “a forward Iranian base” next-door to Israel.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/thou...uslim-prayers/
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2012, 04:13 PM
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Post Friday prayers in any muslim country, the worse time of the day! When all the hatred, vile hatred comes out when the preachers have finished pumping the crowd with anger and animosity!
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:21 PM
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One thing I've always said is Iran isnt stupid enough AT THIS TIME, to attack Israel itself and openly, not yet as it is itself (Iran) too weak, but they will OUTSOURCE to Irans allies the WMD and other weapons to use against Israel. They will even outsource to Irans own rivals such as al qaeda to use specifically against American, western and even to the surprise of some to some other targets to act as DECOY so as not to make any connection with Iran and yet it is Iran doing alot of it.

All the while Iran will sing its usual song, that America and other nations shouldnt interfere in other nations affairs, while Iran has been doing it all along HERSELF!

On Iranian TV you see them, bashing America for torturing al qaeda prisoners, for not supporting the Bahrain arab spring protests and YET Iran itself will bring down any pro democracy protests when they try to take place in Iran. Torturing prisoners in Iran is a usual and normal occurrence. Just read the same human rights reports Irans tries to quote from. But who is Iran torturing, al qaeda like the US does? Nope, they torture political and religious prisoners.

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Palestinian militants have attempted to hit Israel's largest city, Tel Aviv, with missiles fired from Gaza.

Sirens sounded in the city and residents took cover, but the Israeli military says no rockets struck home.

An Israeli military spokesman said two missiles had been launched towards the Tel Aviv area but neither had hit it.

Three Israelis were killed by rockets from Gaza earlier.

While hundreds of rockets have landed in southern Israel in recent days, any missile landing in Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial capital and most populous city, would mark a significant escalation of the conflict.

Reports say at least one missile landed in the sea off the city.

The armed wing of Islamic Jihad said it had fired an Iranian-built rocket at the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, AFP news agency reports.

"The Quds Brigades hit the occupied city of Tel Rabea (Tel Aviv) with a Fajr-5 rocket causing a large explosion to shake the city," the group said in a brief statement.

This is the first time Tel Aviv has been threatened by missiles since the 1991 Gulf War, when missiles fired by Saddam Hussein's Iraq landed in the city.

The Times of Israel website says sirens were also sounded in the Tel Aviv suburbs of Bnei Brak, Givatayim, and Ramat Gan.

BBC News



Posted 22 hours ago by Standing United For Freedom
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