‘To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the United Nations today, which also happens to be Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. The timing is apt because when it comes to Iran and Israel, the hardest thing for some people to see or hear is what Iranian leaders say in front of the world’s nose.
“Iran has been around for the last seven, 10 thousand years. They [the Israelis] have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history,” Mr. Ahmadinejad told reporters and editors in New York on Monday.
“We do believe that they have found themselves at a dead end and they are seeking new adventures in order to escape this dead end. Iran will not be damaged with foreign bombs. We don’t even count them as any part of any equation for Iran. During a historical phase, they [the Israelis] represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated.”
Note that word—”eliminated.” When Iranians talk about Israel, this intention of a final solution keeps coming up. In October 2005, Mr. Ahmadinejad, quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini, said Israel “must be wiped off the map.” Lest anyone miss the point, the Iranian President said in June 2008 that Israel “has reached the end of its function and will soon disappear off the geographical domain.”
He has company among Iranian leaders. In a televised speech in February, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called Israel a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut,” adding that “from now on, in any place, if any nation or any group that confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear of expressing this.”
Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of staff of the armed forces, added in May that “the Iranian nation is standing for its cause that is the full annihilation of Israel.”