Opinion: Saying It Like They Mean It

Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

It’s hate speech on a national level. Diatribes from Iranian officials that periodically make headlines and leave many scratching their heads. The chants of death to America and death to Israel are alive and well. But the rhetoric isn’t just rhetorical. For Iranian officials, the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic vitriol is very real. The proof came not just from what was said, but who said it—and how it was reported… by Iranian media. Let’s bust some myths about Iranian hate speech, using Iranian reports from the past couple weeks.

Keep in mind that traditional meaning of Zionism is Jewish nationalism in the Middle East.

Myth 1: It’s just the rantings of a madman.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s harsh and crazy words are nothing new. He was in true form a couple weeks ago. Iran’s PressTV quoted him as saying on August 17, “We are also after a new Middle East which will definitely be formed… but in this new Middle East, there will be no trace of the US and Zionists.”

Ahmadinejad didn’t stop there. He talked about removing the “black stain” of Zionism and accused Zionists of being behind World War I and II to put the US into power. Yes, that’s Ahdmadinejad for you.

But it is a mistake to think that these words are coming from a deranged figurehead in Iranian politics, who is in his last term of office anyway. Rather, Iran’s PressTV paraphrased a statement from the demonstrators of Iran as saying, “The only solution to the Palestinian issue and the problems in the Middle East is ‘the obliteration of the Zionist regime, the Zionists’ withdrawal from the occupied lands and the return of all Palestinian refugees from around the world to their homeland.’”

The report paraphrased the statement as further praising the wars fought by Hamas and Hezbollah as “the only way to confront the Israeli regime.” Iran isn’t a free-speech country, hence, such statements are not only acceptable to the Iranian authorities, they are likely being dictated by them.

Speaking of leaders, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has his own thoughts on this matter. Iran’s Fars News Agency, a semi-official news group, paraphrased Khamenei as describing “the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the formation of the Israeli regime as the root of evil in the Middle East. ‘Had this conspiracy not taken place, these wars, divisions, and interventions by colonialists and oppressors would not have occurred,’ the Leader stated.”

Those words come to another myth.

Myth 2: It’s the Israeli occupation, not Israel, that Iran opposes.

The word Zionism is complicated. Historically, it refers to Jewish nationalism in the Middle East, the desire to return to the Jews historical homeland. It’s like Frenchmen wanting to live in Paris.

On the other hand, the linking of the Palestinian conflict with Zionism could lead some to think that Iran is actually referring to the governments of Israel that have encouraged the “occupation.” As if tearing down Jewish homes in the West Bank would be enough for Iran to welcome Israel with open arms. Let’s look at the translation of Zionism—from the Iranian media.

What’s shocking is that Zionists are translated as Israel by PressTV in Ahmadinejad’s discussing the “Israeli regime’s homicide” and his saying, “the Israeli regime is a tool to control the Middle East region and the entire world, stressing the regime’s existence is an insult to mankind.” Some may try to argue that it’s just the current government of Israel that is hated. As though it’s akin to wishing for the end of Iranian regime’s ruthless control over it’s own people or rejoicing at the deposing of Saddam Hussein.

But here’s a headline from PressTV: “End of Israel, only solution to Palestinian issue: Iranian demonstrators.”

And the people really do say it all. Here’s Fars reporting that “millions of people gathered for the march, chanting ‘Death to Israel’ and holding anti-Israeli and anti-American signs.” And Fars paraphrased Khamenei’s own words as despising the “formation of the Israeli regime”—hence the forming of Israel itself in 1948.

Remember: Fars is a semi-official media, and Iran does not have free speech. So any translations from Iranian media is approved by the Iranian government. And this is the translation INTO ENGLISH. Translating Zionists into Israel by the Iranian media’s English reports means that’s what they want the world to understand as their meaning.

Why would the Iranian government promote destroying Israel? Because the hate is directed at the true meaning of Zionism—the Jewish government in the Middle East. It’s the old Arab adage of driving Israel into the sea. Iran may have no problem with Jews. But they definitely oppose a Jewish government in the Middle East. And they do so violently.

Myth 3: Iran doesn’t mean destroying Israel, it’s just a political statement.

Iran is famous for so often calling for various eradications of Israel, one almost has to wonder if they really mean that. Surely they mean the deposing of a hated regime. But no. Their own words are covered in blood.

Fars paraphrased senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, Tehran’s provisional Friday Prayers Leader on August 17, as saying that “Zionists understand only the language of force.” Fars said that he “further noted that the Zionist regime will meet destruction through unity in the Islamic world.”

And what does he mean by force and destruction? Terrorism. He praised the Palestinian intifada as being the only “only effective solution to the issue of Palestine,” and not negotiations, according to Fars. So no to peace talks. Yes to bus suicide bombings, car shootings and stabbings.

Hundreds of Israeli civilians were killed by the two intifadas. It’s not war. It’s pure and simple murder. And a notable religious leader is positively presented by Iranian media as praising those actions as the “ONLY” solution. It’s Iran’s own Final Solution.

Don’t believe that interpretation? Check out PressTV’s reporting of the same speech: “Khatami says once unity is achieved in the Muslim world, the Zionist regime will disappear from the face of the world.”

The Iranian people, as noted earlier, also praised Hamas and Hezbollah’s firing of rockets at Israeli civilians, endangering more than a million Israelis.

So is Iran content with Jews ruling themselves in Europe? Maybe. So some might argue it’s not as intense as Hitler’s plans for the Jews. But calling for the annihilation of a nation is still a form of enthnocide. And when one calls for that goal to be achieved by murdering innocent women and children? The very regime that has called into question the Holocaust is trying to carry out a smaller version of their own.

What it means

So why does this matter? Is it really important that Iran’s regime hates Israel and wants them destroyed and praises the killing of civilians?

Remember—this regime is working towards nuclear weapons. This regime has sponsored and enabled terror attacks and attempted terrorism in five major continents.

This regime has sent weapons and training to terrorists fighting the US in Iraq and Afghanistan. This regime is currently training a militia in Syria to support Bashar al-Assad’s brutality on its own people.

This regime has developed tons of missiles for itself and funded and smuggled untold numbers of missiles to terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon.

It’s not just hate speech. It’s hate actions. It’s not just murderous words. It’s murderous actions.

The world should realize this and do everything they can to keep this regime from supporting terror and acquiring nukes.

It’s not like Iran is trying to hide it. What’s said by Iran’s leaders isn’t just for internal rhetoric and politics. These reports were in ENGLISH. So when Iran—in all hate and fury—says they want the “end of Israel,” they mean it.

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 26, 2012)