It is fashionable in some circles to deny that Iran harbors any ill will toward the Jewish state that might manifest in irrational outbursts of genocidal violence. Such sophisticates challenge the official state translation of Ahmadinejad’s promise to “wipe Israel off the map” and studiously ignore pretty much everything else top Iranian officials have been saying about Israel for many years. The purpose of all this happy denialism, of course, is to reach the foregone conclusion that an Iranian nuclear bomb would not be such a bad thing, and that those who think otherwise are being misled by the insidious spin of the all-powerful Israel Lobby and its warmongering neocon henchmen.And what a masterful spin operation it is. According to today’s papers, even former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar seems to be in on the act:
Aznar, speaking to a crowd in Jerusalem, recalled a meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in which he expressed his intention to destroy Israel.
“In a private discussion we held in Tehran in October of 2000, Ali Khamenei told me that Israel must be burned to the ground and made to disappear from the face of the Earth,” Aznar told the audience. The former Spanish prime minister went on to say that Iran’s spiritual leader also said that “Iran’s war against the United States and Israel is inevitable.”
Aznar was in Israel as a guest of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, currently headed by former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Dore Gold.
Gold asked him, “When Khamenei was talking about wiping Israel off the map, was he referring to a gradual historical process involving the collapse of the Zionist state, or rather its physical-military termination?”
Aznar answered, “He meant physical termination through military force.”
We’re sure this is all just one big misunderstanding. This is obviously the sort of rhetoric whose nuances can easily be lost in translation, and there are some crucial ambiguities that remain to be explored.
Anyway, we’re pretty sure that the mullahs will use the bomb responsibly, if at all. And all that inflammatory rhetoric in Mein Kampf was just a lot of hot air. Certainly, there is no reason to fear that Iran, newly empowered by nukes, would become even more aggressive in its efforts to destabilize the Middle East. Surely, all reasonable people can agree on that!