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Driving The Point Home -- Responding to Ahmadinejad

September 29th 2008

Contributors / Staff - Abraham Foxman Color cropped
Abraham Foxman

Before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a hate-filled diatribe at the opening session of the General Assembly, there should not have been any doubt that the Iranian regime poses a true threat to Israel, the United States and the West. Ahmadinejad was already the owner of a long history of belligerent anti-Israel, anti-US, rhetoric and Holocaust denial, while his country flies in the face of international sanctions by actively pursuing nuclear weapons. After the speech, it was decidedly clear that the international community must strengthen its resolve to deal with this menace.

During his remarks, Ahmadinejad’s rabid anti-Semitism was on full display for the world to see, as his words echoed the most infamous passages of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” He blamed Jews as the source of upheaval in the economy and in international conflicts, and declared that America and Israel would soon collapse. Ahmadinejad accused “a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists” for dominating financial and political centers in Europe and the U.S. in “a deceitful, complex and furtive manner.” He also accused Jews of playing an “underhanded” role in the crisis in Georgia, and reiterated his call for the demise of the “Zionist regime” and the establishment of a Palestinian state in all of Israel.

He tried to present the Islamic Republic of Iran as a beacon of moderation and justice, while urging nations to aspire to higher values of justice and love. In reality, the Iranian regime rejects these very values in word and in deed. Iran’s record on human rights is appalling. Its unrelenting pursuit of nuclear weapons and repeated calls for the downfall of the United States promotes a culture of hate, not of love. By frequently sounding calls for “death” to America and Israel, the Iranian regime promotes a culture of hatred for the West and a worldview that is hostile to all freedom-loving nations.

No world leader should be allowed to abuse the U.N. platform as Ahmadinejad did. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon should denounce his vile words and outrageous claims in the strongest terms.

Nuclear weapons in the hands of this increasingly extremist regime would pose an unambiguous threat to the world. It is clear from Ahmadinejad’s remarks that Iran has no intention to cooperate on any level with nuclear weapons inspectors, and will continue to do anything to promote its zealous pursuit of nuclear weapons and support for extremist ideology and groups.

It was deeply distressing to see many U.N. and government officials from around the world applaud at the conclusion of the speech. The appropriate reaction from the world, one whose urgency continues to grow, is to meet the Iranian threat with decisive action and resolve.

Abraham H. Foxman is National Director of the Anti-Defamation League and the author of The Deadliest Lies: The Jewish Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control. He can be found at www.adl.org.


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