Thursday, December 8, 2005

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This week in the Ahmadinejad follies...

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the gift that keeps on giving as far as I'm concerned. According to Reuters's Paul Hughes, Ahmadinejad put his foot in his mouth in Saudi Arabia today:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday expressed doubt the Holocaust took place and suggested the Jewish state of Israel be moved to Europe.

His comments, reported by Iran's official IRNA news agency from a news conference he gave in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, follow his call in October for Israel to be "wiped off the map", which sparked widespread international outrage....

Ahmadinejad was quoted by IRNA as saying: "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail."

"Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?" he said.

"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it."

I confess to being confused with Ahmadinejad's actual policy towards Israel -- does he want to relocate it to Europe or just wipe it off the map entirely?

UPDATE: The AP's Ali Akbar Dareni has a long story nicely detailing the variors international and domestic actors who have had it up to here with Ahmadinejad. The list includes the U.S., Europe, Russia, Saudia Arabia, the IAEA, Iranian moderates, and "[e]ven some of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's conservative allies." This quote, however, is really priceless: "Saudis fumed Friday that Iran's hard-line president marred a summit dedicated to showing Islam's moderate face by calling for Israel to be moved to Europe."


posted by Dan on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM



How about blogging about something more relevant such as the Romanian agreement to house US military bases? Interesting development in a former east-bloc country.

posted by: No von Mises on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

How about letting the blogger decide about what he shall blog? If you don't like it, don't read it.

posted by: John Jenkins on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

Ah, Iran. If ever there was a country that needed wiping off the map, it is you, you house of lunatics. Perhaps we can help Mr Ahmadinejad believe in holocausts.

posted by: Ernie Oporto on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

This guy and the clerics behind that government worry me a great deal. Plus, we're in an incredibly vulnerable position with an entangled army.

Worst. He speaks for a number of Muslims. Not all, not the majority. But too many.

posted by: Chris on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

He's the Persian Howard Dean!

posted by: Brock on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

As a kid, clowns always evoked deep feelings of apprehension in me. I believed them to be clever and malevolent jokesters, who were almost certainly in possession of concealed weapons.

Amhadinejad only lacks a red nose and floppy shoes.

posted by: Aidan Maconachy on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]


I am sure you know that this sentiment is exactly mainstream in the Middle East. In fact, the vast majority of Arabs I know would agree with this in principle, and I have had this discussion countless times. It is the truth that the State of Israel was born because the Europeans where/are so cruel to Jews. Unfortunately, it is the Arabs who have been made to pay a heavy price for European brutality.

In the above I am not referring to the doubt of the Holocaust aspect of what he said. From my experience, the vast majority of Arabs who doubt the Holocaust do so because it is commonly used as a political justification for the existence of State of Israel, and therefore it is implicitly a justification for the suffering and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

posted by: Joe m. on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

Weather is not as good in Europe, particularly for those living along the Mediterranean

posted by: Donna Robinson Divine on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]




What's the little psycho without the towel on his head (a nice sartorial change of pace, at any rate) running on about today?

Bring back the bifurcated name, Dan!

posted by: Kelli on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

Joe M,

It isn't as simple as that. The Zionist project started in the nineteenth century and sped up in the early 20th, but it predates both WWI and WWII.

It's quite likely that some form of Jewish or binational state would have been created in the Middle East irrespective of the Holocaust, since a lot of Jews wanted it, both settlers and indigenous. Yes, there were a fair number of indigenous Jews in Palestine before the formation of Israel. Not so surprising really, when you think about it.

The other problem, of course, with Ahmadinejad's idea is that the majority of Israel's Jews are actually refugees from Arab countries expelled after the formation of Israel. That is to say, Arab countries themselves swelled the population of Israel and fostered its existence by oppressing and ethnically cleansing their Jewish citizens. One notable exception, interestingly, is Iran, which still has a Jewish minority. I wonder what Iran's president will do next - maybe try something funny with his own Jewish citizens?

posted by: Hektor Bim on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

Since the Palestinians were mentioned, I thought it worthwhile to draw attention to a custom of their that the Iranian President might wish to adopt, just as a courtesy to the rest of the world.

Let's face it, Ahmadinejad is an absurdly long name. It's a real imposition to have to copy and paste it every time one writes a post about Iran. It is evidently common among Palestinians and some other Arabs for men to go by nicknames, like current Palestinian Authority head Abu Mazen. I'm told this means "father of Mazen," which is a little unimaginative, but still easy to remember. Ahmadinejad could earn himself some goodwill by doing something similar.

It isn't just Arab fathers of male children who adopt nicknames. Pro wrestlers do it too. If Ahmadinejad would consent to be known henceforth as The Iron Sheik, bloggers and headline writers around the world would thank him. As a bonus, whenever he wanted to make news he wouldn't need to go to the trouble of wading through the history of a certain Middle Eastern country that he has never seen and which has done very little to offend Iran whatever its relations with its immediate neighbors have been. All he would need to do to get front page coverage is include the phrase "Iran, Number One! USA, ach phtui!" in his speeches. And maybe shave his head.

posted by: Zathras on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

Ehtnic cleansing of the Palestinians? Are you joking? There are not only MORE Palestinians than before Israel was reborn (out of land that never was a "Palestine") but the ONLY schools, hospitals and universities ever opened in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were opened under the so called "occupation."

The "suffering" of the Arab world is wholly self-created.

posted by: Evan Sayet on 12.08.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

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