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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Israel 'exploiting World Cup'

I couldn't have made up that headline if I tried.

Hat Tip: St. Pancake

It comes from AFP (Agence France Presse) and it's datelined Teheran. It accuses Israel of exploiting the World Cup to carry out the current activity in Gaza. As if Israel decided when Hamas would penetrate the 'security fence' in Gaza, kill two Israeli soldiers and kidnap a third. And as if Israel were deciding when Hamas is going to shoot Kassams at Israel. Like I said, you can't make this stuff up.

"They are doing dastardly deeds and they are doing it while people are attentively following the events of the World Cup," Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said in a sermon at Tehran University.

Iran was eliminated from the football tournament after three lacklustre first round performances.

State television has now begun showing a film clip of Israeli violence juxtaposed with images of happy World Cup spectators as part of its ongoing match coverage, including during half-time.

"The security situation there is such that no one and nothing has any safety," Mr Jannati said of the Gaza Strip, under fierce attack since Palestinian militants captured an Israeli soldier on June 25.

Drawing the habitual chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel", Mr Jannati also took a swipe at the Muslim clergy.

"Why are you keeping silent while the atrocities are going on? If you do not protest you are supporting them," said the ayatollah, who heads Iran's Guardian Council -- a powerful political and electoral watchdog controlled by hardliners.

The sermon was followed by a large anti-Israeli rally, with thousands of people packing central Tehran's Palestine Square and several burning US and Israeli flags.

A prepared declaration was then read out vowing to support the Palestinian people financially and morally. Several months ago the Iranian government pledged to give 50 million dollars to the Hamas-led government to counter a cut in Western aid.

The demonstrators also repeated Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's call for the return of all Palestinian refugees to what is now Israel followed by a referendum on the future of the territory.

Just another weekend day in Teheran....


At 8:14 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

My eyes hurt from reading this mishegas.

AFP and Iran? Perfect together.


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