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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quds day rallies turn against Iranian regime

The annual Quds day rallies on Friday - the annual rallies against Israel on the last Friday of Ramadamadan - turned into anti-government rallies in at least three Iranian cities.
Tens of thousands of opposition protesters swarmed the streets of Tehran and at least two other Iranian cities Friday, turning an annual rally in support of the Palestinian cause into the first major demonstration against the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in six weeks.

"Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I'll sacrifice my life for Iran," chanted protesters in the capital.

By late morning, witnesses reported that the demonstrators had taken full control of the expansive Seventh of Tir Square. Amateur video footage also showed thousands holding up green ribbons and shawls while rallying peacefully in the cities of Shiraz and Esfahan.

Ahmadinejad, whose disputed re-election three months ago triggered Iran's worst domestic political crisis in decades, ignored the protesters, who confronted him with chants of "Liar! Liar!" minutes before he delivered a blistering condemnation of Israel at Tehran University in downtown Tehran.
If you go here, there's a video of Iranian protesters tearing down a Hezbullah anti-Israel banner (via Free Republic). The banner reads: "Palestine a source of unity; Israel the common enemy".

If I'm watching this on TV in Damascus or Cairo or Riyadh, I'd be getting really nervous. Even though they hate Ahmadinejad just about everywhere in the Arab world outside Damascus (and Beirut), this sort of thing has to make you wonder what would happen if the 'Arab street' wakes up and realizes that hatred of Israel is being used to rally them to keep an autocratic government in power. That's what the Iranians have realized. What if the Arab world realized the same thing? What could go wrong?


At 2:51 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The prospects of anti-Semitism disappearing in the Arab World and Iran are slim to none for the foreseeable future since its not just officially sponsored, it has deep roots in popular feeling about Jews and Israel. It would be wonderful to see the the "teaching of contempt" as Jules Issac referred to it, disappear from the Middle East but I'm not holding my breath waiting to see it happen in my lifetime.


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