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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Why did he talk to al-Jazeera and why wasn't he more careful?

And this is a guy our Prime Minister chased after to be in his party and in his cabinet.
Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor told Al Jazeera that Iran never vowed to "wipe Israel off the map," as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly claimed.

Speaking to the Arab network, Meridor, who also serves as deputy PM, said Iran's leaders "all come basically ideologically, religiously with the statement that Israel is an unnatural creature, it will not survive." However, he added, "They didn't say 'we'll wipe it out,' but (rather) 'it will not survive, it is a cancerous tumor, it should be removed'. They repeatedly said 'Israel is not legitimate, it should not exist'."

In 2005 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying that Israel should be "wiped off the map," but it was later revealed that the translation of his remarks, published by media outlets around the world, was incorrect. Ahmadinejad was actually quoting the leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time."
Let's go to the videotape.

My first reaction was that Meridor (a) made harmful comments, (b) to al-Jazeera (and not to YNet or Haaretz - why is any Israeli government official talking to al-Jazeera?), (c) could best be described as playing semantics if he were right, and (d) is wrong.

I don't see a whole lot of difference between saying Israel 'will not survive,' 'is a cancerous tumor,' 'should be removed,' or 'is not legitimate, it should not exist' and saying that one will 'wipe it off the map.' The first four statements are made by someone who does not believe that they have the capability of wiping us out, while the last one is made by someone who believes that they have - or will have - the capability of God forbid wiping us out. And I don't think that Meridor sees much difference either. But he was foolish to go on al-Jazeera and even more foolish to give them a headline like that, which he knows is wrong.

But if Meridor believes that Ahmadinejad did not threaten to wipe out Israel, he is also factually incorrect. Ahmadinejad did threaten to wipe out Israel, although he's been coy about admitting it since. This is from a Der Spiegel interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that I posted three years ago:
SPIEGEL: …and you too would have to recognize Israel, a country that you have said, in the past, you would like to "wipe off the map." Please tell us exactly what you said and what you meant by it.

Ahmadinejad: Let me put it this way, facetiously: Why did the Germans cause so much trouble back then, allowing these problems to arise in the first place? The Zionist regime is the result of World War II. What does any of this have to do with the Palestinian people? Or with the Middle East region? I believe that we must get to the root of the problem. If one doesn't consider the causes, there can be no solution.

SPIEGEL: Does getting to the root of the problem mean wiping out Israel?

Ahmadinejad: It means claiming the rights of the Palestinian people. I believe that this is to everyone's benefit, to that of America, Europe and Germany. But didn't we want to discuss Germany and German-Iranian relations?
Here are more of Ahmadinejad's own words. Let's go to the videotape.

By the way, the video above is NOT the one that Juan Cole and other anti-Israel Leftists claim that MEMRI mistranslated. That video dates from 2005. Here's a discussion of that video by Michael Rubin:
Today, the National Iranian American Council–a lobby group advocating the normalization of ties between the United States and the Islamic Republic–published this analysis, which ends:
The proper translation of Ahmadinejad’s quotes has been the subject of some debate. Kucinich argued that the translations used in the bill were either misquoted or out of context, offering alternative translations from the New York Times to convey his point.
It’s a line which originated with Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor, has peddled. Indeed, Cole wrote:
I have a suggestion for my readers. Every time you see a newspaper article that alleges that Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be wiped off the face of the map, please write the editor. Say that this idiom does not exist in Persian, and that what Ahmadinejad actually said was, “This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” And you can cite me.
Perhaps one can quibble over how to render a translation. Here, the Islamic Republic provides its own clarification. In its official translations, it headlined Ahmadinejad’s call to “wipe Israel off the map.”
How much more explicit do they need to be?

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At 7:22 AM, Blogger sheik yer'mami said...

Your link "headlined" is already delinked. It helps when you take a screenshot.

The whole thing is a sick joke. The interview was conducted by a rabid anti-Semite Pom who attacked Dan Meridor with one loaded question and countless interceptions.

Meridor kept his cool, but what does he think "death to Israel, death to Amrikie" means?

They had banners all over Teheran saying Israel must be 'wiped off the face of the earth' and Ahmadinejad has made the same noises for years.

Worthless, unnecessary diversions.


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