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For Iran, all the world’s an anti-Semitic stage

Why are global forums giving the hatemongers of the Islamic Republic the platform from which to spout their venom in the first place?

The United Nations has become a favored platform for Iran to spread its ongoing message of anti-Semitism. And why not? The world body has countless conferences and meetings each year, with global media in attendance, an easy megaphone for Tehran to commandeer to get its message across: that Israel and the Jews are to blame for all of the world’s problems — past, present and future.

Most recently, the Tehran regime displayed its Israel/Jewish obsession via a speech by Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi at an event in conjunction with the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Rahimi said the Talmud teaches Jews that they are a superior race. In his remarks, he also blamed the Talmud for the worldwide spread of illicit drugs, reportedly claiming that “Zionists” firmly control the illegal drug trade. He is quoted as saying:

The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict. They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.

It was reassuring to see that, this time, Iran’s hateful rhetoric did not escape condemnation by top global leaders. The European Union’s high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, responded and reiterated “the EU’s absolute commitment to combating racism and anti-Semitism.”

Other global leaders quickly spoke out against the outrageous comments. But much more action is needed.

Too often Iran’s vile words are left unchecked.

Why are global forums giving Iran the stage in the first place? Time after time, Iran abuses the privilege and responsibilities that come with membership in the United Nations.

Iran can claim no credentials as a good global citizen. It is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, a fact we are reminded of at this time of year when we commemorate the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires. The Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building was bombed in July 1994, and, overwhelmingly, evidence singles out top Iranian officials for a direct role in the attack that killed 85 and wounded 300. As the home to the heart of the largest Jewish community in all of Latin America, the AMIA attack was symbolic of Iran’s hatred of Israel and Jews.

There is a connection between hatred of Jews and of Israel, and threatening their destruction. And it is this correlation that global leaders need to focus on when it comes to Iran. Words matter, and we cannot ever assume that Iran’s threats are empty.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of course has the most name-recognition when it comes to publicly spouting anti-Israel venom. Ahmadinejad’s avowal that Israel must be wiped off the map and his Holocaust denial (which he reaffirms nearly annually at the United Nations in New York at the start of the General Assembly), coupled with his nation’s disregard for the human rights of its own citizens, make for a somber reality.

But such repugnant views are part and parcel of Iran’s policies that permeate every aspect of its leadership. Speeches such as Rahimi’s represent the agenda of a country that is ramping up its nuclear weapons production. Soon, if not stopped, those toxic words will have the most deadly muscle behind them.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei spouts anti-Israel propaganda regularly. In February, according to WND.com, a news website used by some major media, a top Khamenei strategist said it would be justified by Islamic law to kill all Jews and destroy Israel. Khamenei has also publicly referred to the “cancerous tumor” of Israel.

Senior officers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, an arm of Iran’s military that enforces Tehran’s policies, also regularly tout the regime’s extreme views. The Guard asserts itself worldwide on behalf of Tehran and spreads anti-Israel propaganda far and wide. The Guard’s power and deep financial resources enforce Tehran’s strategy.

After a new series of missile tests, Revolutionary Guard General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said Iran would not hesitate to “wipe them [Israel] off the face of the earth,” if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear production facilities, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA and other news reports.

The tone taken by Iran — the seemingly gleeful challenge to Israel — is abhorrent and cause for alarm. Anti-Israel venom appears to be fundamental to the ideology of the Tehran regime. To what end?

Here’s one way to send the Iranians a clear message: Deny them the platforms from which they spout their vile rhetoric. At the very least, world leaders should simply get up and walk out.

About the Author
Daniel S. Mariaschin is the CEO of B’nai B’rith International