Identity, Israel, Politics

Ahmadinejad: "Zionists are not Jews"

The Washington Post printed the transcript of the speech given by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at his news conference following his speech to the UN General Assembly.
Contained in it is this little vignette about Israel The “Zionist Entity”:

So how can the followers of Moses possibly destroy the homes of people over their heads in their homeland to take, and to kill, actually, an infant that is feeding in the arms of a mother?
These Zionists, I want to tell you, are not Jews. That’s the biggest deception we’ve ever faced.
Zionists are Zionists, period. They are not Jews, they are not Christians, and they are not Muslims. They are a power group, a power party. And we oppose oppression and the aggression that any party that seeks pure power, raw power goes after.

Ahmadinejad is sick of being called anti-Semitic:

“There were those who had accused me of being a murderer and anti-Semitic, but I’m not an anti-Semite.”
“We love everyone in the world – Jews, Christians, Muslims, non-Muslims, non-Jews, non-Christians.”

One, perhaps positive, outcome of statements like this is that calling the blurring of “Zionist” and “Jew” the “biggest deception…ever faced” is — assuming these statements ever make it to the official Iranian News Agency — Jews in Iran (and by extension Venezuela) may find it a bit easier to live and worship freely. By wholly divorcing the word “Zionist” from “Jew” the racist element of anti-Zionist speech is somewhat abated.
Statements such as “Jews are respected” — if they get reported throughout the Arabic speaking media — now shed a new light on the entire anti-Zionism movement. Divorcing anti-Zionist rhetoric from anti-Semitic rhetoric, for instance, will mean the Aryan Nations forum may have less entrants into its “brother in Islam” category. As it is now, many white supremacist organizations consider mujahideen their “brothers”, if they have distinct enemies — one fights a genocial war, the other ideological — perhaps this will translate into the dissolution of some of the more diabolical partnerships in the anti-Semitic world.
Then again, on the other hand…there’s this.

17 thoughts on “Ahmadinejad: "Zionists are not Jews"

  1. those of you who read my posts and comments wont be supprised by me agreeing with the Iranian president on this point – which agrees with neturi kartah, we’ve got to sepperate the actions of the ‘State of Israel’ with ‘Being Jewish’.

  2. MaxKohanzad: You and your buddies are in great company! Neturei Karta, Ahmadinejad – fantastic! And yet… you still wonder why certain funders are reluctant to get into bed with certain one-of-a-kind visionaries? Heh… you’ve got to be kidding me.

  3. I’m disgusted, frankly. We’re now applauding Ahmadinejad because he makes a distinction between Jews and Zionists? After the statements this nutter has made regarding his desire to ‘wipe Israel off the map’, how can we be pleased that those who would murder us are now admitting the nuances of Jewish identity?
    If you are a ‘post-Zionist’ or a ‘progressive Zionist’ or whatever lefty liberal label you’ve come up with this week to feel better about yourself I’m ever so pleased for you. But in the end we are all Jews, and the moment we fail to defend one another publicly is the beginning of a very slippery slope towards a situation that cannot end well.
    Ahmadinejad only hates Zionists but not Jews? Pull the other one, mate. Next you’ll be telling me that ‘some of his best friends are Jews’.

  4. Ah yes, let’s leave it up to Ahmadinejab to tell us which are the “False” Jews and which are the “Real” Jews. He knows which of us need killing and which us don’t, right?

  5. Well, as pointed out in previous comments, Hitler did a decent job of redefining “Jew” in purely racial, rather than cultural or religious, terms — for a lot of people, Jewish and non-Jewish alike.
    So even if I think he’s full of it, it’s not impossible to think that Ahmadinejad’s statement might have some impact on the Muslims of the world. I imagine he’s pretty highly respected. You’d have to be to appear on-camera with that lounge-singer haircut every day.

  6. While I while agree with Ahmenidenijad (or however you spell it) that not all Jews are Zionists and not every one who opposes Zionism hates Jews, a dude who denies the Shoah is obviously a Jewhater. End of story.
    That and I agree with the Satmar for seperating themselves from Neuterei Karta b/c they shake hands and declare support for people who wish to outright murder Jews.
    I am not a Zionist, but I am not an anti-Zionist, at least, defintely not in the way those folks are anti-Zionist. State of Israel or no State of Israel every Jew must recognize his or her obligation and shared destiny with Am Yisrael, the people Israel.

  7. After the statements this nutter has made regarding his desire to ‘wipe Israel off the map’
    He wants to ‘wipe the Zionist regime off the map’ because unlike Iran, the Zionist regime does not support a two-state solution.
    a dude who denies the Shoah is obviously a Jewhater
    He simply denies that the Holocaust in any way justifies Israels continuing occupation and expropriation of what little is left of Palestine.
    As for Nuri Katra, give some good Rabbis an hour of your time and I wager you’ll be shocked to learn some facts no one bothered to teach you in history class:

  8. Some interesting things are brought forward here.
    It’s possible to realize that someone who you don’t agree with, or are politically opposed to, can bring forward some legitimate points. I agree: the actions of the State of Israel do not reflect the opinions or views of all Jews around the world, or even necessarily residing in Israel. Iran needs to be supported right now because they are coming under ludicrous attack from the US.
    Ahmadinejad is a proto-fascist – lets be clear. The guy subscribes to a very right-wing, theocratic philosophy. That being said, moral equivalency is taht the Iranian state hasn’t committed the same wide-scale atrocities the Israeli state has.
    I agree with the fundamental point that anyone who sees actions like the Israeli massacre of civilians in bombing of residential distrincts in Lebanon as being acceptable, are not properly following the basic tenets of the religion of Abraham.
    What’s bizarre about this article is it claims that Jews in Venezuela are not free to worship, etc, when in fact the largest Jewish association in Venezuela came out and condemned slander against Chavez labelling him anti-semetic, and strongly defended him.

  9. Fux News shot itself in the foot, the other day, when they were showing him live, at the UN press conference. They had him captioned as the “Axis of Evil president.” He was actually sounding reasonable, and PEACEFUL, obviously having cleaned himself up a bit for the occasion, but they cut him off during the third question, and brought in Andy Card to not only refute everything he was saying, but to continue to call him a terrorist who was planning to build a nuclear bomb, to destroy Israel, and ‘American values.’
    (I was impressed that A. blamed the British Empire, not Israel, on the crises of the semitic regions of SW Asia, even though he did not go back to the Anglo-Russian Treaty of 1907, which carved a piece of Persia into a new buffer-zone of Afghanistan — probably in deference to Putin, sorry to think.)
    I was jonesin’ for the questions, but I think Fux was concerned that he was handling himself too well, especially considering how poorly idiot-boy did (though he did sound less psychotic than usual).
    When I heard him differentiate between the geo-politics of ‘Zionists,’ as an entity separate from Judaism, I thought of Rabbi Hertzberg’s “A Jew in America,” where he explains how the neocons never cared at all for Israel, until after the Six Day War, and I wished that the good rabbi were here to give us his thoughts on the speech.
    And, though he did not deny the shoah, he did not acknowledge it, either, using the figure of 60 million of the world’s population killed during WWII.
    Perhaps it is the time of year, but I’m wondering if the guy is making t’shuvah. Perhaps, though, he is just acting the pragmatist. Either way, his words should have some calming effects on the literalists of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, if any literalists are capable of hearing any words that don’t involve fear- and war-mongering.
    BTW — Chavez never called idiot-boy ‘the devil.’ He said, “Ayer, el diablo estuvo acqui” (yesterday the devil was here).
    PS Fux News is now saying that Chavez is funding al qaeda.

  10. To better understand what is going on in the middle east, I have learned to look past the first rants, discern what is expected in one’s electoral district or country, do the necessary addition and subtraction and make sure I sample press opinion from around the world.
    I offer you my observations on the Iranian President for you to consider, dismiss or dispute. I offer my observations in good faith and without bias or ill will to anyone in this complex state of affairs. I am from Canada and am neither Jewish nor Arabic, in fact I am Native American.
    The Iranian president is indeed a bit of a puzzle as is Iran’s actions over the last several years. Iran has one of the oldest Jewish settlements in the middle east, they are formally and legally recognized as a minority religion, they are protected under law, hold a seat in the governing body, travel with relative freedom between Israel and Iran and this same Iranian President has donated to the private Jewish hospital.
    When Nato invaded Afganistan, Iran worked very closely with the US and was of tremendous help in stabalizing the country after the invasion, supporting the new regime of government. (A fact the Americans promptly forgot with Bush refering to them as the Axis of evil in the next breath.)
    Still it is hard to equate those actions with the reports on his comments re; wiping Israel off the map or his comments on the holocaust all of which he did say although what is reported in the Western Press is a little different from what he actually said.
    It is all very contradictory but as I sift through what this Iranian President says consistently (not the hyperbole aimed at appeasing right wing clerics; or the insults traded with Mr. Bush who insulted the Iranians) about Israel and the Jewish people two issues emerge quite clearly.
    Based on what I have read over the last year, he is not anti-semitic, he is strongly anti-zionist particuarly right-wing extreme zionism.
    He does not seem to blame Jews for the creation of the State of Israel he blames England and the influence of others in the UN. He blames Zionists for the problems thereafter however and the continued displacement of the Palestinian people.
    When he talks about erasing the state of Israel it is often accompanied by other comments. One of the points he makes is that if the UN resolution that established Israel in 1948 had been followed, Israel as we know it today would not exist as it does, because large populations of Palestinians who’s homeland was in the Jewish state would have had a voice. His contention seems to be that it would have been a mixed government of Palestinians and Jewish people and not an Israel state comprised predominantly of Jewish people, as we see it today which according to him would have been acceptable to the entire region.
    In that, he is quite right because clearly under the provisions of the 1948 UN resolution, it was never anticipated that Palestinians would be displaced. However, he seems to conveniently forget that Israel did not declare war but acted to defend itself from the declaration by Egypt and other states and the rest is history. What role Zionism played in the occupation or settlement of occupied territories thereafter is another discussion or debate for another time, best left to those who know it more intimately than I.
    My only interest in this email is to share my simple observations based on my years as a writer and the amount of research and reading I have done to better understand.
    (I trust no information coming out of the US government, the US press is only now beginning to wake up. I feel pretty much the same about our currant Canadian government but tend to trust the Canadian peoples reaction if this government gets too far right. It will be gone in the next election.)
    Then there is the curious matter of Ahmadinjad’s comments on the holocaust. Clearly he does not deny that the holocaust happened or claimed some 60 million lives. He seems to be focusing, not on the holocausts existence, but on how some Jewish people and groups have choosen to interperet those events and how it has become synonomous with Jewish people. He keeps suggesting that people need to research the Jewish claim to 6 million lives lost to the holocaust.
    That seemed to me to be the most contradictory of all his statements and did not make sense in view of his other comments, pre-dating his trip to the US by some time period.
    However, watching him on US TV two things hit me; one is that he is very naiive about the western world and two that he does not understand that the English language lacks the nuance that he is accustomed too in his language and it does not convert well. Like many people who speak another language it is obvious that he is bothered by the bluntness of English that can come off as a type of attack language and so he is easily distracted and goes on the defensive leaving his comments incomplete.
    Clearly he see’s the creation of Israel as a collective guilt response from the nations who did little to help Jews fleeing Nazi persecution and as a means to deal with displaced people of Jewish faith or Hebrew origin.
    Whether he is right or wrong is another issue, but I don’t think he is saying the holocaust did not happen, nor do I think he is saying that Jewish people were not victims.
    I think what he is saying and is said by many in the world including many Jewish survivors of the holocaust is that ‘every Jewish person was a victim but not every victim was Jewish.’
    I don’t think he understands that many people questioned how some Jewish people and groups came up with the 6 million number, among them Simon Weisental whom I had the pleasure of listening too when he visited Vancouver. Although I am not Jewish, I attended the synagogue to hear him speak and watched him take Jewish members of his audience to task for the use of the 6 million figure. He also took them to task for treating the holocaust like it was a Jewish event in history rather than an event that took millions of other lives in shared circumstances.
    I don’t think the Iranian president understands that many do not see the holocaust as exclusive to Jewish history nor as a major influence anymore.
    I don’t think he is aware of the well documented criticism that exists much of it written by Jews, that takes issue with the focus on 6 million Jews and how that number was derived. Given that currant studies place the loss of life in the holocaust at 17 million with some estimates as high as 25 million people (all of whom died in the same manner used by Jewish groups to calculate the 6 million) there is enough resentment to go around but it is not based on anti-semitism. But I honestly think he believes that the west is uninformed about how the 6 million figure is derived and that is why he suggests it needs to be investigated.
    I think all of this is based on a fundamental flaw in his belief that those who support Israel or fail to criticize them do so because of the holocaust and because they don’t know the real history about the victims of the holocaust. I don’t think he has any idea to what extent Israeli government actions are criticized in the westernized countries.
    I don’t know if President Ahmadinejad is an extremist beneath the rhetoric with violent intent toward Israel but I do think based upon my research that the world needs to step back from the name calling and enter into a dialogue with him enough to find out.
    Kind regards.

  11. I love it when you guys talk about Israel or Venezuela as if you live and work there. You people have no idea the hassle it has become to live in Venezuela being a jew. I do, I live here and let me tell you that since december, when Chavez made those clames calling us crist-killers, things have definately changed. Our sinagoges have to be patrolled by the police at all times. Of course the CAIV here said Chavez’s remarks warent antisemitic, this guy controlls the most radical groups here, everyone is afraid of him… we arent dumb enough to fight him when he and millions of others hate us.
    Our community is Zionist, we make that very clear here. We support our Israel, we beleive in it. But we are Venezuelans also, My family has been here since my great grandparents came from eastern Europe.
    Do you really think antisemites dont directly associate us with the zionist movement? Why do you think that not only the embassy, but all the sinagoges in Caracas were profanated with antisemitic messages?
    Why do they sell the Mein Kampf in all the “Mega Mercados” in the Avenida Bolivar? (popular markets funded by the government).
    You tell me how you live in the USA, Canada or France… I’ll talk to you about Chavez.

  12. “That being said, moral equivalency is taht the Iranian state hasn’t committed the same wide-scale atrocities the Israeli state has”
    They publicaly stone women to death in Iran for committing adultury. Furthermore, Adultury is more widely defined in Iran then it is in the West. A woman can be stoned to death for basically having a close male friend or not so close male friend for that matter who is not her husband.
    The stones must not be to big to cause instant death, nor to small not to cause pain.
    That seems like a wide scale atrocity to me.

  13. “That being said, moral equivalency is taht the Iranian state hasn’t committed the same wide-scale atrocities the Israeli state has.”
    Give me a break. Did you forget that Iran sent tens of thousands of children into Iraq in human wave attacks? They were used to clear minefields.
    “To compensate for their disadvantage, Khomeini sent Iranian children, some as young as twelve years old, to the front lines. There, they marched in formation across minefields toward the enemy, clearing a path with their bodies…These children who rolled to their deaths were part of the Basiji, a mass movement created by Khomeini in 1979 and militarized after the war started in order to supplement his beleaguered army…And, last year, they formed the potent core of the political base that propelled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad–a man who reportedly served as a Basij instructor during the Iran-Iraq War–to the presidency.”

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