When Iran Says "Death to Israel," It Means It

(Atlantic) Behnam Ben Taleblu - Many people who should know better assume that political leaders obscure the goals they wish to achieve, even though the historical record suggests the wisdom of taking them at face value. Clearly the world should have heeded Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitism during his rise to power in Germany in the 1930s, and Osama bin Laden's declaration of jihad against America in 1996. Despite the sheer volume of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements emanating from Iran's two supreme leaders in the 43 years since the Islamic revolution, the notion that Tehran's rulers seek the destruction of Israel has often been belittled. The Islamic Republic emblazons "Death to Israel" on banners in official processions, fires ballistic missiles against targets shaped like the Star of David, displays and flight-tests ballistic missiles with genocidal slogans against Israel in Hebrew, and struck a mock-up of Israel's nuclear reactor with drones and ballistic missiles in a military drill. Some Iranian media outlets have even taken to calling the country's medium-range ballistic missiles "Israel-hitting missiles." The name of the foreign-operations arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the Quds Force, with "Quds" meaning "Jerusalem" in Arabic. In the 1980s, Ayatollah Khomeini created Quds Day, a holiday to celebrate the impending liberation of Jerusalem, filled with parades and fiery speeches against Israel. The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2022-07-21 00:00:00

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