I am more than a little disturbed by the Iranian President's comments that Israel should be 'wiped off the map'
I was even more disturbed to see in the accompaning news item last night, seeing scores of Iranians cheering him on in fist-clenched salutes. It disturbed me to instantly remember the rallies that took place in a country in Western Europe some seventy years ago, when the leader of that nation would make offensive and dangerous comments about the Jews, and the responses being hightened salutes.
I hasten to add that I am in no way comparing Islam with Facsism, and I would be among the first to condemn any statement that equates the two, but there are extremists, and these extremists within a theocratic state such as Iran are threatening to further destabilise the political situation in the Middle East. It is bad enough, the problems we have with Iraq and with al-Qaeda, without having this. Thank God Egypt and Turkey have been quick to condemn the Iranian President's words.
I am not happy with everything Israel has done in the past fifty plus years, and I deplore much of their actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but I do agree that they have a basic right to a homeland. It is also, as the BBC put it so well, 'one thing for Iran to refuse to acknowledge the state of Israel's right to exist.
It is quite another to applaud the prospect of a new wave of Palestinian attacks that might "sweep Israel away", just as new diplomatic moves are afoot to try to nudge Israeli and Palestinian leaders back to direct talks and away from further violence.'
Now normally I am wary of American foreign policy in the Middle East, and was wary of their comments on Iran. But in the last forty-eight hours I wonder whether they are right on this issue!
The Iranian President's comments certainly makes Iran's nuclear program more unnerving