Good heavens! The Pope attacking Iran?! What, oh what, is this world coming to? Maybe, just maybe, to a more reasoned, and reasonable, approach to world affairs in general, and the war on terror in particular.
Pope Benedict XVI got together with the World Jewish Congress, at the Vatican: this week, I think. While there, the Pope said Iran was "an issue of big concern" to him.
This is an attack?
Actually, it did get worse. The Pope said he was concerned about an increase in anti-Semitism in Iran. He apparently outlined a campaign using educational tools to work against the hatred shown by Iranian leadership towards Israel, and the Jews in general.
Educational tools? Shocking!
From a certain point of view, 'the Jews' are in with the Pope in this 'plot.' After an audience with the Pope, the secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, Maram Stern, had this to say: "We thanked the Holy Father for everything he did for the Jewish people, and more importantly what he will do."
I don't think so, but then I don't think that there's some sort of Jewish conspiracy either running the world, or striving for total world domination.
In fact, I think that breaking into parts of the Islamic world with facts would be like getting oxygen to trapped miners.
The World Jewish Congress also discussed rising anti-Semitism in Europe, but I'd say that the big problems are in the Islamic world. Mostly because I tend to believe what people say, particularly when they're making speeches. Iran's president has made his attitude toward Israel, and those who support Israel, quite clear.
President Ahmadinejad may have good reason for his beliefs. Iran has the largest concentration of Jews in the Middle East, aside from Israel. About 20,000 Jews live in the country of the ayatollahs.
I suppose saying that means that I'm with the Pope on the "confrontation road with Moslems and Islam" that a Jordanian wrote of, commenting on the TimesOnline.com article. I can live with that. I do believe that a reasoned approach to sorting out the war on terror is not to find out what the most unreasonable people in Islam want, and then give it to them.
As to what President Ahmadinejad of Iran has said about Israel and the Jews, someone over in the United Kingdom collected statements made by Iran's President Ahmadinejad made about Israel.
I'm no expert, but there may be a touch of anti-Semitism here. More than a touch, in fact. See what you think of these samples.
- "Israel must be wiped off the map … The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world . . . The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land."
October 26, 2005
(In an address to 4,000 students at a program titled, 'The World Without Zionism')
NB The translation of this quote is debated and has also been read as "Israel must disappear from the page of history"
- "The Zionist regime is an injustice and by its very nature a permanent threat. Whether you like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation. The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."
April 14, 2006
(In a speech at the opening of the "Support for the Palestinian Intifada" conference on April 14-16 hosted in Tehran)
- "Today, they [Europeans] have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets … This is our proposal: give a part of your own land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to them [Jews] so that the Jews can establish their country."
December 14, 2005
(Speaking to thousands of people in the Iranian city of Zahedan)
- "The Zionist regime is the flag bearer of violation and occupation and this regime is the flag of Satan. …It is not unlikely that this regime be on the path to dissolution and deterioration when the philosophy behind its creation and survival is invalid."
August 18, 2007
(Address to an international religious conference in Tehran)
- "In parallel to the official political war there is a hidden war going on and the Islamic states should benefit from their economic potential to cut off the hands of the enemies."
- "The Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan . . . Many Western governments that claim to be pioneers of democracy and standard bearers of human rights close their eyes over crimes committed by the Zionists and by remaining silent support the Zionists due to their hedonistic and materialistic tendencies."
February 28, 2007
(to a meeting of Sudanese Islamic scholars in Khartoum)
- "Zionists are people without any religion. They are lying about being Jewish because religion means brotherhood, friendship and respecting other divine religions…They are an organized minority who have infiltrated the world. They are not even a 10,000-strong organization."
August 28, 2007
(At a news conference in Tehran)
- "Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented."
August 2, 2006
(as quoted by Iranian TV)
- "[N]o Muslim nation would put up with this entity [i.e. Israel] in Islamic lands, not for one moment … If it's true that the [Europeans] committed a big crime in World War II, then they must take responsibility for it themselves, and not ask the Palestinian people to pay the price … Those countries that support this regime [Israel] were terrified at the suggestion that [Israel] should be relocated to their neighborhood. So why should the Palestinians and the countries in our region accept this entity?"
(In a speech before an audience in the Iranian city of Qom, aired on television)
- "They [the United States] think they are the absolute rulers of the world."
October 29, 2005
(Marching in a demonstration alongside a crowd of students in Tehran)
- "Is there a craft more beautiful, more sublime, more divine, than the craft of giving yourself to martyrdom and becoming holy? Do not doubt, Allah will prevail, and Islam will conquer mountain tops of the entire world."
- "By the grace of Allah, we (will be) a nuclear power."
- "If you have burned the Jews, why don't you give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to Israel. Our question is, if you have committed this huge crime, why should the innocent nation of Palestine pay for this crime?"
April 19, 2006
- "Are they human beings?... They (Zionists) are a group of blood-thirsty savages putting all other criminals to shame."
(as quoted by Iranian TV)
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