Be sure to follow me on Twitter @leftiblog

Friday, June 16, 2006


Wiping falsehoods from the pages of time

Since last October, and continuing since then, there has been continuing controversy over Iranian President Ahmadinejad's alleged remark about "wiping Israel off the map." In the American "mainstream," that he said this is undisputed conventional wisdom.

A new article in the Guardian delves at length into the translation questions that have arisen surrounding this quote, concluding, more or less as Juan Cole did back in October, that "eliminated from the page of history" is a better translation.

To me, however, the key is still precisely what I (with zero knowledge of Farsi) wrote last October:

The Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to the U.N. statement by saying that "Iran is loyal to its commitments based on the U.N. charter and it has never used or threatened to use force against any country," and indeed, a reading of Ahmadinejad's statement suggests quite clearly that the "wiped off the map" is to be taken literally (i.e., that the political boundaries of the region should be redrawn), and not figurately as meaning "wiped off the face of the earth." He explicitly denies that he is talking about "A fight between Judaism and other religions," and explicitly describes the endpoint of the struggle in the Middle East by saying: "It will be over the day a Palestinian government, which belongs to the Palestinian people, comes to power; the day that all refugees return to their homes; a democratic government elected by the people comes to power." There is no talk of "driving the Jews into the sea" or "waging war against Israel" or anything remotely along those lines, merely the expression of support for the goal of a democratic Palestinian state. And for that, he is condemned by the U.N., while real aggressor states like the U.S. and U.K. (not to mention Israel) are among those who do the condemning.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com High Class Blogs: News and Media