Strange as it sounds, the recent call by Iran's president for Israel to be "wiped off the map," gives me hope for the future.
Well, not the remark so much as the reaction of most of the world's leaders to the remark.
It seems the new Iranian leader, who called on the Palestinians to step up the mass murders of Israeli civilians and eventually "wipe this stigma from the face of the Islamic world," may have overestimated the virulence of
The anti-Semitism in most of the rest of the world. At least of its leaders.
I wonder if the Palestinians have noticed that Iran isn't offering its own children for the privilege of fast tracking it to heaven through murder/suicide.
Anyway, the Associated Press reported shortly after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks, that "governments around the world expressed
shock and scorn at (his) call for Israel to be 'wiped off the map.' No government besides Israel's went so far as to call for Iran's expulsion from the United Nations Israel's deputy ambassador to Britain saying it was "unheard of" for a U.N. member state to call "for genocide of another member state," and called the remark "a clear contravention and breach of the U.N. charter" but, a couple came close.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the Iranian's comment was "completely and totally unacceptable," that it underscored the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and that he's "never come across a situation of the president of a country saying they want to ... wipe out another country."
"Their attitude towards Israel, their attitude towards terrorism, their attitude on the nuclear weapons issue, it isn't acceptable. ... Can you imagine a state like that with an attitude like that having a nuclear weapon?" he said, adding that the comment made him feel "revulsion."
Twenty-five European Union leaders also officially condemned the remarks, stating, "calls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member
of the international community."
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that "to have the president of any country saying another should be wiped off the face of the earth is a reminder of the psychological pressure, quite apart from the actual
pressure, that the state of Israel is under, and this obviously is an issue that the United Nations has to address."
Isn't that marvelous? I was beginning to think the entire world had turned its back on the Jews and was beginning to work itself into an old-fashioned, murderous anti-Semitic frenzy. I'm still not convinced this is not the case among a certain percentage of the world's population, but many of it's leaders, it seems, are still sane.
The Middle East is another story. The AP reported Ahmadinejad's speech appeared on many Arab newspapers' front pages without comment. Egyptian and Jordanian officials had nothing to say.
But European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the Iranian leader's comments were "completely unacceptable," and France, Russia, Spain and The Netherlands summoned the Iranian ambassadors in their capitals to explain the remarks.
The French Foreign Ministry spokesman said the ambassador "was reminded that the right of Israel to exist cannot be contested." And the German and Austrian foreign ministries also protested the comments to their Iranian
diplomats. Italy said the remarks confirmed concerns over Tehran's nuclear program.
The Russian Foreign Minister called it "inadmissible" for anyone to "challenge the right of any U.N. member to exist."
But the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister's condemnation may have been the best.
"We are in the 21st century. Canada will never accept such hatred, intolerance and anti-Semitism. Never," his statement said.
I'm not sure why Iran's anti-Israel hostility comes as such a surprise, and it doesn't change the fact that Israelis are still being blown up by mass murders in suicide vests while waiting to buy a falafel, but it's nice to know most of the world's leaders aren't celebrating about it.