Jordan Schactel works for the Endowment for Middle East Truth.
At President Obama’s former place of employment, the Illinois State Senate building, hundreds of bills are brought to a vote on a yearly basis. In those hallowed halls, then State Senator Barack Obama earned a reputation for taking a free pass, voting neither yes nor no, but simply “present” on bills up for a vote. Obama’s reputation as an abstainer was well earned, given that he had voted “present” on 129 pieces of legislation during his short tenure as a memberof the Illinois State Senate. Some might argue that by using this approach Obama was positioning himself to maintain his “Teflon” appeal, creating an impregnable defense from political critique based on his voting record.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has taken a page from Obama’s playbook, responding in the vein of a “present” vote when it comes to recognizing the Holocaust. While Rouhani has no real power of his own in Iran’s political system (instead, power is held by the Supreme Council, and ultimately, the Ayatolloah Khameini), it appears that the Islamic Theocracy has shifted its position on the Holocaust. In multiple documented instances, Former President Ahmadinejad proffered an official stance of outward denial on part of the Iranian government. Ahmadinejad’s regime willfully dismissed the event that took the lives of millions, characterized by the distinct mission of wiping out the worldwide Jewish population.
The Left, along with the mainstream media, has gone to great lengths - including CNN’s questionable mistranslation of President Rouhani’s remarks in his interview following his speech at the United Nations - to point out that Rouhani, and therefore, the Ayatollah’s, have embraced the historical fact that is the Holocaust. Unfortunately, there is simply zero evidence to prove this claim.
Many were simply played for a fool, (including Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, who tweeted Iranian Defense Minister Javad Zarif about Tehran’s position on the Holocaust, received this response, and then seemingly bought it as the answer she was looking for) and did not use proper analysis to correctly categorize his response as neither confirmation nor denial, but in some sort of limbo in between.
The Iranian Ayatollahs, appealing to the bleeding heart peaceniks of the left, have masterfully fooled us into thinking that somehow the regime has become more moderate simply because their rhetoric appears more rational to us as westerners. Yet, there have been no objective measures taken that provide any facts to substantiate the New York Times’ claim of Rouhani’s “moderate” method of statecraft.
In his speech to the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded listeners of Rouhani’s not so moderate behavior in the past while holding positions of power within the Iranian regime. Netanyahu reminded the UN General Assembly (as well as a worldwide audience) that, “Rouhani headed Iran’s Supreme National Security Council from 1989 through 2003. During that time Iran’s henchmen gunned down opposition leaders in a Berlin restaurant. They murdered 85 people at the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. They killed 19 American soldiers by blowing up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Are we to believe that Rouhani, the national security advisor of Iran at the time, knew nothing about these attacks?”
The Prime Minister’s remarks prompt us to examine the possibility that there is more than meets the eye to Rouhani’s sudden “adjustment” of his position on the Holocaust. Netanyahu sought to caution world leaders that Rouhani’s rhetoric must not be accepted at face value, but rather needs to be scrutinized and compared to Iran’s behavior as it continues to assume a leadership role among Islamic nations in the Middle East
Throughout the Islamic world, the sad truth is that Holocaust denial and skepticism has become thoroughly ingrained in average citizen’s thought process. The Middle East Media Research Institute has a dedicated archive with the sole purpose of exposing this truth. From Egypt to Indonesia, Anti-Semitism in one of its most egregious apparitions, Holocaust denial, is no mere aberration, but a tenet of mainstream thought.
What may become clear, and what Netanyahu admonishes the world to take heed of, is that the aspirations of Rouhani and his controlling Mullah’s current “outreach efforts” are not nearly as inviting as they appear. Never was there a better time for the mainstream media, and the peoples of Western society to carefully analyze their judgments of Iran. Never has it been more important for Westerners to be mindful of the old aphorism, “actions, not words, ultimately matter,” and watch the nation’s behavior rather than its leaders’ ever-changing rhetoric.
Feature Photo Credit:AFP/Getty Images Composite photo
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