It's no secret that the Iranian government would relish in a world free from Israeli influence. Prominent officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have repeatedly made known their wish to see the Jewish state disappear. This week, yet another Iranian official called for an increased effort to "demolish the Zionist regime."
The troubling comments were uttered during a conference in Tehran intended to honor Nakba Day, also known as "the day of catastrophe." In the Muslim world, this refers to May 15, the day on which the State of Israel was re-created back in 1948.
During an address to honor this anti-Israeli holiday, the official in question, Hossein Shiekholeslam, called for an "Islamic Awakening" movement that would assist the Palestinian Authority in destroying the state of Israel.
"In success of a revolution three major factors need to play effective roles, and they are the people, the leadership, and the school of thought, or ideology," Shiekholeslam said. "If we wish success for the Palestinians, the existence of these three factors is necessary, as they did exist in the case of the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran."
In the near future, Sheikholeslam contends that this newfound Islamic Awakening movement will "swallow the Zionist regime." But, as troubling as this rhetoric is, the official wasn't alone in spewing bizarre commentary. Another speaker, Salah Zawawi, the Palestinian Authority ambassador in Tehran, spoke out with equally-concerning sentiment.
"Turning the Palestinians into homeless people is a Zionist-western plot to enable the illegal Zionist immigrants to settle down at our ancestors’ motherlands, over the ruins of our homes," Zawawi said. "So long as the entire Palestinian groups have not united and each group is merely heeding its own factional interests the problems of this detached part of the Islamic world would never be solved."
Zawawi went on to frame Palestinians as brave men and women who are fighting for their homeland and he claimed that there needs to be more centralized efforts to solve the Palestinian issue. These comments were initially reported by the IRNA news agency.
AFP has more about some of the other ways that Nakba Day was observed:
In the West bank city of Ramallah, where president Mahmud Abbas has his headquarters, sirens wailed and hundreds of people at a rally in the central Clock Square stood in silence for 64 seconds -- one for each year of Israeli statehood.
Cars flew black flags carrying a picture of a house key and the word "return" in English and Arabic to remember homes they left or were forced from which are now inside Israel, an AFP correspondent said.
Further north, several thousand people gathered in Nablus city centre waving flags and calling for the right of return, with a similar number showing up in the southern city of Hebron.
Earlier this week PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas delivered an address to celebrate the day as well. In it, he accused Israel of ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, IsraelNationalNews.com reports.
"For decades, Israel has been building settlements in Jerusalem and around it," he said. "This is done while there is a massive destruction of houses in the city and their original inhabitants are being uprooted on a daily basis."
a Zionist-western plot to enable the illegal Zionist immigrants to settle down at our ancestors’ motherlands,
(H/T: Israel National News)