Iranian government officials say many nasty things about Zionism and Israel. I wish they wouldn’t: they create tension and hostility and threaten the peace. Some examples:
- Israel is a cancerous tumor that should be removed.
- Stand firm and resist and Israel will be destroyed
Israel must be wiped off the map. The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the pages of time.
Help! say some Israeli leaders. These people are crazy! They are going to drop nuclear bombs on us! We need to bomb them first! We dare not wait!
But what do the Iranians mean? Here are some quotes from the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. In the year 2000:
Iran’s stance has always been clear on this ugly phenomenon (Israel). We have repeatedly said that this cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region. The Palestinian issue is not an internal Israeli matter. It involves the interests of the whole Islamic world, including Iran. All should strive to return that piece of land to Islamic hands.
Palestinian refugees should return and Muslims, Christians and Jews could choose a government for themselves, excluding immigrant Jews.
No one will allow a bunch of thugs, lechers and outcasts from London, America and Moscow to rule over the Palestinians. The new Palestinian generation has learned that struggle is the way to victory, not negotiations.
There is only one solution to the issue of Palestine, the solution which we suggested a few years ago.
This solution is to hold a referendum with the participation of all native Palestinians, including Muslims, Jews and Christians, the Palestinians who live both inside and outside the occupied territories.
Any government that takes power as a result of this referendum and based on the Palestinian peoples’ vote, whether it is a Muslim, Christian or Jewish government or a coalition government, will be an acceptable government, and it will resolve the issue of Palestine. Without this, the Palestinian issue would not be settled.
The Islamic Republic’s proposal to help resolve the Palestinian issue and heal this old wound is a clear and logical initiative based on political concepts accepted by world public opinion, which has already been presented in detail.
We do not suggest launching a classic war by the armies of Muslim countries, or throwing immigrant Jews into the sea, or mediation by the UN and other international organizations.
We propose holding a referendum with (the participation of) the Palestinian nation. The Palestinian nation, like any other nation, has the right to determine their own destiny and elect the governing system of the country.
Now, these remarks do not make very nice reading for Israelis. But the Supreme Leader is consistent and clear: Israel is not to be destroyed by military action, but by a popular referendum.
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