Nearly 90 years ago, a raving madman dedicated to the demise of European Jewry came to power in Germany. Adolf Hitler made no secret of his intense dislike for the Jewish people. In fact, he used nearly every platform at his disposal to broadcast his belief that the Jews were to blame for the ills plaguing society around him.
Despite his extreme rhetoric, many argued that Hitler’s verbal crusade against the Jews would remain just that: talk. Yet 6 million Jews murdered testify to the truth that Hitler meant every word.
Today, a regime of hardline extremists dedicated to the demise of Israel are in power in Iran. The mullahs have made no secret of their intense hatred for the Jewish state and its people. In fact, everyone from the supreme leader to clerics to political powers-that-be to military leaders use nearly every platform at their disposal to broadcast their beliefs that Israel is to blame for the ills plaguing society.
And once again—even as the centrifuges spin and the Islamic Republic races to the nuclear finish line—many argue that Iran’s verbal crusade against Israel is merely a matter of Tehran blowing off a little steam. The mullahs, they argue, are all bark but no bite.
Yet history has taught Israel that those with a vision for genocide are usually willing to act on their words. Jerusalem takes Iran’s threats seriously. “We urge others to do the same. The Iranians use unequivocal language, and their words speak for themselves,” an anonymous Israeli government official stated recently in response to yet another Iranian vow to wipe the Jewish state from the map. In fact, the Israeli official argued, if Iran wants the international community to reduce pressure, surely the mullahs should tone down the annihilation talk a notch. The fact that they don’t, he concluded, shows how seriously they take that commitment.
Tehran’s rhetoric and the world’s indifference leaves Jerusalem confounded: if Iranian political, military and religious leaders across the nation continue to lead crowds in chants of “Death to Israel,” why is nobody but Israel taking them at their word?
“Our stance against Israel is the same stance we have always taken. Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen.”
—Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian supreme leader
“We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter. We want to destroy Zionism in the world.”
—Brig.-Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s armed forces
“If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime… If we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.”
— Mohammad Khatami, former Iranian president
“The global arrogance led by America with complicity of Israel seeks to delay the realization of an important issue, which is the destruction of the Zionist regime.”
—Lotfollah Dezhkam, the representative for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
“The destruction of this regime [Israel] is gaining ground.”
—Esmail Qaani, head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp’s (IRGC) Quds Force
“We shouldn’t allow one day to be added to the ominous and illegitimate life of this regime [Israel]. The Army will move hand in hand with the IRGC so that the…Zionist regime will be annihilated.”
—Maj.-Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi, the commander of Iran’s army
“Israel must be destroyed and wiped out. There is no doubt that the Zionists must be annihilated and destroyed. This will definitely happen… I myself will hoist the flag of the Islamic Revolution in Jerusalem, Allah willing.”
—Brig.-Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the IRGC deputy commander for Cultural and Social Affairs
“No other way exists apart from resolve and strength to completely eliminate the aggressive nature and to destroy Israel.”
— Brig.-Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization
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