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08 December 2005

Move Israel to Europe, Iran Leader Suggests

By REUTERS Published: December 9, 2005
TEHRAN, Dec. 8 (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran expressed doubt on Thursday that the Holocaust took place and suggested that Israel be moved to Europe.
His comments, reported by Iran's official news agency IRNA from a news conference he gave in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, follow his call in October for Israel to be "wiped off the map," which generated widespread international condemnation.

How much hashish has Mahmoud been smoking? How do you move a country from place to place? The same way that a lake disappeared, as described by a character in the film Fried Green Tomatoes? I consider myself to be a friend of Jews, and it angers me that world leaders with this mentality continue to be afflicted with foot-in-mouth disorder. To wit, the majority of the Arab states refuse to recognize Israel, refuse to allow Jews to travel in or out, or non-Jews with Israel stamps in their passports, to travel in or out of their countries. Turkey on the other hand, was the first Muslim country to recognize Israel. Mr Iranian President, why do you obsess over Israel? Is it because you fear that the nuclear reactors you are building will inevitably be blown to smithereens by the IAF? Armenians are often cited for making "Turk-hating" a compulsory national past time. So is the case with most of the Muslim world against Jews, except that the ratio of haters to the hated is reversed. There are 20 Turks for every Armenian who loaths them, but there are about 500 Muslims/Arabs directing their hatred towards each individual Jew. Is it any wonder that Israel's defense expenditure is immense and that their military is "armed to the gills"? Scary... Israel and Turkey share much in common, and among the most compelling similarity is the abundance of enemies which surround both states. The "your enemy is my enemy" thinking runs rampant in this part of the world. Both countries possess powerful militaries, rightly so. Both have fought long and hard, with great loss of life, to claim, defend and protect the borders of their land. It's easy for the weaker surrounding states to make claims against the land which Israel and Turkey fought for and won. Land has been taken by force for millenia, and force will forever continue to be the required currency. The reality is that the strongest prevailed, and if there were enough strength in the forces which claim parts of modern day Turkey and Israel, said forces would exert themselves and take what they can without exception. Until such strength exists outside, or enough weakness exists inside, the boundaries defining Israel and Turkey will never change. As I have no doubt drifted off topic, I should at least re-visit the ooriginal subject one last time. Israel is staying put, and those who believe otherwise will find the Turkish military standing before them. Bring it on Mahmoud.

I chanced upon the following two maps, which seem to make claims to the same areas of Turkey.


Andy Carvin said...

Great post, Murat, but one correction/observation. Most Arab countries don't prevent Jews from traveling there. They restrict Israelis, but that's different. I'm Jewish, but from the US, and have traveled in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, and the UAE. Not once has the fact that I'm Jewish ever been a problem, even though I've been asked while going through immigration in customs (Oman in particular). Admittedly, I don't go around wearing a yarmulke on my head or a t-shirt that says Kiss Me I'm Jewish, but I don't hide it either, and it's quite common for Arabs to ask me what my religion is. To date, it hasn't been a problem, and it often starts a thoughtful discussion about differences in religion and culture, without getting stuck in ugly fights about Zionism.

I haven't had a chance to visit Iran, but I hope to get there at some point. Might have been better if I'd been able to get there while Khatami was in office, but I'm sure I could still travel safely there. It's most likely that my US citizenship would be the problem getting me a visa rather than being Jewish....

sag olun,

Murat Altinbasak said...

Many thanks for the compliment and the correction Andy. Perhaps I was a little too fired up or was confused about other oppressive restrictions towards non-Muslims in some of the Arab states.