New York, Aug. 21 – Israel is formally asking the United Nations Security Council to condemn a recent spate of anti-Semitic hate speech by Iranian leaders.
In a letter to the President of the Security Council, Israel Nitzan, minister-counselor to the Israeli mission at the U.N., says that in the face of this latest Iranian incitement and hatred, silence is “no longer an option” for the world body. (Read the full text of the letter)
“Iran – a member state of the United Nations – continues to declare that it seeks the destruction of Israel, another U.N. Member State,” the letter read.
“As Israel has made clear in our previous letters to the Security Council, complacency in the face of Iranian hate speech and incitement is dangerous. The delusional statements of Iran's leaders are not those of crazy people, but rational fanatics, with irrational hatreds. One can only imagine what such an extremist regime would do if it got its hands on the world's most dangerous weapons.
“There are certain times when silence is not an option. We expect the Security Council and all responsible members of the international community to condemn Iranian hate speech without any further delay.”
The letter listed several examples of hate speech from Iranian leaders in recent days:
- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, publicly stated that “Zionism is a danger for entire humanity” and that Israel “is a cancerous tumor … in [the] heart of [the] Muslim world.”
- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the “the very existence of the Zionist regime is … an affront to all world nations” - and called on "all human communities to wipe out this scarlet letter, meaning the Zionist regime, from the forehead of humanity.”
- Iran's President alleged that “the two world wars were designed by Zionists ... [who] have been inflicting very heavy damage and suffering on the whole humanity for over two thousand years.”
- General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Commander of the Aero-Space Forces of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, threatened that Iran would take action to destroy Israel, saying “the forged regime will be wiped out of the map and thrown into the trash bin of history forever.”
Some world leaders have condemned the remarks. Catherine Ashton, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued a sharp response saying she “strongly condemns the outrageous and hateful remarks threatening Israel’s existence by the Supreme Leader and the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Israel’s right to exist must not be called into question.”
Ashton called on Iran “to play a constructive role in the region and expects its leaders to contribute to de-escalate tension and not to fuel it.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he “condemns these offensive and inflammatory statements,” accusing Iran of escalating tensions and warning Iranian leaders they were violating the U.N. Charter that “all members must refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.”
Next week Iran is hosting a summit of the non-aligned movement. Many world leaders are expected to attend the meeting chaired by Ahmadinejad, which will give the Iranian president another opportunity to spew hatred against Israel.