Top 10 Anti-Semitic Slurs of 2013, edited by Pandora Pushkin


By Dr Lasha Darkmoon on January 1, 2014

Darkmoon — Dec 31, 2013

Sourced from The Jerusalem Post and presented with pictures, captions and comments by Pandora Pushkin

Why are people still saying such bad things about the Jews? Isn’t it time to grow up and be nice and friendly? Let’s hope 2014 will be an improvement on 2013!

 

IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI:
Voted in by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as No.1 Anti-Semite of 2013.
“Israel is a rabid dog in the region,” he raged.
“Its leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human!”

(If you are deeply shocked by this deeply shocking comment, please read no further)

The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced on Monday its 2013 top-10 list of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs, giving the top two slots to the leaders of Iran and Turkey.

The list underlined the failure of the international community to confront contemporary anti-Semitism by citing state-sponsored drives to attack Jews and Israel and the role of a UN official, authors, academic and church groups and celebrities in stoking Jew-hatred.

The center, an international human rights organization best known for combating modern anti-Semitism and bringing World War II Nazis to justice, topped the list with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s “genocidal threats against the Jewish state.”

In November, Khamenei described Israel as the “rabid dog in the region,” adding, “Its leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human.” Khamenei said shortly before the Iranian election that “Zionists” were the real agents in control of the United States – an accusation with which he was “updating the old canard of a global Jewish conspiracy,” according to the center.

PANDORA PUSHKIN comments: It was very wrong of Mr Khamenei to say this. This horrid Persian should shut up, and study his history a bit more, before he opens his big bearded mouth!  The idea that Jews control America is just absurd. Everyone knows that AIPAC has no influence on Congress whatever! As for a “Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world”, golly gosh! I never heard such poppycock since reading The Protocols of the Elders of Zion!

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Anti-Semite No. 2 of 2013… not clear what he said to offend the Jews… but he looks a real mean critter, doesn’t he? Click to enlarge

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan garnered thesecond spot on the list for blaming the actions of the June anti-government Turkish demonstrators, who sought greater democracy, on the “interest rate lobby,” which Erdogan’s deputy said was “The Jewish Diaspora.” The Wiesenthal center said Erdogan had suggested that Israel engineered the ouster of Egypt’s Islamic president Mohamed Morsi.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday from Herzliya via telephone, Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the aim of this year’s list was “to get across the point” that people who have credentials or are prime minister or the Supreme Leader should not receive free passes because of their positions of power.

“The rest of the world should not be so friendly with them. It is not correct to have meetings with the prime minister of Turkey when he is a common bigot,” Hier said.

Pandora Pushkin comments: Quite right too! Wasn’t it this same anti-Semitic Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan, who had the gall to protest at the “murder” of nine Turkish citizens aboard the ship Mavi Marmara in the Mediterranean Sea in May 2010? This was when Brave Little Israel decided to attack the pirate vessel, cunningly disguised as part of a “humanitarian flotilla”, as it chugged toward terrorist-ridden Gaza, armed to the teeth with deadly kitchen knives and teaspoons.

Hier criticized the Geneva photograph of euphoric foreign ministers celebrating the Iran nuclear deal in November as a dismissal of Khamenei’s threats against Israel. “The jubilant mood” took place, he said, days after Iran’s leader called for “the elimination of the state of Israel, making it clear that Iran’s singular foreign policy is the elimination of Israel.”

Also notable on this year’s list was the presence of two anti-Israel Jewish Americans whose language contributes to anti-Semitism, according to Hier. Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, occupied the third spot and the journalist Max Blumenthal scored ninth place.

 

Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, is No. 3 Anti-Semite of 2013. His offense? His bizarre belief that the Palestinians could also have “human rights”.

Rabbi Hier told the Post that he considers Falk and Blumenthal to “absolutely” fall in the category of Jewish anti-Semites.

“It is not the first time in the history of the Jewish people” that Jews have made anti-Jewish rants, Hier said. He stressed that one has to “judge people by their words. You can be an anti-Semite if you talk like anti-Semites.”

Hier continued, “Richard Falk should not be given a free pass because he is Jewish. We think he, Richard Falk, is an outright anti-Semite.” Likewise, Hier said of Blumental, “we judge him by what he wrote. He crossed the line into outright anti-Semitism.”

According to the Wiesenthal list, Blumenthal uses chapter titles in his book Goliath to equate Israel with the Nazi regime. Chapters in his book are entitled “Summer Camp of Destruction,” “Date with the Devil,” “There Is No Dream,” “The Concentration Camp,” “The Night of Broken Glass” and “How to Kill Goyim and Influence People.” The center noted that “he quotes approvingly characterizations of Israelis soldiers as ‘Judeo-Nazis.’”

Pandora Pushkin comments: Tsk, tsk! this comparison of Israelis with “Nazis” is most inappropriate! The Nazis were good-looking guys by all accounts — “blonde beasts”, handsome hunks of humanity who are reported to have swept ton loads of  French women off their feet in Occupied France during World War II. Sorry, I just can’t see the Israelis doing that!

Dr. Eric Alterman, a prominent professor of English in New York City, wrote that Blumenthal’s “book could have been a selection of a hypothetical Hamas Book of the Month Club.” Alterman penned his critical review of Blumenthal’s book in the left-wing magazine The Nation, where he is a columnist.

Speaking from Washington with the Post, Josh Block, a former Clinton administration spokesman who is CEO of The Israel Project, said of Blumenthal: “I am sure his colleagues at the Hezbollah newspaper where he was a writer for years are pleased and not at all surprised to see their guy on this list… Turns out the anti-Semites of Al-Akhbar and Iran’s Press TV discovered this modern- day Jewish Father Coughlin before anyone else.”

The Wiesenthal Center said Falk had argued that Israel might be organizing a Nazi-like Holocaust, and had defended Palestinian terrorism as “the right of resistance” because suicide attacks would inflict significant pressure on Israel.

Pandora Pushkin comments: The idea that Israel might be organizing a “Nazi-like Holocaust” of the Palestinians is of course manifestly absurd when we consider Israel’s exemplary behaviour during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza (Dec 2008-Jan 2009). During this trying period, Israel  killed a mere 1400 evil Palestinian terrorists, mostly women and children, using the kindest of weapons available to it, including skin-melting white phosphorus bombs. Don’t forget, too, that Israel was to lose as many as 11 heroic martyrs during this humanitarian exercise.

European cartoonists from Norway, Germany and France landed the seventh slot for their depictions of Israel and Jews. In Germany in particular, the center cited “cartoons in two different newspapers (the Badische Zeitung and the Stuttgarter Zeitung) depicting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu poisoning peace talks.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, told the Post, “It is especially galling and outrageous in the midst of all this that two German newspapers would publish cartoons that – consciously or otherwise – deploy deep-rooted European anti-Semitic imagery of the Jew as poisoner. Those images do the poisoning and also validate [a] toxic attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people.”

Henryk M. Broder, a leading German author and an expert on new forms of anti-Semitism, praised the list for classifying the Badische Zeitung cartoon as anti-Semitic. He told the Post that “it hit the nail on the head.”

The German-Israel friendship society in Freiburg, where the Badische Zeitung is published, wrote in a statement to the Post, “In view of this ranking, we would appreciate if the editorial team of the Badische Zeitung could reconsider their statement about the cartoon. We hope that in the future the Badische Zeitung will exercise more care when it comes to the release of anti-Semitic depictions. In this context, we would like to mention that anti-Semitism can also be disguised as anti-Zionism.”

 

Should anti-Semitic cartoons like this be permitted? We call for an IMMEDIATE ban on all such cartoons!

Fourth on the list were political and church groups, along with Pink Floyd’s co-founder, Roger Waters. The center said that Waters slandered “Israel as an apartheid state, compares it to Nazi Germany and denies that the Iranian regime poses any threat to the Jewish State.”

The American Studies Association was cited for singling out Israel for a boycott. A right-wing extremist Hungarian political party called for a registry for Jews for “security reasons.”

The United Church of Canada was listed because “As Christians suffer in Syria, [are subject to] ethnic cleansing in Iraq and threatened in Egypt, The United Church of Canada endorsed the boycott of Israel – the only Middle East state that guarantees full religious freedom and protection to all faiths.”

The Pine Bush New York school district occupied the eighth spot for failing to protect Jewish pupils from “anti-Semitic slurs and physical abuse by bullies.”

The glorification of Hitler in Muslim-majority countries and elsewhere was listed sixth.

Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Alice Walker was co-listed as ninth for her latest book, Pin in the Cushion, which “is a diatribe against the Jewish state. Walker depicts Hamas-ruled Gaza as a benign place” and compares Israelis to the Nazis.

European anti-Semitism and racism in sports stadiums captured the tenth spot on the list.

The list included a call on NBA star Tony Parker to apologize for a Nazi-like salute.

Pandora Pushkin concludes: 2013 has been a bumper year for anti-Semitic comments. Like my old granny used to say, “Under every rock their lurks a nasty anti-Semitic insect!” Let’s hope 2014 will see a radical improvement in anti-Semitic attitudes.

This will depend to a large extent, of course, on Israel continuing to behave with its exemplary restraint in the Middle East. Israel must really try harder to steal less Palestinian land next year and kill a few less Palestinians. That would obviously help.

And Jews on the whole could also do a bit more to make themselves more popular: like, for example, by not spitting in Christians’ faces, as they do in the Holy Land on a regular basis — and by generally learning to make themselves more cuddly and lovable.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Source:….Click Here

“If Christ were Alive today He would Fight America”…Oh Yes.


Introduction — Dec 27, 2013

The Zionists and their Anglo-American collaborators have long tried to further the differences between Christians and Muslims for their own ends. However, as anyone who has looked at both faiths impartially will know, they have much in common.

Beyond mere superficial appearances, both faiths have similar goals, even if the ways and means to achieve them differ outwardly.

Although in their ignorance most of America’s so-called “Christians” may not realise it, the Koran treats Jesus Christ as a figure of respect. As does the Ayatollah in this latest speech.

Although you wouldn’t think so from the CNS report below, which claims that the Koran teaches that Christians are “deluded and cursed by Allah”. A claim CNS makes without any reference to confirm or substantiate it.

Indeed, such claims have long been used to widen the perceived rift between the two faiths. It’s an old Zionist ruse.

Significantly however, the Ayatolloh’s reaching out to Christians has been echoed in one of Iranian President Rouhani’s Christmas messages. Prompting one to wonder if there is a concerted effort among Iran’s secular and religious leaders to appeal to what remains of Christianity in the West?

 

Iranian Ayatollah: “If Christ were Alive today He would Fight America”

Patrick Goodenough — CNS News Dec 26, 2013

 

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei marked Christmas Day with social media messages tying Jesus into political rhetoric directed at the United States.

 

If Christ were among us today, he would not spare even a single moment to fight the leaders of despotism and global arrogance,” he said on Facebook, using the Islamic Republic’s favored term for America.

 

Nor would he tolerate hunger and wandering of millions of people, degenerated by the hegemonic and colonialist powers into war, corruption, and violence,” he added.

 

On Twitter, Khamenei tweeted another message containing a veiled dig at the U.S.: “Jesus Christ was a minister of a heavenly justice to call all oppressed on earth for emancipation from the thralldom of bullying despots.

 

In a separate message he claimed that Jesus is as important to Muslims as he is to Christians: “No doubt that Jesus Christ has no less value among Muslims than he has among the pious Christians.

 

Seldom does a key Christian holiday pass without some Muslim leader making such assertions. The Qur’an depicts Jesus as one of many biblical prophets, but rejects his divinity (teaching that those who believe otherwise are deluded and cursed by Allah) — AND NOTE CNS PROVIDES ABSOLUTELY NO REFERNCE TO CONFIRM THIS CLAIM — and denies that Jesus was crucified – two central tenets of the Christian faith.

 

A politically-charged Christmas greeting also came from Iran’s Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, which expressed the hope that the people of “Prophet Jesus’ birthplace” “enjoy freedom from the abomination of the Zionist occupation and that the banner of freedom and victory is raised over Palestine.”

Continues At The Source…( Click Here )

“The dogs are barking, but the caravan moves on.”


Iran’s S-300 Missile’s 1,240 Mile Range War Dance

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/irans-s-300-missiles-1240-mile-range-war-dance/2013/12/15/

The Russian made S-300 Missile, which is about to be delivered to Iran, can strike inside Israel. In Geneva, the 5+1 nations were only concerned about limiting Iran's missile range in Europe.

The Russian made S-300 Missile, which is about to be delivered to Iran, can strike inside Israel. In Geneva, the 5+1 nations were only concerned about limiting Iran’s missile range in Europe. Photo Credit: Press TV Kenneth Waltz was the founder of the Neorealism Theory of International Politics, which holds that when it comes to nuclear proliferation, the more the better. The more countries that have nuclear weapons the more peaceful our planet is likely to be. And so, while the G5+1 were peacefully ‘Waltzing’ away in Geneva, behind the scenes a war dance was going on regarding the delivery of Russian S-300 ground to air missiles to Iran. Game Theory as it applies to the Israel-Iran conflict is relatively simple. The premise assumes that if Iran gets the bomb it’s an end game scenario that Israel cannot permit, and therefore the question is not whether, but when will Israel preempt. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Russian President Vladimir Putin, in May of 2013 that delivery of the S-300 (which would greatly undermine Israeli Air Force superiority) to Syria, “is likely to draw us into a response, and could send the region deteriorating into war.” The S-300 is referred to as a game changer. It is a mobile land-based system designed to track multiple aircraft simultaneously from a long distance, and to shoot down enemy planes within a radius of 150 km (93 miles). The Russians have been playing the S-300 missile as pawns in their global chess game, in particular against the deployment of U.S. missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. This game has been ongoing (in one form or another) since President Ronald Reagan first proposed the U.S. anti-missile system known as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), the “Star Wars” program, back in 1983. The $800,000,000 Russian-Iran deal for the delivery of the S-300 system was concluded in 2007. In May, 2010, Western intelligence services reported that Iranian Revolutionary Guards S-300 crews were training at Russian missile bases. When Israeli President Shimon Peres raised the issue during talks with then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, he was told sharply that no other government could tell Russia to whom it may give military training. By 2010, Iran’s refusal to halt uranium enrichment led the UN to pass resolution 1929, imposing sanctions against Iran and banning the sale of missiles to Iran. As a result, early in September of 2010, President Medvedev signed a resolution banning the delivery of S-300 missile systems. In reality, Israel’s agreement to sell Russia surveillance drones that would narrow Russia’s technological military gap with Georgia in return for killing the S-300 deal with Iran and Syria may have had a lot to do with Russia scrapping the sale. As a result of the cancellation, Iran brought a lawsuit (that’s still pending) against Russia in a Swiss court, to the tune of $4 billion. On July 5, 2013, just two months after the Netanyahu – Putin meeting in which the former warned about a possible war, a Syrian military arms depot in Latakia containing Russian Yakhont P-800 surface to sea missiles was attacked and destroyed. The Yakhont missile, like the S-300, is also considered by Israel to be a game changer. The attack was initially reported as having been carried out by Israeli war planes in an air to ground attack (against which the S-300 would have been a credible deterrent), but it was later reported that the attack that destroyed some 50 Yakhont missiles was actually carried out from Israeli Dolphin-class submarines. The attack delivered a triple message: Israel will not tolerate game changers (a lesson Israel learned and paid dearly for in the 1973 Yom Kippur War). The second message was to Iran and Russia, saying that ground-to-air S-300 will not prevent an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, and Israel can carry out such an attack in multiple ways. The third message was directed at Washington and Moscow: missile pawn-moves made on the European chess board have no relevance to the backgammon platform of the Middle East. While the cooperation between the U.S. and Russia has led to the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons, and to the Geneva accords, Russia has been playing the S-300 card behind the scenes and to its own advantage. It may have actually been the trump card that convinced Iran to agree to an accord with the West. On September 5, Putin reached a decision to end the ban on the sale of S-300 missiles to Iran, on condition that Teheran drop the $4 billion lawsuit against Rosoboronexport, the state intermediary that oversees Russian defense imports and exports. The Kommersant (a prestigious Russian daily newspaper), reported the news several days later. It appears that Putin’s decision was part of a Russian effort to prevent U.S. military intervention in Syria and an enticement for the ayatollahs of Iran. By September 26, the world was cheering the peaceful resolution of the Syrian problem, and just two months later, on November 24, it was elated again with the conclusion of Geneva accord. Not three weeks later, on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, during the course of a lecture to students at the Imam Sadegh University in Tehran entitled “Islamic Revolution against Global Arrogance,” Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief, Maj. General, Mohammad Ali Jafari, is reported to have made the following statement: “We are still increasing the range of our missiles, but currently the Supreme Leader has commanded that we limit the range of our missiles to 2,000 km (1,240 miles).” It was a strange, oxymoronic response to a student’s question about Iran’s missile development. Yes, the Iranians were working on increasing the range of their missiles, but no, they were limiting them to a range that can only reach Israel (and Saudi Arabia). During the Geneva accords discussions, the G5+1 expressed concerns over Iran’s and North Korea’s cooperation in the development of the Shehab-6 missile, which has a range of 3,000-5,600 km (1,850-3480), long enough to reach most of Europe. They made it clear that they would like to extend the six-month nuclear freeze agreed upon in Geneva to include a freeze on Iran’s development of long range ballistic missiles. No objections were raised, however, to Iran retaining the shorter range Shehab missiles capable of striking Israel. Some of the sanctions have been lifted, the six months count is yet to begin, and the game changing S-300 shipment is almost en route. As the saying goes,

“The dogs are barking, but the caravan moves on.”

SHALOM.

More Disinformation Masquerading as “News”


Commentary — Sept 8, 2013

The Financial Times report linked below is the latest example of how disinformation is being dressed up and fed to the public in the guise of “journalism”.

Earlier last week an article entitled “Iran ex-president hints at divisions over support for Bashar a–Assad appeared in the Financial Times, which quoted Rafsanjani as saying:

“God bless the people of Syria . . . they were subjected to chemical weapons by their own government and now they have to expect a foreign invasion…”

Iran’s former president, has publicly denied making the comments attributed to him in the Financial Times article.

“Recent quotes (attributed) to me regarding Syria… are absolutely not true,”Rafsanjani was quoted as telling a crowd of war veteran families on Saturday.

Rafsanjani has also posted a denial that he made the statement on his own website. However, the Financial Times has yet to publish Rafsanjani’s denial or retract or amend the article in which the comments he is alleged to have made originally appeared.

To add insult to injury the following appears should you try to copy the FT report

“High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article…”

So much for the FT’s idea of “High quality global journalism”.

The comments attributed to Rafsanjani seem intended to add weight to arguments that the Syrian government was behind the recent chemical weapons attack on its own people. Despite the fact that strong evidence exists in both video and photographic format that the so-called “Syrian rebels” were behind the atrocity.

True to form, the corporate Western media has completely ignored these indications pointing to the involvement of supposed “Syrian rebels”. Nor is this the only example of the corporate media presenting a distorted account of events in Syria.

 

The BBC recently reported that the Syrian Air Force appeared to be dropping incendiary bombs on a children’s playground, leaving “scores of children with napalm like burns”.

As yet no other evidence has emerged to corroborate the BBC claim. Nor have any other independent reports appeared to confirm it. Although numerous other reports have cited the BBC claim, and in some cases treated it almost as if it were an established fact.

In effect, large elements of the established media appear to be conducting a campaign to portray the regime of President Assad in the worst possible light. Using unverified claims and factual distortion to argue that “something must be done”. Essentially making the case for military action against President Assad.

If this sounds tiresomely familiar it should, for this is not without precedent. Almost a decade ago the Western media was performing a similar routine over Saddam Hussein and his “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. Remember them? The fabled WMD that were used to justify the invasion of Iraq and which were subsequently found to be largely the product of journalist’s imagination.

Will this media generated disinformation work again? Will it convince a war weary public of the need to punish Assad? Judging by recent surveys the British public has yet to be convinced, and we will know soon enough if the U.S. Congress can be persuaded.

Whichever of Obama or Romney wins, US dealings with the Arab world will change


Robert Fisk – The Independent Oct 29, 2012

After last week’s Obama-Romney love-fest for Israel, the Arabs have been slowly deciding which of the two men would be best for the Middle East. It looks like Barack Obama is their man; but the problem – as always – is the sad, pathetic and outrageously obvious fact that it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference.

George Bush invaded Iraq after giving Ariel Sharon permission to go on colonising the occupied West Bank. Obama got out of Iraq, increased drone strikes on the Pakistan-Afghan border and then behaved like a dog when Benjamin Netanyahu told him there would be no discussion about Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders. Instead of saying, “Oh yes there will”, like a strong and independent president, Obama sat cowed in his White House seat as the Israeli prime minister effectively told him that UN Security Council resolution 242 – the very basis of the non-existent “peace process” – was a non-starter.

Since then, of course, Mitt Romney, who seems to have as much understanding of the Middle East as the Texas preacher who burned a Koran, has said the Palestinians “have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace” and has still not satisfactorily explained why, back in 2005 as governor of Massachusetts, he appeared rather keen on wire-tapping mosques. So good luck to the Arabs.

The truth, however, is that the next president is not going to have the freedom to decide his policy on the Middle East. The old love affair with Israel will continue – unless Israel attacks Iran and drags America into another Middle East war – but for the first time in American history, a successful presidential candidate is going to have to deal with a new Arab world; indeed, a new Muslim world.

The critical point is that the Arab Awakening (please let’s forget the “Spring” bit) represents a people calling for dignity. It includes non-Arab Muslims as well – what else was the mini-green revolution after the last Iranian elections? – and it means that the millions who live in the part of the world we still like to call the Middle East – it doesn’t feel very “middle” when you live there – now intend to make their own decisions, based on their wishes, not on those of their former satrap presidents and – in turn – their masters in Washington. La Clinton still seems not to have grasped this. Maybe Obama does. Romney? I bet he couldn’t draw a map of the nations in the area, except for one, of course.

Contrary to the Western belief that the Arabs are all struggling for “democracy”, the battle and the tragedy of the Middle East today – whether in the aftermath of the “soft” revolution in Tunisia or the butchery of Syria – is about that word dignity, about the right as a human being to say what you like about whomever you want and not to let a despot take personal ownership of a whole country (as long as he has the permission of the United States) and treat it as his private property.

Yes, revolutions are messy. The Egyptian revolution didn’t go quite the way we thought it would. Libya can easily break apart. Syria is a cataclysm. But the Arab people are speaking out at last and they will now ensure that their presidents and prime ministers abide by their wishes, not by the word of Washington or Moscow. Contrary to the Romney-style belief that there is a lack of civilisational values among the Arabs – viz his extraordinary remarks on Israel’s civilisation – the people of the Middle East are demonstrating quite the opposite. It is a slow business: every reader of this article will be dead of old age before the Arab “revolution” is complete.

But the days when US presidents instruct the potentates of the Middle East what to say and do are coming to an end. It will be a long time before the Saudi regime crumbles, along with all the other gas stations in the Gulf. And I suppose it must be said that the tragedy of the Palestinians probably lies at the heart of the Arab Awakening.

Alas, the Palestinians are the only ones not to benefit from the Arab revolutions. There is not enough land left for them to have a state. This is a fact beyond peradventure (as Enoch Powell used to say). Anyone doubting these words should book a flight to Israel and take a look at the West Bank. There is no place left for Palestine; this is the real tragedy that US presidents must face in the coming years.

Source

On Iran, Mum’s The Word


Ali Gharib – The Daily Beast Oct 26, 2012

 

Thebig New York Times story over the weekend said that Israeli officials told the Times that they knew and approved of nascent bilateral talks between Iran and U.S. But then something happened: the Israelis changed course, and Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren told the paper, “We do not think Iran should be rewarded with direct talks.” Today, the Times carried a meta-story noting how that reversal had blossomed into a direct order from Netanyahu to the entire Israeli government – even in person to his cabinet ministers, and by cable to every diplomatic installation – to not discuss possible bilateral talks between Israel and Iran. The paper even laid out a timeline of the above flap with Oren:

Around 8 p.m. Israeli time on Saturday, a senior Israeli official, demanding anonymity, told a Times reporter that the Israelis were aware of the effort toward bilateral talks and were open to it, so long as Washington’s demands were clear: Tehran must stop enriching uranium, export its enriched-uranium stockpile and forfeit any effort to weaponize the material. Iran insists that its program is only for civilian use.

Two hours later, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael B. Oren, called the reporter with an official response he said was authorized by a high-ranking person in Jerusalem. The White House had not informed Israel of the agreement with Tehran, he said, and “we do not think Iran should be rewarded with direct talks.”

The Times also reported that before Netanyahu’s cable and statement, “Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, who is the head of strategic affairs and is well briefed on Iran, encouraged ‘any negotiation that will lead to the end of the nuclear program.’” A former Israeli official, retired IDF intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, wrote that any talks with Iran would be a “positive development.”

Two thoughts on this, both of which I’ve hinted at before. First, Israel clearly does not want there to be fruitful talks with Iran. Second, this still strengthens the case to me that, despite denials from the White House (and President Obama himself during the debate) and Iran, these nascent talks might actually be real. Given Israeli opposition to the talks, their making sure everyone stays shut up about it could just be that, as an Israeli told the Times, “most people who react don’t know anything and just speak as if they know.” Or it could be that Netanyahu wants to control the message and keep officials like Yaalon from going off the reservation because these talks are very, very real.

Source:

Iran’s Secret Weapon


Dr Robert Faurisson – Darkmoon Oct 20, 2012

A slightly edited version of this article, with pictures, captions and additional commenary by Lasha Darkmoon

“If everyone who claims to be a Holocaust survivor actually is one, who did Hitler kill?” — Norman Finkelstein’s mother, quoted in Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. 

The energy crisis is causing worry. However, Iran, which possesses huge reserves of oil and gas, wishes to exploit them better, with our help, and sell us the products, a procedure that would lead to a marked softening of worldwide petrol, diesel, fuel oil and gas prices. A good many nations have an eye on this great potential wealth and would be apt to respond favorably to Tehran’s business proposals. But the United States has decreed the boycott of Iran and, up to now, the world’s policeman has generally been obeyed.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can make all the proposals he likes: he still finds himself considered a criminal. His request for a collaboration that would let him fully re-equip the country’s drilling, production and processing operations is refused. He goes so far as to suggest that countries using the single European currency pay in euros and no longer in dollars, but to no avail. People turn their back to him. Some threaten him. Even the Pope refuses to receive him.

In many countries, President Ahmadinejad’s embassies and diplomatic staff are deprived of contact with the local authorities and foreign delegations; they have ended up with pariah status.

One may well ask oneself where such radical behavior towards the Iranians ever originated and why the international community acts so obviously against its own economic interests.

Three grounds are usually brought up to explain this policy of boycott and open hostility toward Iran:

1) The Iranian president is perhaps trying to arm his country with nuclear weapons.

2) It seems he wants to exterminate the Jews in Israel.

3) He holds the extermination of the European Jews during the Second World War to be a myth.

The first two grounds do not make much sense; only the third is serious and, for that reason, instructive.

In reply to the first ground, it’s fitting to observe that if Ahmadinejad’s accusers possessed the slightest evidence that Iran was trying to acquire nuclear weapons, such evidence would long since have been brandished before the world; however, up to now, they have supplied no real evidence.

In any case, if Iran had a nuclear bomb at her disposal, she could not launch it towards a geographic zone populated by as many Palestinians as Jews, since her bomb would kill or maim both populations without distinction.

The second bone of contention against Iran — that it seeks the extermination of the Jews in Israel — is without foundation. It rests on the absurd manipulation of a text. Ahmadinejad has had, and continues to have ascribed to him, an incendiary statement according to which the Jewish State is to be “wiped off the map”, words taken to mean the extermination of the Jews in Israel.

Actually, Ahadminejad had merely repeated (in 2005) Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 declaration that “the regime occupying Jerusalem” would one day “vanish from the page of time”. This was the repetition of someone else’s prediction, not a threat.

Ahmadinejad took care to spell out his phrase by specifying that, if all the inhabitants of the land of Palestine – Moslems, Jews and Christians – had the right one day to vote freely and opt for a regime of their choice, the Zionist regime would disappear from Palestine just as, for example, the Communist regime disappeared from Russia. The Western media, as a whole, have reported neither the exact wording nor the explanation.

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD’S EXACT WORDS: “Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad.” — “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time“.

A literal word-for-word translation of the Farsi: Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem)  bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

Note that the word MAP (nagsheh in Farsi) occurs nowhere in Ahmadinejad’s speech; nor do the words ISRAEL or WIPE OUT. The English translation “I want to wipe Israel off the map” is therefore much more than a mischievous mistranslation. It is a complete fabrication. [LD]

The third ground is the true one: if the Iranian president causes so much fear, it’s owing to his revisionism. He has wielded the sole weapon that can deeply worry the Jewish State and its ally, the United States.

He possesses what I’ve called the poor man’s atomic bomb. In the findings of historical revisionism, he effectively holds a “weapon of mass destruction” that would kill no one but could neutralize Israel’s number one political weapon: the Great Lie of the alleged Nazi gas chambers and the alleged genocide of Europe’s Jews.

Raised in the religion of “the Holocaust”, the peoples of North America and Europe generally believe in this Great Lie and see Ahmadinejad as a heretic. Thus they dare not defend any policy of rapprochement with Iran, or call for a lifting of the boycott, although therein lies the only chance of seeing their energy costs decrease. Doubtless some of these peoples’ leaders desire an understanding with Iran, but they back away at the prospect of being criticized as accomplices of the new Satan, of the “denier”, the “negationist” who “kills the Jews once again by denying their death”.

The news of the international “Holocaust” conference in Tehran (December 11th—12th 2006) rang out like a warning shot. By no means reserved to revisionists, that conference was open to all. Confrontation of opposing views was allowed, and it took place. The rout of the anti-revisionists was dramatic. And President Ahmadinejad, already fully apprised of revisionist argumentation, was thus able to restate that “the Holocaust” was a myth.

Bush, Blair, Chirac, who know nothing of revisionism, responded by making a terrible fuss. As for the Israelis, they are aware of the Jewish authors’ utter inability to answer revisionist arguments on the scientific level; they now uphold their Great Lie only with Elie Wiesel-style fake testimony or cinematic guff in the manner of Claude Lanzmann, when they don’t resort to novels, drama or even sham museum exhibitions like those at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem or the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

“SOME EVENTS DO TAKE PLACE BUT ARE NOT TRUE; OTHERS ARE, ALTHOUGH THEY NEVER OCCURRED.”

— Elie Wiesel, the world’s most famous Holocaust survivor and — some would claim — the world’s most widely acclaimed liar. “In Buchenwald they sent 10,000 persons to their deaths each day,” he lied. “I was always in the last hundred near the gate. They stopped. Why?”

Concerning Babi Yar, a place in Ukraine where the Germans executed Soviet citizens, Wiesel wrote of Jews being killed: “For month after month, the ground never stopped trembling; from time to time, geysers of blood spurted from it.” (Reporting another witness to this miraculous event).

In 2007, Wiesel stated that President Ahmadinejad of Iran had openly admitted he wanted to nuke Israel into oblivion. “When he says he wants nuclear weapons to destroy the state of Israel, I must believe him,” Wiesel said.

The late Christopher Hitchens had no time for Wiesel and was not impressed by his Nobel Peace prize or his 76 honorary doctorates. “Is there a more contemptible poseur and windbag than Elie Wiesel?” he asked rhetorically. (The Nation, February 11, 2001).

Holocaust revisionism — i.e., any doubts about the official version of the Holocaust as laid down by the Zionists and their camp followers — is illegal in many parts of the world. Questioning the magic six million figure is now a “thought crime” which can get you sent to prison for several years in the following 17 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland.

Here are two photos of the author of this article, Dr Robert Faurisson, after he was savagely beaten up by three Jewish fanatics for daring to question the sacred tenets of the Holocaust: namely, that 6 million Jews were killed in gas chambers on the orders of Hitler. To this day, not a single gas chamber has actually been seen by anyone. [LD]

The Zionists and their friends are getting more and more alarmed at the diffusion of revisionism over the Internet. They make many attempts, cynical or veiled, to strengthen Internet censorship but, up to today at any rate, they have not yet achieved their aims. Throughout the Western world repression of revisionism is worsening, but it’s all a waste of effort so far. The holocaustic propaganda and Shoah Business grow ever more deafening, but henceforth they tend to annoy or tire people.

The Zionists have therefore seized the occasion to draw up a bill in the Knesset that would let the State of Israel demand that any revisionist, wherever in the world he might be, be delivered to its own courts!

When there’s no proof to show, the cudgel is used.

Herman Rosenblatt and his wife Roma, smirking contentedly after having conned the world into accepting their fake Holocaust memoir Angel at the Fence. TV celeb Oprah Winfrey was taken in by their touching concentration camp romance and gushed breathlessly, “This is the single greatest love story we’ve ever told on the air!” Asked why he had lied, Mr Rosenblatt explained, “I wanted to bring happiness to people.” Despite the book being a proven fake, a $25 million blockbuster movie is now being made by Jewish producer Harris Salomon.

Rosenblatt’s fake memoir is one in a long series of Holocaust hoaxes, some of them even more flamboyantly absurd. e.g., the case of Misha the Wolf Girl who was raised by wolves and fed on raw meat like a wolf cub — a story that netted her over $20 million and was also made into a movie. Nor are matters made any better when we learn that Holocaust scams are frequent, with thousands of fraudulent claims being  made every year by bogus “survivors”, costing Germany and other countries tens of millions of dollars. In one case alone, Germany was cheated out of $42 million. All this blatant dishonesty by unscrupulous Jews — to quote a Jewish friend of mine — “only brings the Holocaust into disrepute and gives ammunition to the Holocaust deniers.”

This, then, is the “secret weapon” against Israel that Iran wields so effectively — a weapon far deadlier than all of Israel’s 200-300 nuclear warheads: Holocaust truth. If the truth about the Holocaust should ever turn out to be what historical revisionists and millions of other increasingly skeptical people think it is — a spectacular hoax to prop up Zionism and give the Jewish state a semblance of legitimacy — Israel’s days are numbered.

It is for this reason that Israel is perhaps so desperate to destroy Iran: to silence it before the truth gets out.  (LD)

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The Arrivals pt.50…At The Cross Roads….What Do You Believe In, And Why ?


You be the JUDGE  🙂

A must WATCH video

Next, go follow this link and learn something NEW about you.

U.S. Attack on Iran Would Take Hundreds of Planes, Ships, and Missiles


Noah Shachtman – Wired.com September 7, 2012

 

Should the U.S. actually take Benjamin Netanyahu’s advice and attack Iran, don’t expect a few sorties flown by a couple of fighter jocks. Setting back Iran’s nuclear efforts will need to be an all-out effort, with squadrons of bombers and fighter jets, teams of commandos, rings of interceptor missiles and whole Navy carrier strike groups — plus enough drones, surveillance gear, tanker aircraft and logistical support to make such a massive mission go. And all of it, at best, would buy the U.S. and Israel another decade of a nuke-free Iran.

There’s been a lot of loose talk and leaked tales about what an attack on Iran might ultimately entail. Anthony Cordesman, one of Washington’s best-connected defense analysts, has put together a remarkably detailed inventory of what it would take to strike Iran (.pdf), cataloging everything from the number of bombers required to the types of bombs they ought to carry. He analyzes both Israeli and American strikes, both nuclear and not. He examines possible Iranian counterattacks, and ways to neutralize them. It leads Cordesman to a two-fold conclusion:

* “Israel does not have the capability to carry out preventive strikes that could do more than delay Iran’s efforts for a year or two.” Despite the increasingly sharp rhetoric coming out of Jerusalem, the idea of Israel launching a unilateral attack is almost as bad as allowing Tehran to continue its nuclear work unchallenged.  It would invite wave after wave of Iranian counterattacks — by missile, terrorist, and a boat — jeopardizing countries throughout the region. It would wreak havoc with the world’s oil supply. And that’s if Israel even manages to pull the mission off — something Cordesman very much doubts.

* The U.S. might be able to delay the nuclear program for up to 10 years. But to do so, it’ll be an enormous undertaking. The initial air strike alone will “require a large force allocation [including] the main bomber force, the suppression of enemy air defense system[s], escort aircraft for the protection of the bombers, electronic warfare for detection and jamming purposes, fighter sweep and combat air patrol to counter any air retaliation by Iran.”

But the first attack might actually be the easy part, writes Cordesman, an expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

At the same time, the U.S. has to keep Iran from blocking the ultra-important Strait of Hormuz, the 21-mile-wide waterway through which flows around 20 percent of the world’s oil and liquid natural gas supplies. And America has to protect its energy-producing allies in the Persian Gulf, or else there will be no oil or gas to send through the Strait.

That will be no mean task, Cordesman writes: “Iran can cherry pick its targets in an effort to pressure and intimidate the U.S. and Southern Gulf states. It can use long-range conventionally armed missiles or drones against large military or urban targets as terror weapons. It can attack sporadically and unpredictably in a war of attrition or attempt to ‘swarm’ U.S. and Gulf naval forces.”

Some of this defensive work has already begun. To keep the Strait open, the U.S. has kept up a steady patrol of aircraft carriers and stationed gunboats, minesweepers, and robot subs in nearby Bahrain. To spot Iran’s missiles — many of which can hit their targets in as little as four minutes — the U.S. is building a next-generation X-band radar station in Qatar. To knock those short- and medium-range ballistic missiles out of the sky, America has sold billions of dollars’ worth of Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Air Defense interceptors to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Those anti-missiles will be augmented by U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers equipped with Aegis ballistic-missile defense systems — one of the most-proven components in the American interceptor stockpile.

But to make sure Tehran’s missiles don’t hit Riyadh or Kuwait City, the U.S. will have to take out Iran’s eight ballistic-missile bases and 15 missile production facilities, and 22 launch facilities if a preemptive strike is ever ordered. America will “need to destroy as many missile launchers as possible … in order to reduce number of incoming warheads,” Cordesman writes. Each target will require two aircraft each — either carrier-launched F/A-18s or F-15Es and F-16Cs flying from nearby air bases — for a total of 90 jets. Auxiliary targets could include Iran’s refineries, its power grid, its military bases, and its roads and bridges.

American jets and fighters will be pretty much free to fire at will — the Iranian air force is a joke, and its air defense systems don’t have the sensors or the networking to seriously threaten U.S. jets. Still, those air defenses and enemy fighters will have to be taken out before they manage to get off a lucky shot.

Drones will be deployed for further intelligence, “deception, jamming, harassment, or destruction of enemy forces and air defense systems.” Special operations forces will conduct “direct action missions, special reconnaissance, and provide terminal guidance for attacks against valuable enemy targets.” Somehow, attacks from Iran’s terrorist allies — including Hamas and Hezbollah — will have to be blunted, as well.

And then, of course, there’s the main attack.

Destroying each of Iran’s five nuclear facilities will require a pair of B-2 bombers flying out of Diego Garcia. Every plane will carry two of the U.S. military next-gen, king-sized bunker-busters, the 30,000-pound GBU-57 Massive Ordinance Penetrator. The “GPS-guided weapon contain[s] more than 5,300 pounds of conventional explosives inside a 20.5 foot-long bomb body of hardened steel. It is designed to penetrate dirt, rock and reinforced concrete to reach enemy bunker or tunnel installations,” writes Cordesman, who believes such bomb can set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions for years.

Israel might — might — be able to pull off a similar strike, but only just barely. It’ll require using a quarter of the Israel Air Force’s fighters, and all of its tanker planes, leaving no aircraft for all these other secondary targets. The jets will have to hug the Syrian-Turkish border before flying over both Iraq and Iran. And that is not exactly friendly territory. “The number of aircraft required, refueling along the way and getting to the targets without being detected or intercepted would be complex and high risk and would lack any assurances that the overall  mission will have a high success rate,” Cordesman writes.

And even if the reactors are hit, the ”Iranian retaliation will have a devastating regional consequences,” he adds. You don’t even want to know what the Middle East would look like the day after Israel attempts a nuclear strike on Iran.

Which leaves the American attack option. It may be technically possible. “It’s clear that if the United States did it we would have a hell of a bigger impact,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in the spring. Cordesman would rather see negotiations instead: “The brief shows just how dangerous any war in the Gulf could be to the world’s economy.” Some politicians may be calling for a preemptive strike on Iran. There’s a reason military planners are so wary.

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Inside Iran: A view from the booming, modern streets of Tehran


Paul Koring – Globe and Mail May 25, 2012

Big, boisterous and booming, Tehran defies the caricature so often painted in the West portraying Iran as a repressed, bitter, colourless society, throttled by sanctions and in the relentless grip of dour-faced mullahs.

Tehran seems utterly transformed since my first grim wartime visit to Iran in 1988, near the end of a bloody eight-year conflict that left a million people dead.

Even before landing, and even at 3 a.m., Tehran is vast and sprawling, a carpet of lights sweeping down from the cool heights of the wealthy northern neighbourhoods to the overcrowded poor slums in the south.

A mother and her two daughters stand on a corner in Jolfa, where young people socialise. Click to enlarge

By day, it’s a chaotic, traffic-choked modern city of more than 10 million (perhaps 15 million, if weekday commuters are included), capital of a nation defiantly proud of its history, culture and heritage and intent on reasserting itself as the region’s most powerful player.

For much of the Arab world, Iran remains the historic Persian rival and enemy. Israel sees the Islamic Republic as an existential threat, one that has called for the destruction of the Jewish state. Successive U.S. administrations see it as a rogue, terrorism-sponsoring state. According to Human Rights Watch, Iran’s theocracy is engaged in a “broad-based campaign … to severely weaken civil society by targeting journalists, lawyers, rights activists, and students” after the 2009 post-election demonstrations.

As the propaganda war rages and a confrontation looms over its controversial nuclear program, Iran forges ahead.

Its capital doesn’t look beleaguered. Cranes festoon the skyline. Modern blocks of multimillion-dollar apartments march up the Alborz mountain foothills in prime locations north of the city. Hundreds of thousands are betting on a housing boom. Fuelled by vast reserves of oil and gas, Iran’s economy has boomed even as successive U.S. administrations have attempted to isolate it.

As far away as Karaj, 30 kilometres to the west, modern new housing complexes, mostly high-rises but also planned communities of single-family dwellings, are sprouting in a fast-growing corridor that resembles the edge cities in the United States. A four-lane highway and high-speed commuter trains bring tens of thousands into Tehran daily.

As in most of the world’s great cities, talking house prices is standard fare at north Tehran dinner parties full of the upwardly striving middle class.

“We borrowed from my family, my wife’s family and the bank when we bought five years ago,” says a middle-class, 30-something engineer, with the near-certain confidence that he got into the market at the right time. “And our house has more than doubled,” he says, before adding with a tinge of worry, “so it was worth it – as long as we don’t get a bubble burst like in America.”

It’s far different from the dark, fearful and partially deserted capital that I remember from 1988 during the so-called “war of the cities” when Iran and Iraq traded salvos of Scud-B missiles. Then the sickly smell of death wafted from buildings destroyed by the incoming missiles and everyone lived in fear of the next random blast.

Nearly two-thirds of Iran’s 80 million people are too young to remember either the Islamic Revolution of 1979 or the devastating war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq that followed. Yet both continue to shape Iran’s world view, even as it attempts to transform its economy from a massive oil-and-gas exporter into a diversified, 21st-century country.

In less than a decade, Tehran has opened four Metro lines that now whisk more than two million passengers daily on four lines. Two more are under construction. Fares are about 20 cents, less for monthly passes. But, like straphangers everywhere, there are complaints, mostly about crowding, less so about the cars at the front and back of each train reserved for women, although women can also choose to ride elsewhere. And cellphones work even in the tunnels. So, to the irritation of many, near-constant conversations fill the trains.

Clean, fast and frequent, the Metro would be the envy of many mega-cities. But there’s a tussle with the central government over funding, flooding remains a problem in some stations and some want nicer cars. “Last year I was in China, they have French trains so I wonder why we are stuck with Chinese trains,” one well-travelled commuter said.

Even “modesty” has been transformed. Tehran’s streets are a blaze of colour. Many, especially older women, still wear the traditional black hijab. But Tehran’s urban fashionistas wear clingy jackets, lots of make-up and flashy head scarves, pushing the limits with bright prints, gauzy whites and flimsy silks.

Long, elegant and tree-lined Vali-asr is called Tehran’s Yonge Street by those familiar with both cities. Window-shoppers peer at luxury-car showrooms and fancy shops full of imported designer goods. Businessmen moan about the new express bus lanes on the west side, complaining that their well-heeled customers can’t leave their cars (and drivers) idling at the curb any longer while they drop in to look at the latest offering in a fancy lingerie store.

Old Tehran still exists. South of the city’s centre, in the cool shadows of Tehran’s huge bazaar, beneath centuries-old arches, crowds jam the alleys. But there’s also wrenching dislocation. Chinese and Indian imports are bankrupting tiny manufacturing shops and small clothing makers in what is now the world’s 18th-largest economy.

At street-side coffee stands or high-priced restaurants, Iranians gossip about politics and hope, with apparent unanimity, that the looming confrontation with the United States will be defused.

When the talk shifts to domestic politics, the hot topic is whether Mohammed-Baqer Qalibaf, the hard-driving, pragmatic and wily mayor of Tehran, who has built a reputation for getting things done, will take a run at the presidency next year.

He has already clashed with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hard-liner who is on the outs with the top religious leadership and also was once mayor of Tehran.

So closely do Tehranis dissect the tea leaves of their murky politics that there’s complex debate over whether Mr. Qalibaf is deliberately allowing huge revolutionary murals that covered some buildings to fade in parts of Tehran where they are unpopular, while repainting them in even more vivid colours in neighbourhoods where revolutionary fervour remains strong.

Mr. Qalibaf, a former Revolutionary Guard commander with a proven combat record and a growing power base in the capital, has been trying to build political bridges abroad – for instance, rubbing shoulders with world leaders at Davos. However, plans to visit the United States for a transit conference were blocked – apparently by Mr. Ahmadinejad.

There’s much grumbling, mainly about prices. International sanctions aren’t blamed, but rather the government’s reduction of subsidies on everything from gasoline (still only 50 cents a litre) to foodstuffs.

In place of across-the-board subsidies, the government created a set of direct payments to the poorest to cushion the impact of price hikes, a scheme that seems to have worked. Even the International Monetary Fund gave it high marks. “My monthly expenses have more than tripled but somehow I can still manage. Everyone manages, it’s the way we are,” a teacher says.

More quietly, many are furious about endemic corruption and – unlike most subjects – are afraid to talk too much about it.

Some things haven’t changed. The huge, walled complex that was once the U.S. embassy in the heart of Tehran remains a ghostly reminder of the takeover in 1979. Once a museum, then an “education centre,” the buildings seem frozen in time, now mostly deserted and guarded by only a few bored basiji, the paramilitary “civilian volunteers” of the revolution who zealously engage in policing moral transgressions and were front-and-centre in cracking down on anti-government protests in 2009.

“No matter how hard they try, America can’t crush us,” boasts a basiji, although he is far too young to remember the 1979 revolution that ousted the pro-Western shah and created an Islamic regime.

But even Iranians who quietly oppose the ruling theocracy (and no one dares publicly oppose it after the crushing of the 2009 demonstrations) believe the country has been badly miscast and is subject to an unwarranted double standard.

“We didn’t invade Afghanistan but we looked after millions of Afghan refugees,” said a musician with no links to the government. “I don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons but I don’t understand why it’s okay for Israel to have them,” he added.

At the other end of the political spectrum, a woman who came back to Tehran after decades of self-imposed exile in France, remains bitterly disappointed that anti-government dissent has been crushed or scattered.

“This is an old, sophisticated society with a great history and literature,” she said. “Iran isn’t going to disappear, it will be a major player no matter who is in power.”

 

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