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(Washington, D.C., November 27, 2018) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) strongly condemned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the supposed “moderate” in the Iranian government, for his eliminationist and false rhetoric towards Israel.  On Saturday, at an Islamic Unity Conference, Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” and a “fake regime” created by Western countries in order to advance their interests in the Middle East.  The use of this type of language is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in Iran. 

During the negotiations for the Iran deal, President Rouhani was consistently depicted as a “moderate” by the media and international community, who the U.S. could negotiate with.  His vile statement alone, that Israel is “a cancerous tumor,” shows just how wrong that description was.  Real moderate leaders do not use eliminationist rhetoric.  Furthermore, Rouhani’s extremism is exemplified by the Iranian regime’s continued human rights crackdown on its own people, its continued status as the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and its hyper charged aggression in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Yemen, among other nations.

Rouhani’s claim that Israel is a “fake regime” also utilizes one of the frequent canards currently waged against the Jewish people since their return to their ancient homeland: that they are colonizers and imperialist invaders.  But the fact is that the Jews in the land of Israel have an aboriginal, indigenous claim to the land that extends back more than 3,000 years.  As experts attest, there are reams and reams of unquestionable genealogical, historical and anthropological evidence that traces back the origins of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.  The Hebrew language, Jewish culture, customs and traditions, all connect back to the ancient, pre-colonial Jewish homeland in the land of Israel.

President Rouhani is not the only Iranian leader to use such abominable language about Israel.  The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, who holds the real power in Iran, recently, wrote on Twitter, “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.”  Qassem Soleimani, perhaps the second most powerful leader in Iran, and the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, al-Quds force, has called Israel a “child-murdering Zionist regime” and has threatened to “wipe out the Zionist entity.”  Even Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, considered another “moderate,” was caught on tape chanting for the destruction of Iran’s enemies—among them not just Israel, but also the U.S. and the UK.

In response to the latest, despicable Rouhani statements, EMET Founder and President Sarah Stern said, “These and other blood curdling declarations by the Iranian leadership analogizing Israel to a disease should put the world community on notice that Iran is quite willing to commit genocide against the Jewish people.”

Stern continued, “Our people have been objectified and dehumanized before, by the Nazis, among others.  Such statements are clearly intended to remove any remnant of empathy that might still exist in the minds of the internal Iranian populace.  The statement also utilizes one of the frequent canards currently waged against the Jewish people since our return to our ancient homeland: that we are colonizers, and imperialist invaders.  This is a lie.  The Jews in the land of Israel have an aboriginal, indigenous claim to the land that extends back to antiquity.  This basic truth is being challenged by those who want to re-write history for nefarious ideological purposes.  This is a new anti-Semitic blood libel that preys upon the ignorance of those who are all too eager to deprive Jews of their basic rights of being a free people in our own land, a right given to almost every other population.  Sadly, but ironically, it also turns on its head the old screed against Jews from anti-Semites.  When my father was a little boy growing up in pre-World War 11 Poland, people would scream at him, ‘Jew.  Out of Europe.  Go back to Palestine.’ Now, when the Jewish people have finally returned to our ancient homeland, the anti-Semites yell, ‘Jews, out of Palestine.  Go back to Europe.’”

For more information about Iran and its leadership, the Iran deal, and Iranian aggression, please click here.

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The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is a Washington, D.C. based think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance. EMET (which means truth in Hebrew) prides itself on challenging the falsehoods and misrepresentations that abound in U.S. Middle East policy.

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