Ahmadinejad! Israel!

Headlines for Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Denial conference are as expected, like this one from CNN: "Iran's leader: 'Zionist regime will soon be wiped out."

Ohmygod, see? SEE?! He wants to wipe Israel out!

Here's the actual line in context:


"Thanks to people's wishes and God's will, the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is downwards, and this is what God has promised and what all nations want," he said.
"Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out."
Ahmadinejad clearly doesn't like Israel and hopes it's gone. However, far from the fiery sounding headlines, he's not threatening to wipe it from the face of the Earth, he's saying that it's losing its footing and he hopes to hasten its demise. Which makes him an enemy of Israel, but hardly one worth risking an attack for.

Juan Cole writes of Ahmadinejad's views and the conference:
"Iran's leaders support a maximalist Hamas vision of a fundamentalist Muslim Palestinian state in all of historical Palestine, which requires the dissolution of the Israeli state. Since Israelis tend to justify their state project with reference to the Holocaust, the Ahmadinejad faction in Iran is replying with Holocaust denial as a counter to this argument. Note that other prominent Iranians, such as former President Mohammad Khatami, accept the Holocaust and have lambasted Ahmadinejad for questioning it."
In a sense, the conference is counterproductive to the Iranian President's aims. We know the Holocaust is real. If you accept, as his conference clearly implies, that the Holocaust is a strong foundation for the Israeli state, then his conference implicitly supports Israel.

His conference of "scholars" will likely determine that "there was some killing and targeting of Jews but not on the scale commonly accepted," as Holocaust deniers generally aver.

Americans (and particularly Jewish and Christian Zionist Americans) will read this conference much as everyone will read the headline above, and it will confirm their fears that Iran seeks to attack Israel...
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