Wiping Israel off the Map? The Facebook chapter

As promised, here’s the discussion that followed on Facebook amongst my coursemates. Some comments have been censored down to a PG-13 rating! Feel free to add your own thoughts.

Alex Griffiths: In fairness, Ahmajenajad…psycotic [and] intent on posturing excessively internationally to distract from his ailing domestic policies. He’s an idiot for playing into the arms of the American and to a lesser extent British, right wings.”

Me: “That’s a different point. Why would they put words in his mouth that he didn’t even say and then go on about a second Schoah??! The amounts of paranoia in society is just…staggering.”

Alex Griffiths: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/jonathan_steele/2006/06/post_155.html. He in essence DID say “wiped off the pages of time” or some [such]. Either way, it was pretty…unfriendly ;)”

Dhruv M. Seoni: “i read something that described his statement as implying that he felt that the idea of israel was a mistake- i.e the idea of a largely foreign population occupying and governing a land was a blot on history. i don’t think he said anything about iran trying to reverse it by force.”

Richard Bergman: “I heard that what he said was a mistranslation, and that he said he wanted to ‘wipe Zionism (as an ideology) off the face of the earth’, not destroy Israel as a state. At the end of the day, as long as the US government operates with this idea that Iran is evil at the back of their mind, things like this will always get interpreted in a bad light. That being said, he is an idiot for being a holocaust denier”

Me: “I’m defending him because he’s one of those opinionated, strong-minded people who gets misunderstood by a lot of the media because of his seemingly violent ways. Just because his thinking is so far beyond our narrow scope of acceptability, we like to box him in but I think there’s a lot more to him than an ‘extremist’. And Rich, you’re right. He wanted to remove Zionism not Israel.”

Richard Bergman: “Spot on about Zionism – hopefully somewhere down the line it will become marginalised within Israel and we’ll see something approaching peace (or even better, just one state where everyone has the same rights regardless of religion, but thats for another day..)

I agree about the media and governments boxing him in as well. I can’t help but think that if they just set their opinions aside and tried to listen what he has to say properly, then they’d get a lot further with him.”

Alex Griffiths: “His efforts to “remove Zionism” are nothing more than poorly hidden anti semetic rants. He’s a political child, misunderstood because he’s playing game he doesnt understand. My narrow scope of acceptability will not find the time to defend a man who stirs up hatred for his own means. Recognise him for what he his, he’s unworthy of anyone doing anything more than noting the mistranslation.”

Me: “Exactly, I mean no one’s asking us to love him or even accept his points but you can’t call yourself a journalist if you’re going to use a very narrow-minded yardstick to judge people and then categorise them. If you look at what he said in Farsi, he literally said that Zionism should be removed. Not from the face of the earth, not from the planet, just removed. That’s such a huge threat to any peace process between Israel and Palestine.”

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