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Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Admits Ahmadinejad Never Said Israel Should Be ‘Wiped Off the Face of the Map’ [VIDEO]



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Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor admitted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never said Iran wanted to “wipe Israel off the face of the map” in an interview with Al Jazeera last week.

Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor speaking with Teymoor Nabili on Talk to Al JazeeraMeridor made the surprising departure from the frequent talking point in an interview with Teymoor Nabili on¬†Talk to Al Jazeera. Video of the interview can be seen below.

Al Jazeera’s Nabili writes about the interview: “It’s when I challenged him on the biggest talking point of all, Iran’s supposed determination to ‘wipe Israel off the face of the map,’ that Meridor seemed to stumble outside the lines of the agreed narrative.”

Meridor: [Iran's leaders] all come basically ideologically, religiously with the statement that Israel is an unnatural creature, it will not survive. They didn’t say ‘we’ll wipe it out’, you are right, but [that] it will not survive, it is a cancerous tumor, it should be removed;

Nabili: Well, I am glad you acknowledged they didn’t say they will wipe it out, because certainly Israeli politicians‚Ķ

Meridor: … they say it will be removed, needs to be removed …

Juan Cole¬†explained¬†on his Informed Comment blog that Ahmadinejad’s quote “comes from an old speech of Khomeini, does not imply military action, or killing anyone at all.” He writes that “it is just an inexact translation. The phrase is almost metaphysical. He quoted Khomeini that ‘the occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time.’ It is in fact probably a reference to some phrase in a medieval Persian poem. It is not about tanks.”

The widely repeated mistranslated quote is from a speech given by Ahmadinejad in 2005, often used by politicians and corporate media.

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Talk to Al Jazeera
[Nabili begins questioning Meridor on the misquote at about 4:10 in.]

 

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Teymoor Nabili in Al Jazeera’s Blogs:¬†A rare admission from Israel

Was it a momentary lapse of concentration or an honest admission?

Last week, in an interview with Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor in Jerusalem, I heard something I have not heard before.

Let’s start with the background.


With the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany)¬†talks on Iran’s nuclear programme about to kick off, and the air thick with talk of a military attack on Iran, it seemed appropriate to try to gain some perspective from the Israeli establishment.

As Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy with a background in Iran issues, Meridor was the perfect man to talk to to.

An able and experienced politician, Meridor was mostly happy to skirt the direct questions and recite approved talking points.

It’s when I challenged him on the biggest talking point of all, Iran’s supposed determination to “wipe Israel off the face of the map,” that Meridor seemed to stumble outside the lines of the agreed narrative.

Meridor:¬†[Iran's leaders] all come basically ideologically, religiously with the statement that Israel is an unnatural creature, it will not survive. They didn’t say ‘we’ll wipe it out’, you are right, but [that] it will not survive, it is a cancerous tumor, it should be removed;

Nabili:¬†Well, I am glad you acknowledged they didn’t say they will wipe it out, because certainly Israeli politicians‚Ķ

Meridor: … they say it will be removed, needs to be removed …

The minister spent much of the ensuing conversation arguing that for Iran to simply question Israel’s long term future amounts to an existential threat; there are many who agree with him.

But it’s his acknowledgement that there’s nuance in Iran’s position that’s so significant, and so rare.

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