Israel protests to U.N. over Iranian rhetoric

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel submitted a letter to the United Nations Security Council protesting recent statements by Iranian leaders against Israel.

“Over the past several days, the most senior Iranian leaders have issued yet another series of outrageous statements, which called for the destruction of Israel and spread the vile anti-Semitism that forms the core of their ideology,” Israeli Charges d’Affairs to the Security Council Israel Nitzan wrote Monday in a letter to Gérard Araud, president of the Security Council. The letter was also sent to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The letter pointed out that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said that “Zionism is a danger for entire humanity” and that Israel “is a cancerous tumor … in [the] heart of [the] Muslim world.” It also quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that the “the very existence of the Zionist regime is … an affront to all world nations” — and called on “all human communities to wipe out this scarlet letter, meaning the Zionist regime, from the forehead of humanity.”

Ahmadinejad also repeated several anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and slurs, including that “the two world wars were designed by Zionists … [who] have been inflicting very heavy damage and suffering on the whole humanity for over two thousand years.”

“Iran — a member state of the United Nations — continues to declare that it seeks the destruction of Israel, another U.N. Member State,” the letter said.

“As Israel has made clear in our previous letters to the Security Council, complacency in the face of Iranian hate speech and incitement is dangerous. The delusional statements of Iran’s leaders are not those of crazy people, but rational fanatics, with irrational hatreds. One can only imagine what such an extremist regime would do if it got its hands on the world’s most dangerous weapons. There are certain times when silence is not an option. We expect the Security Council and all responsible members of the international community to condemn Iranian hate speech without any further delay,” the letter concluded.  

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