Demonstrators burn an Israeli national flag during an anti-Israel protest.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani boldly declared that Tehran will continue to produce nuclear-capable missiles, an activity Israel has been warning against for years, a video of an Iranian diplomat urging for the destruction of Israel started gaining traction online.
The diplomat and imam Hormoz Gharemani made a hate speech against the Jewish state at an Al-Quds Day event in June 2017 at an Auckland, New Zealand mosque, but his words only started coming under public scrutiny this week.
In the video, which was translated by MEMRI, Ghahremani can be heard saying: "The Zionists make divisions in the Muslim world to achieve their goals."
He also described a "Zionist conspiracy to infiltrate Muslim countries" and attributed to Israel "terrorism and extremism in the region [as] fueled and funded by the enemies of Islam and the Zionists."
Next to speak at the event that was hosted by the lslamic Ahlulbayt Foundation of New Zealand was Imam Hojatoleslam Shafie, who stated: "As you all know, Israel and the Zionist regime hide behind a fake phenomenon...described as the Holocaust, and do not let anybody investigate the Holocaust....Why weren't the Jews given a piece of Germany? Why should [did] they come to Palestine?"
The imam said that Al-Quds Day
(Al-Quds being the Arabic word for Jerusalem) was founded by the late Iranian Supreme Ayatollah Khomeini with the intention of "dealing a powerful punch to the mouth of the cancerous tumor known as evil Israel."
Over the sounds of children playing, Shafie continued, "As Imam Khomeini once said, if every Muslim were to spit in the face of Israel, Israel would drown."
He returned to familiar language, describing Israel as a "cancer" which needs to be "surgically removed."
Without citing an explanation, Shafie said, "In my opinion, the countdown to the annihilation of the Zionist regime has begun."
As the video continues to spark controversy online, the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand (from which both imams operate) are slated to lead the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba tomorrow, and delegations from down under are currently touring Israel before the event.