Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan, George Deek, responded to Saturday’s stabbing of acclaimed author Salman Rushdie with a Twitter video posted on Monday, saying “Don’t let it (Iran’s regime) intimidate you.”
“I urge you… take the threats of this murderous regime seriously. Don’t let it intimidate you, but do not dismiss them even for a single second,” Deek declared on Twitter.
Iran threatened me with death as well. My thoughts on how to respond to Salman Rushdie's stabbing. pic.twitter.com/SGcMBXgKr2— George Deek (@GeorgeDeek) August 16, 2022
Deek was responding to the attack against Rushdie in New York, where he was scheduled to give a speech on the freedom of exiled writers in the United States.
“You can imagine my thoughts when I heard author Salman Rushie was stabbed before a speech… Iran also threatened him with death.” Iran’s Ayatollah infamously issued a Fatwah against Rushdie in 1989 after Rushdie published his book The Satanic Verses, which was considered blasphemy and angered many in the Muslim world.
“You can imagine why this feels personal to me,” declared Deek.
Iran’s threats to Israel’s ambassador
Deek was threatened by his Iranian counterpart Seyerd Mousavi on Twitter last July after a seemingly innocuous tweet about an Azerbaijani children's book.
“Iran’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan recently threatened me with death… that I would be buried by the people of Iran,” Deek explained in his video. Iran’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan tweeted last month that "Apparently, the FIRST Evil Zionist is going to be buried by the zealous people of Tabriz, too.”
Mousavi posted the tweet in response to one by Deek that read "I’m learning so much about Azerbaijani history and culture in Tabriz in this great book I was recently presented. What are you guys reading these days?" accompanied by a photo of Deek reading a book titled Magic Tales of Tabriz.
Deek concluded by urging the public to honor and remember Rushdie, saying “Let's make sure this is the last stabbing in the name of medieval hatred. How? By making sure everyone – everywhere – knows his name.”
“Let's make sure this is the last stabbing in the name of medieval hatred. How? By making sure everyone – everywhere – knows his name.”Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan George Deek
Last year, tensions spiked between Iran and Azerbaijan after it began targeting Iranian trucks with fines and arrests, and Tehran moved military forces to the border and warned against Israeli influence there.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also claimed that Israel had a presence along the Azerbaijani-Iranian border, saying "the Zionist regime has started provocative actions in our region through the territory of Azerbaijan. We consider some of the harsh statements made by the Azerbaijani authorities these days to be unconstructive."
Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.