Iran is serious about its promise of 'death to Israel' - opinion

The writer was in Tehran when Ayatollah Ali Khameini sentenced the World Jewry to death.

 IRAN’S SUPREME Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gestures, marking the 33rd anniversary of the death of the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Tehran, in June.  (photo credit: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/West Asia News Agency/Reuters)
IRAN’S SUPREME Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gestures, marking the 33rd anniversary of the death of the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Tehran, in June.
(photo credit: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/West Asia News Agency/Reuters)

‘We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.” – Ruhollah Khomeini

We would do well to appreciate the magnitude of such words, for since its inception, the Islamic Republic’s truest expression, its life force and raison d’être, has been to cater to a warped Shia Islamic ideal – the worldly manifestation of the Awaited Mahdi’s Kingdom, which sovereignty extends to all that is and all that will be. As Pinky would often ask: “Gee Brain, what are we gonna do tonight?” to which Brain would reply: “The same thing we do every night, try to take over the world!”

If only we could laugh at the lunacy of it all… if only Iran’s regime was reasonable, if only the Islamic Republic would accept to exist within its borders, if only world powers could accept that Iran is exactly what it has been telling us it is: a maniacal genocidal power whose core ideology demands –

1. The blood of all Jews to be spilled and

2. For the very idea of Israel to disappear from world consciousness.

Iranians burn Israeli and US flags during a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran April 29, 2022 (credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS)Iranians burn Israeli and US flags during a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran April 29, 2022 (credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS)

The slogan: “Death to Israel, Death to America,” is not a figure of speech meant to exasperate. Those words do not exist in a vacuum devoid of all political thought – they are the expression of a very clear project which remit I’m afraid is again not limited by geography but rather pertains to what Israel and America represent as far as the regime’s theological and political schema is concerned – an act of rebellion.

The Islamic Republic stands today the biggest threat to secular democracies. For decades, Tehran has played sponsor-a-terrorist, opening its coffers and its training camps to whoever wishes war on the West and its apostasy. We are the infidels to whom their clerics urge followers to lay waste. Everything that we are – from our quest to achieving self-governance and sovereignty over our lives, to our human rights’ advocacy and our calls for equality before the rule of law, or again free speech – are values Tehran’s clergy deems an insult to its religious sensitivities. Only there is very little religion to be found in the promotion of bloodshed. But it doesn’t stop Iran’s clerical class from trying to rationalize genocide and argue instead the liberation of a people from the yoke of slavery – more on that in a moment.

The ayatollah sentences Jews to death

I SAT in Tehran’s great conference hall in 2017 as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made his opening remarks to the burning question of Palestine and Palestinians’ future. Amid a storm of adulation, the supreme leader sentenced World Jewry to death, proclaiming from his pulpit that the cancer that is Israel and its people: the Jews, would be excised to the point of extinction so that the righteous ones could claim victory over the appointed enemy.

His words left nothing to the imagination… nor did the guest list. The who’s who of the Axis of Resistance was in attendance, congratulating one another on the potency and reach of their ever-expanding network of alliances. New to that party this year (2017) were the Houthis (Yemen). And though the group has long entertained ties with Tehran – circa 1990s – it was the first time it had deemed fit to send emissaries to the Iranian capital to partake in this exercise in antisemitism.

“The history of Palestine is full of ups and downs, marked by the cruel occupation of that region, the rendering of millions of individuals homeless, and the courageous resistance of those heroic people. An intelligent quest in history shows that no people in any era of history have ever been subject to such pain, suffering and cruelty. It has never been witnessed that a country is completely occupied in a supra-regional plot, that a people are driven away from their home and their country and that another group of people from remote areas in the world are brought there in order to replace that nation. It has never been witnessed that a real entity is ignored and that a fake entity takes its place.” – Ali Khamenei

Khamenei and the ideology he speaks for have but one goal, and one goal alone – to bring about the downfall of the World Jewry, and forever claim sovereignty over the dominion of Islam so its land and its people could serve under the rule of the Jurist. Iran may speak such words as freedom, political self-determination or even emancipation from servitude but it only hungers for control – over bodies and minds.

Death to Israel

THE WORDS rung loud in my ears as a chorus of voices chanted after the supreme leader: “Death to Israel, Death to America.” A few chairs away from me was the Neturei Karta, a Jewish sect made infamous for its complete and utter rejection of Zionism on the basis that Israel restoration must be tied to the ascent of the Messiah. As the chants came crashing down over the crowd, wave upon wave of a hate I thought had died under the rubble of the Reich, the Neturei Karta stood motionless, a faint smile plastered on their faces.

If I knew the hate to be real and palpable, I had yet to learn of the system by which the Islamic Republic hoped to manifest it and as its officials loved to remind me in reference to an old prophecy: “make even the stone speak in denunciation of the Jews so there could be no safe haven for them to find and no respite to be had against the wrath of their enemies.”

Such is the implacability of Tehran! There is no data and no words which can relay or translate what I experienced that day in the Iranian capital – I can only hope now to convey with enough force the extent to which such madness intends to rewrite our reality.

There is no contending with Iran, there is no tribute we can ever hope to offer to calm its theocratic ardor. The Islamic Republic is quite ready to sacrifice its own if such is the price of success. We may wish to rethink our assessment of assured mutual destruction and the sense of confidence it offers regarding Tehran’s willingness to ultimately negotiate a nuclear deal.

If we are ever to defeat Iran’s theological fascism we ought yesterday, today, right now, to come to terms with the ideology which underwrites it, motivates it and ultimately maps out its every move. But to do that one must come to term with the notion that Tehran’s very existence is geared towards the annihilation of Israel and all Jews.

The writer is a research fellow at the London-based Henry Jackson Society.