Iranian president Ahmadinejad got a boorish reception from New Yorkers yesterday. Maybe that’s because most of what he says about Israel is true.
Ahmadinejad says that the events that Jews refer to as The Holocaust affected others besides Jews. That’s true. Millions of non-Jewish Russians, Poles, Communists, Gypsies, and others were put to death by Germany. Ahmadinejad considers all of these historical events worthy of continued study. Don’t you?
Ahmadinejad questions why a Jewish state had to turn Palestinians out of Palestine. Palestinians had no part in the extermination of Jews. Europeans did that. Ahmadinejad’s right. Jews, Christians, Muslims and others were living in peace in Palestine before the Jewish state was established. There were no Nazis in Palestine. Wouldn’t you like to know why it was necessary to install a European state among peoples who had been repelling European invaders for 2,000 years?
Ahmadinejad believes that Israel should give way to a non-Jewish state. As a holder of office in a theocracy, he may be on thin ice when he makes an argument against sectarian government, but he’s right nevertheless. Americans have always stood for the proposition that a state establishment of religion is bad for the state and bad for religion, too. Israel has a state religion. So does Iran, but that doesn’t make it right.
Ahamdinejad expresses the resentment and sorrrow of all the displaced people of the region when he condemns Israel for inviting Jews from far and wide to populate the occupied territories of Palestine and evict anybody that gets in the way. Who could disagree with this condemnation? Talk about unwelcome immigrants. Here are waves and waves of decadent European and American white people supplanting the indigenous brown people of the eastern Mediterranean. Why couldn’t they have put Israel in Texas, where white people are still popular?
Speaking at Columbia University, Ahmadinejad could have said but didn’t that American Jews bear considerable responsibility for the oppression of Palestinians and others in the region. Too many Jewish Americans put their legacy in Israel–Judaism is the only religion that comes with a birthright in other people’s lands–ahead of all other allegiances. Of all the identifiable U.S. ethnic groups supporting our various wars, especially the proposed war against Iran, Jews seem to be the most consistent boosters, notable as they are for their absence among the ranks of the young people doing the actual fighting. Ahmadinejad could have pointed this out, but he didn’t. Too polite. Unlike his hosts.