Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University


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What Iranian leaders really say about doing away with Israel

Journal Article

Joshua Teitelbaum

Published by
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2008

Over the past several years, Iranian leaders--most prominently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--have made numerous statements calling for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. While certain experts have interpreted these statements to be simple expressions of dissatisfaction with the current Israeli government and its policies, in reality, the intent behind Ahmadinejad's language and that of others is clear.

What emerges from a comprehensive analysis of what Ahmadinejad actually said--and how it has been interpreted in Iran--is that the Iranian president was not just calling for "regime change" in Jerusalem, but rather the actual physical destruction of the State of Israel. When Ahmadinejad punctuates his speech with "Death to Israel" (marg bar Esraiil), this is no longer open to various interpretations.

Topics: Iran | Israel