New York, NY, August 2, 2012 … President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for the annihilation of Israel is "ominous" in light of Iran's continuing march toward nuclear weapons, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said today after the Iranian leader excoriated American candidates and elected officials for "kissing the feet of the Zionists" while meeting with their counterparts in Israel.
As released by the Iranian official news media, the Iranian president addressed ambassadors of Islamic countries in advance of al-Quds ("Jerusalem") Day on August 17. He repeated his past allegations of a worldwide "Zionist" conspiracy to dominate governments, banking, media and other "power circles" and zeroed in on the U.S. presidential campaign, accusing Republican candidate Mitt Romney of going to "kiss the feet" of the Zionists.
"So much for all the people who have been trying to make excuses and say, 'he doesn't really mean it.' This is Ahmadinejad's most comprehensive anti-Semitic speech yet," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "These remarks, filled with anti-Semitism and expressions of contempt for Israel and its leaders, are a hallmark of the hate filled and irrational nature of the Iranian regime."
Particularly significant is Ahmadinejad's blatant use of the term "Zionist" to mean Jews, not Israel. Mr. Foxman said, "In his bluntness, Ahmadinejad cuts through the false dichotomy of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism when he uses the term "Zionist" to describe alleged Jewish control of the world for 400 years."
Mr. Foxman added, "Despite having heard such words before from the likes of Ahmadinejad, they have more ominous overtones and should be taken seriously as the Iranian regime continues on its march toward a nuclear weapon."
The following are key statements from the Iranian president's remarks in Tehran:
Calling for the annihilation of Israel:
Alleging Jewish/Zionist domination of the U.S. presidential campaign:
On the Jewish/Zionist domination of the world:
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.