Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Wipe Israel off the Map"?

Kudos to the WaPo's Glenn Kessler for having the guts to take a closer look at the badly mistranslated comments of Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who, according to many hyperventilating pro-Israel commentators, was said to have proclaimed that Israel should be "wiped off the map" - that is, destroyed via military action, including (as so many - hyperventilating even more - have insisted) by a nuclear strike using those nuclear weapons that the nefarious Persians surely - oh so surely - must be developing just with that aim in mind.

From his examination of Ahmadinejad's actual words - and those of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which Ahmadinejad was referencing, Kessler concludes:

“Wipe off the map,” in other words, has become easy shorthand for expressing revulsion at Iran’s anti-Israeli foreign policy. Certainly attention needs to be focused on that — and Iranian behavior in the region. But we’re going to award a Pinocchio to everyone — including ourselves — who has blithely repeated the phrase without putting it into context.

OK, not a complete coming-to-Jesus moment, but it's the best you're going to get from a commentator working at one of the mainstream national dailies.

I imagine the WaPo's Jennifer Rubin must be wincing, and planning a response.

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