Cutting through the bullshit.

Friday 19 January 2007

'The page of time'

Although Juan Cole debunked the myth last May, here is a new analysis of why ‘Iran's President Did Not Say "Israel must be wiped off the map"’ by Arash Norouzi.

Word by word translation:

Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

Here is the full transcript of the speech in farsi, archived on Ahmadinejad's web site:

Norouzi also places the quote into context:

Khomeini predicted, other seemingly invincible empires have disappeared and now only exist in history books. He then proceeds to list three such regimes that have collapsed, crumbled or vanished, all within the last 30 years…He concludes by referring to Khomeini's unfulfilled wish: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. This statement is very wise". This is the passage that has been isolated, twisted and distorted so famously.

I don’t know about vanishing form the page of time. It’s probably some cryptic Persian expression, but it sounds to me a lot like ‘rewrite history’, ‘down the memory hole’ sort of thing. And I sure wouldn’t want to see that happen. There are a lot of lessons we and future generations have to learn from the sorry saga of Zionism. So let it remain on the page of time.

On the other hand, since I am dubious that the democratic, secular Palestine throughout the Mandatory area – the only plausible scenario that approaches delivering a just outcome and peace – would retain the name ‘Israel’, as far as I’m concerned, the word Israel must indeed be wiped off the literal map. So what’s all the fuss about?

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