Sun, June 0, 2010 | Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
“IDF’s action is a step towards the destruction of Israel”: Iranian press reacts to Gaza flotilla raid
This week, the Iranian media has extensively covered the IDF raid on the Gaza flotilla. Editorials published by major dailies reflected Iran’s traditional stance towards Israel, the West, and Arab countries, with no significant differences between the two main political factions: the conservatives and the reformists.
The conservative daily Resalat said that the IDF action was “savage and disgraceful”, calling it a premeditated crime violating human rights. Even if international organizations ignore the Zionists’ crimes once again, the article said, this time the world’s nations and governments will not tolerate behind-the-scenes deals between the permanent members of the UN Security Council and the Zionist regime. The daily claimed that the action was Binyamin Netanyahu’s revenge on the international community for the statement about Israel made last week by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review conference. Israel also sought to spread fear among Hamas supporters and take a heavy toll on the international community for its support of the Palestinian resistance. The daily criticized the US for keeping silent over the IDF action, and the UN for doing no more than asking Israel to explain its action. It was the daily’s assessment, however, that the reaction of the international community this time will be stronger than ever before. By attacking the flotilla, Tel-Aviv started a dangerous game against the international community, but it will not be the one to decide how it is going to end (Resalat, June 1).
Jomhuri-ye Eslami, a daily affiliated with Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council, claimed that the crime committed by the “Zionist regime” proved to the entire world that the Palestinians are facing a barbaric and diabolical enemy. With the IDF taking such action against an international group of peace activists, it is perfectly clear what it does to the defenseless Palestinians.
The daily criticized the US support of Israel, claiming that it was a major cause for the continuation of its criminal policy. Going against international law, Israel’s action is a warning sign to the international community that by remaining silent over Israel’s policy, the latter will step up hostilities. Israel’s crime is also humiliating for European countries, whose nationals took place in the flotilla, and the citizens of Europe expect their governments to react.
The criticism voiced by Jomhuri-ye Eslami focused on the leaders of Arab countries, claiming that they have no further justification to remain silent and continue their relations with Israel. The Muslim nations of the region expect Arab governments to at least cut off ties with and boycott Israel. The daily lashed out particularly against the government of Qatar, which hosted Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Israel’s minister of industry and commerce, as the raid was taking place. The disgraceful behavior of reactionary Arab leaders is one of the main reasons for the continuing crimes of the “Zionist regime”, the daily said. Public opinion in Muslim countries must exert particularly heavy pressure on the government of Egypt, the strategic partner of the Zionists, to change its treacherous conduct and open the Rafah crossing, at the very least.
The daily called on international organizations, the Arab League, the Security Council, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to respond strongly to Israel’s aggression and, by doing so, to make up in part for their earlier disgraceful behavior. It was the daily’s conclusion that Israel’s crime proves to the international community that the Palestinians have no choice but to resist and fight against the savage and criminal State of Israel. That crime supports the Palestinian cause and brings the “Zionist regime” one step closer to its destruction (Jomhuri-ye Eslami, June 1).
Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor-in-chief of the conservative daily Keyhan, said in an editorial that the IDF attack on the Gaza flotilla is an indication of the fear and insecurity prevailing in Israel. Shariatmadari asked whether now, in light of the “disaster”, Muslims will support political relations with the “Zionist regime” by Arab governments and the government of Turkey, or avenge the blood of their brothers by spilling the blood of Zionists wherever they are. The editor-in-chief of Keyhan also wondered whether Arab leaders will return to the negotiation table with Israel, and whether there remains any doubt that the only way to solve the regional conflict is to destroy Israel and completely wipe out the artificial, bloodthirsty regime from the political geography of the region. In conclusion, Shariatmadari claimed that, in their action, the Zionists dug their own grave and helped implement the plan drawn up by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic revolution, to erase Israel from the map (Keyhan, June 1).
Mardom Salari, a daily affiliated with the moderate reformist camp, defined the IDF raid as a “pirate attack on the peace convoy”. The daily praised Turkey for standing up to Israel and for its diplomatic pressure to break the siege imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2005 with the cooperation of the Egyptian government. Unlike pirate operations off the coast of Somalia, carried out by one terrorist group, the daily claimed that the “Zionist regime” took over the flotilla in an act of government-sponsored piracy; however, the hearts of the hundreds of “peace convoy” passengers and their even more numerous supporters broke the Gaza siege and brought the leaders of Tel-Aviv face-to-face with another nightmare (Mardom Salari, June 1).
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid convoy marks the beginning of the end for the regime.
“A select few (Israel) think that such actions are a sign of power, whereas they should be aware this will lead to their end,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying on Monday by Fars News Agency.
“Someone asked me why I no longer say Israel must be torn down. I said because there is no (no longer a)need to say Israel must be demolished — as this regime will self destruct,” he added.
The Iranian president also called on Tel Aviv’s allies to stop supporting a regime that acts like a “professional assassin.”
“The time is ripe for the international community and the conscientious to take a resolute stance against the recurring crimes of this occupier and belligerent regime,” Ahmadinejad said. (PressTV, Mon, may 31, 2010;)
Green Movement Leader Mir Hossein has condemned Israel’s seizure of the Mavi Marmara carrying humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza:
Once more and in a new act of aggression, the occupying regime of Jerusalem has targeted a convoy of civilian ships carrying aid for the Muslims in Gaza and has revealed its violence seeking character. This assault which has led to a great number of people being killed or wounded is a gross violation of International Law and basic human rights. I, along with the justice seeking Green Movement across the world and in one voice with all seekers of freedom, condemn this international crime and express my sympathies with the oppressed people of Palestine and offer my condolences to the people of Turkey for losing a number of their fellow compatriots and urge the international community to take serious measures against the perpetrators of this inhumane act and the violators of human dignity. (Mousavi’s statement was published by his official website Kaleme)