Wash. Post sees aggressive intentions by Israel. but not by Iran
Al-Quds Day is an annual Iranian hate fest to rouse Muslims to destroy Israel. It's held on the last Friday of Ramadan. This year's observance had the usual propaganda trappings with Iranian leaders pledging to eliminate the Jewish state.
"The fake Zionist regime will disappear from the landscape of geography," vowed Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. "This Islamic land will certainly be returned to the Palestinian nation."
Brig. Gen. Jalali, head of Iran's civil defense organization and former commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was even more explicit. "To liberate Palestine, no other way exists apart from resolve and strength to completely eliminate and destroy Israel," he declared.
And Iranian President Ahmadinejad, true to form, chimed in by promising a "new Middle East with no trace of Americans or Israelis." The time has come, he added, to "remove the Zionist black stain from humanity."
Given that this drumbeat to destroy Israel is an annual staple of al-Quds Day, Iran's intentions should be fairly clear by now. But leave it to the Washington Post to soften and trivialize Iran's objectives to the point of erasing its all too real aggressive aims against Israel.
In an Aug. 18 article by Anne Gearan and Karin Brulliard, the Post instead depicts only Israel in bellicose terms ("Talk of Israel hitting Iran's nuclear sites puts pressure on U.S. - Speculation grows of attack occurring before Election Day" page A5).
You won't find Tehran's war-like rhetoric to expunge Israel from the Middle East in their article. No mention that the European Union blasted the Iranian leaders' comments about Israel as "outrageous and hateful." Nor that UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon called them "offensive and inflammatory." Or that the White House described them as "reprehensible and offensive."
Post readers instead are told that Israel "appears to be readying the country for war - issuing gas masks, building underground bomb shelters and testing an early-warning system for missiles." The Jewish state, it reports, is "ready for a month-long war on multiple fronts."
And why would Israel make all these preparations? According to the Post, Israel wants to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and it believes that time is running out before the Islamic Republic achieves this objective. But that, of course, is only half the story. The other half - that Iran is hell bent to destroy Israel and that a nuclear Iran would elevate this threat to a far more ominous level - doesn't make it into the pages of the Washington Post.
The only reference to Iran's anti-Israel stance is that Adhmadinejad "called Israel's existence an insult to humanity." That, of course, misses the mark by a country mile. To Ahmadinejad, Israel's existence is far more than an insult. It's a presence in the Middle East that must be eradicated at all costs. And he has made no secret of it.
Yet, the Post sees only the possibility of an Israeli pre-emptive strike, while it blinds itself to Iran's Nasserite agenda of destroying Israel - the very thing that's prompting the Jewish state to meet this existential danger. It's de vu 1967 when Egypt's Nasser assembled half a dozen Arab armies to destroy Israel, but was thwarted just in time by a pre-emptive Israeli attack that destroyed his air force. Then Israel also was faulted and, to this day in many quarters, depicted as the aggressor.
What the Post achieves with this article is that if Israel decides to prevent Iran from acquiring the bomb, the Jewish state - not Iran - will have to bear all the consequences. After all, if you believe the Post, Iran merely tagged Israel "an insult to humanity" - hardly a Jerusalem casus belli.
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers