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National Council of Churches USA: we’re not like Mad Ahmadinejad!
Even anti-Semites are embarrassed by the recent statements of Ahmadinejad. Perhaps they think he is the sort who could give anti-Semitism a bad name. Jean Marie le Pen, for instance, professed himself 'shocked' by the Iranian President’s remarks. Even if similar thoughts fester in the minds of such people, hearing them expressed so frankly and publicly has exposed them as the shameful beliefs they are. Ahmadinejad lifted the stone off these horrible, ill-formed, writhing creatures, which are anti-Semitic prejudices, and exposed them to the light. Most who see them jump back, exclaiming in horror, and protesting noisily in the hope that nobody will suspect that similar creepy-crawlies lurk in the dark places of their own minds.
Some who have attacked the Jewish State without any sense of discomfort, now feel uncomfortable. An alleged concern for Palestinians no longer provides sufficient cover for their underlying prejudice. The Iranian leader has made the links between anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice too clear. Hopefully, they have been shocked into thinking more deeply about their position on the subject of Israel, and are not simply trying to avoid looking as mad and nasty as Ahmadinehad.
A major American ecumenical organization which has sometimes been accused of being too pro-Palestinian and ignoring Jewish concerns has issued a tough criticism of anti-Semitism in the Arab world and elsewhere.
Using unusually strong language, the National Council of Churches USA has condemned Iranian President recent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s call for the obliteration of Israel and his claim that the Holocaust was “a myth.”
Here is the NCC statement in full.
The National Council of Churches USA condemns the comments of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for the obliteration or relocation of the State of Israel.
The State of Israel has embodied the hopes and dreams of Jews worldwide for decades, especially since the Holocaust that occurred during World War II. President Ahmadinejad’s invective that the Holocaust never happened is a sobering reminder of the corrosive power of ignorance, desperation, and hatred.
It is no accident that among the first protests of the Iranian president’s statement were those of German leaders, whose parents were witnesses of the horrible reality of the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism’s most vociferous manifestation is the “Big Lie” now coming from Tehran.
In opposition to such incomprehensible hatred, all people of faith and good will must stand firm in their rejection of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s views. We at the National Council of Churches USA deplore these views.
In the face of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s call for the obliteration of Israel, the National Council of Churches USA reaffirms its support for the security of the State of Israel, alongside a viable Palestinian State. We also reaffirm our respect for Judaism and our friendship with the Jewish people.
Iran is a complex country, rich in history, much of its recent history marred by difficult relations with the international community. Most recently these difficulties are over nuclear issues. The Iranian president’s comments only serve to threaten Iran itself with further isolation from the world.
Just a few years ago the former president of Iran encouraged the “Dialogue Among Civilizations.” By spewing forth hatred for Israel, Judaism and the Jewish people, President Ahmadinejad is ensuring that this dialogue will go on without Iran. How unfortunate this is for the Iranian people, most of whom do not share their president’s views.