Friday, September 19, 2008

Iran's Supreme Leader: All Israelis are targets

It is easy to ignore the hateful rhetoric that regularly comes from Iran, but it seems to me that Iran's religious/Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has just upped the ante:
Iran can not become reconciled with the Israeli people, Ali Khamenei, supreme religious leader of Iran said. During Friday prayers, Khamenei sharply criticized statement by the assistant to the Iranian President Isfandiyar Rahim Meshai on friendship between Iranian and Israeli people. “The statement about Iranian and Israeli peoples being friends is nonsense”.

Supreme Leader of Iran said Israeli people are invaders who occupied trade facilities, sown areas in Palestine and its territory. “They are army of Zionist regime. Muslims can not show friendly relations toward those who fulfill order of enemies of Islam”.

“We do not have any problems with Jewish, Christians and other religious confessions, but we can not become reconciled with those who occupied Palestine’s lands,” he said.

The use of the word "army," I believe, is significant. Officially, Islam says that it is against killing innocent women and children, but if Khamenei is classifying every single Israeli as being effectively military, he has just given the Islamic justification for, let's say, exploding a nuclear device in Israel.

This is similar to the justifications for terror given in the past by various terror groups against Israel, but they would say that all citizens are legitimate targets by the virtue of the military service they are presumed to be doing, have done or will do. That "logic" was always a stretch. Now, in Iranian eyes, the very existence of Zionist Jews living on land in the Middle East is considered an aggressive act, no matter who they are - and by implication, it would be mandated to get rid of them.

This might sound silly, but in the end all terrorists strain to find religious justifications for their actions. Last April we saw al-Qaeda chide Hamas - using sharia - for indiscriminate rocket attacks, and Hamas defend itself by saying that children aren't the targets.

Khamenei might have just given the sharia-compliant green light for Iran's politicians and generals.

UPDATE: Although he is not a cleric, Ahmadinejad just said something else that would justify genocide against all Jews in Israel:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that the Zionists are not Jews but infidel.
Islam treats Jews and Christians better than infidels, like Hindus, who should all be killed rather than just subjugated.

These two statements happening on the same day - both escalations of already extreme rhetoric - may not be coincidental.