Sunday, 01, January 2006
TEHRAN – Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a new diatribe against archfoe Israel Sunday saying that the Jewish state was "anti-Islamic in nature" and the result of European "ethnic cleansing.
"In fact the Europeans have practiced ethnic cleansing against the Jews in Europe by expelling the Jews from all the European states," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
"They have shot two targets with a single bullet — they have built a Jewish camp among the Islamic nations and got rid of the Jews from the whole of Europe.
"The Zionist regime is a part of Europe, which was broken away from Europe, and is anti-Islamic in nature," he said.
The outspoken hardliner suggested that the international outrage sparked by previous comments in which he said that Holocaust denial was "scientific debate" and that Israel should be "wiped off the map" was because he had touched a sensitive nerve.
He asked why Palestinians who played no party in the killing of Jews in World War II should have been forced to make way for a Jewish state.
"Why don’t the Europeans who perpetrated the crime pay the price themselves?" he asked.
The president rejected suggestions his comments were anti-Semitic, insisting Iran made a distinction between Judaism and Zionism.
Ahmadinejad, an ultra-conservative who won a shock election victory in June, has caused international outrage with a series of anti-Israeli remarks.
The outspoken president has labelled the Jewish state a "tumour" that should be "wiped off the map" or moved out of the Middle East.
In his latest outburst last month, he said the Holocaust — during which an estimated six million Jews perished — was "invented" and that Israel should be moved as far away as Alaska.
Ahmadinejad’s comments have already resulted in two rebukes from the UN Security Council, and UN Secretary Gene