Saturday, September 11, 2010

Separated at Birth? Mmm... Not Quite

Rabbi Ovadia, top (Haaretz), Ayatollah Khamenei, bottom (UPI)

Let's compare a couple of their pronouncements:

Ovadia: “... our enemies and haters may come to an end, Abu Mazen and all these villains – may the Holy One, Blessed Be He, afflict them with the plague… these evil enemies of Israel.”

Khamenei: "Definitely, the day will come when nations of the region will witness the destruction of the Zionist regime. How soon or late (Israel's demise) will happen depends on how Islamic countries and Muslim nations approach the issue."

Of course, pundits have been falling all over themselves to equate Rabbi Ovadia with his fundamentalist counterparts, and his words were truly odious and unfortunately reflect the beliefs of many of his haredi adherents. But while he may be the current spiritual leader of the Shas party, he has no official position in government. He may be tremendously influential, but does not make foreign policy decisions. His appeal to God to smite Israel's enemies must be seen as symbolic speech.

Khamenei, on the other hand is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the puppet master behind President Ahmadinejad. He is said to be behind the growing power of the Revolutionary Guards and the increased repression against the popular opposition following the last presidential election; his word is law. His incendiary speeches are daily translated into foreign policy via his proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, and, of course, through Iran's nuclear weapons program. His appeal must be seen as a political directive.

Naturally, he doesn't think highly of the latest peace talks:

1 comment:

  1. The big difference between the two quotes is that the Rabbi appeals to G-d, whereas the Ayatollah appeals to men: "How soon or late (Israel's demise) will happen depends on how Islamic countries and Muslim nations approach the issue."


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