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Sep-24-2007 11:46TweetFollow @OregonNews
What is Ahmadinejad's Point? (VIDEO)Tim King Salem-News.com
The Iranian leader has been called many things, but he raises a point that is worthy of discussion.
(SALEM, Ore.) - As the debate rages over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University today, a simple point made by this controversial man endures. In this video clip with NBC's Brian Williams, Ahmadinejad makes the point more than once, "Why did the Palestinian people have to pay for what happened during the Holocaust?"
The man is offensive without any doubt, and while he does not deny the existence of the Holocaust directly in this interview, he constantly uses the word "if" to describe the historic event.
But still, his underlying point goes on unanswered; why did any group of people have a right to occupy Palestine in 1947 and 1948 and drive five million people out? It is a question that should make people uncomfortable, for no equity was shown to the Palestinians.
Instead, the United States and other western powers have almost exclusively supported Israel since the beginning, militarily, politically and economically. Over the years, the country expanded and claimed more territory for their own, all a loss to the Palestinians who lived there first.
The country expanded significantly during the Six Day War with Egypt in 1967, and that is when Israeli jets and patrol boats made numerous attacks on the American Navy ship, the U.S.S. Liberty. (see story: The Day Israel Attacked the United States) Israel later apologized and said they misidentified the ship, but American sailors claim the American flag was flying high. It is a story that left 34 men dead and 171 injured.
I mention this because even our military has had to endure an Israeli attack, and they have highly sophisticated weaponry at their disposal, unlike the Palestinian youths who lob stones at Israeli police.
Ahmadinejad states in this video that Jewish people have a right to a government, and he does not make statements about "Wiping Israel off the map" though Brian Williams questions him directly about it, and he fails to respond. Instead this contested world leader's inquiries center around the Jewish occupation that followed World War Two, the forming of the nation of Israel.
Another point Ahmadinejad makes is that tens of thousands of civilians died in WWII who were not Jewish. He questions why they are not equally regarded in history. Of course that question falls short when you take the Holocaust into account, as most of the other civilian deaths did not involve death camps or racial genocide.
To suggest that the Holocaust is anything but hard, documented fact is more than a ridiculous assertion, and it seems Ahmadinejad uses it as more of a tactic than anything else, and American media outlets were quick to label him as a Holocaust denier, which he brought upon himself through his statements.
Either way, you have to question who is playing who, and wonder if this man is just a nationalist who cares greatly about the Arab people, or a monster waiting to strike. He tries to make clear that his biggest motivation is fairness and equity for the Arab people.
Another Salem-News.com article on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University can be viewed here: Iranian President’s Columbia University Visit Stirs Debate
Here is the video interview with NBC's Brian Williams and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
This is a video called Palestine-Israel 101, an informative documentary sponsored by the American Task Force on Palestine on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Videos courtesy of NBC News and YouTube.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with almost twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist and reporter. Today, in addition to his role as a war correspondent in Afghanistan where he spent the winter of 2006/07, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated only with Google News. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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