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July 25, 2014

Iran’s Khamenei Calls Israel’s Destruction The “Only Remedy”

Update — July 26: Shortly following the conclusion of Al Quds Day rallies in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei’s official Twitter handle posted a graphic, titled “9 key questions about elimination of Israel,” which outlines Khamenei’s vision of destroying Israel and solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a referendum, as mentioned in his speech on Thursday, July 24.   

 
“The only remedy is the destruction of Israel,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said to a packed auditorium at Tehran University on July 24.

Khamenei’s call for Israel’s destruction is the latest in the steady escalation of anti-Israel rhetoric from the Iranian regime that remained mostly silent as Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas militants in Gaza.

In his speech to university students, which was broadcast live by Iran’s broadcasting authority, Khamenei referred to Israel’s establishment as “illegitimate” and based on the murder of the Palestinian people. Khamenei also repeated the Iranian regime’s call for a referendum to be held in Israel and the Palestinian Territories so that the “residents may choose what kind of governing regime” they want. This suggestion is popular among proponents of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Domestic Iranian print media has also amped up its anti-Israel hostility in anticipation of Friday’s Al Quds Day protests, an annual day of protest against Israel initiated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, by publishing quotes from various high-ranking officials heaping praise on Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket fire on Israeli cities. State-run publications, such as Fars News, have published anti-Semitic cartoons depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bathing in a pool of Palestinian blood in the shape of the Gaza Strip, and images of stereotypical Jewish figures killing Palestinian children. Iranian media published similar anti-Semitic cartoons during Israel’s 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense.

Al Quds Day, which refers to the Ara­bic term for Jerusalem is com­mem­o­rated annu­ally with mass ral­lies and speeches on the last Fri­day of Ramadan. It has tra­di­tion­ally been marked by hos­tile rhetoric towards the state of Israel, includ­ing bla­tant anti-Semitism, at protests held in the Middle East and across cities in Europe and the United States.

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