By RUTHIE BLUM
Whenever Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launches into a rant against the United States and Israel you know his regime is in a panic. His angry oration on Wednesday was no exception.
Nor was the timing of his diatribe coincidental. Not only did it take place as the mullahs and their puppets marked the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that ousted the Shah of Iran and ushered in the reign of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but it came a day after US President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.
The contrast between the two speeches could not have been greater. While Trump’s was uplifting and cheerful – conveying an optimistic message to the American people about successfully striving for and achieving success – Khamenei’s was vitriolic and aimed at encouraging Palestinians to escalate their efforts to eradicate Israel.
“You saw that the US bullies and hooligans unveiled the so-called ‘Deal of the Century,’” he bellowed, referring to Trump’s announcement the previous week of his much-touted, long-awaited “Peace to Prosperity” plan. “They have wishfully chosen a big name for it so that it may be realized, but [it] is stupid, a sign of viciousness and has been detrimental to them since day one.”
Khamenei went on: “The American plot of the ‘Deal of the Century’ will die before Trump dies… [It] is foolish, because it will definitely not have any result. It is foolish to come and sit, spend money, invite, create uproar and unveil a plan that is doomed to failure.
Moreover, this plan is indicative of the US’s viciousness and manipulation. They [the Americans] have come to negotiate with the Zionists over what belongs to the Palestinians! Palestine belongs to the Palestinians… The arrogant powers have tried to make Palestine forgotten. But their efforts [yielded] the opposite results… Now the world is talking about Palestine and the rights of its oppressed people.”
He warned his audience – described by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization-owned Mehrs New Agency as “people from all walks of life” – not to be fooled by the “few traitorous Arab heads of state” who expressed support for the plan. “They are incompetent and have no respect among their own nation,” he said.
Asserting the Americans “will try to further their plot with bribes, weapons and enticements,” Khamenei offered a remedy: “bold resistance by the Palestinian nation and groups to force out the Zionist enemy and the US through jihad, [which] all Muslim nations and the world of Islam must support.”
Iran, he concluded, “considers it its duty to support Palestinian groups and will help them in any way it can.”
KHAMENEI’S TYPICAL battle cry against the “Great Satan,” America, and the “Small Satan,” Israel, may be reverberating among Iran’s terrorist proxies in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, which receive funding, training and weapons from Tehran. But it’s a sign that the aging ayatollah is either out of touch with, or purposely ignoring, the focus of his people’s mass protests.
Indeed, Iranians of “all walks of life” have been putting their lives in danger to demonstrate against a repressive regime whose coffers – ever-shrinking as a result of increased Trump-imposed sanctions – are spent on lining leaders’ pockets and paying terrorists around the globe to commit mass murder. One can only imagine how Khamenei’s vow to aid and abet the Palestinians while obfuscating his own people’s oppression and misery was received at home.
This is not to say that the aging ayatollah is stupid or crazy. On the contrary, there is method to his madness; certainly to his propaganda. Take, for example, a news feature on the Iranian Jewish community broadcast on Wednesday by the pan-Arab, pro-Hezbollah media network, Al Mayadeen. According to the report, Jews in the Islamic Republic not only enjoy complete religious freedom but hate Israel with a passion.
The item shows a congregation at one of Tehran’s 13 synagogues reading from a Torah scroll, while the reporter/narrator states that their first loyalty is to their homeland in the Islamic Republic. He also avers that all Iranian Jews view Israel as an enemy that needs defeating – one that cloaks itself in religion for the sake of occupying lands and killing another people.
To back up this claim, the reporter uses an interview with Iranian-Jewish community head Homayoun Abadi, who praises the Islamic Republic and denounces Israel as a “political Zionist regime that true Jews do not recognize.”
Obviously, Abadi was reading from the script expected of him. Like a hostage telling the world how well-treated he is by his captors, he spewed the text out of self-preservation. It is clear that this is the case, since nobody in Iran is the least bit free. All live in fear of the concrete possibility of arrest, imprisonment, torture and death for real or perceived regime-determined infringements, large and small. Just ask the protesters who are so fed up that they have been braving Basij bullets to march around the country calling for “death to the dictator” and refraining from stomping on American and Israeli flags.
THE PALESTINIANS, too, live in a repressive society, shackled and brainwashed by the honchos in Ramallah and Gaza. They also spout slogans against the US and Israel. However, like the members of the Iranian regime, Fatah and Hamas leaders did not need Trump’s election or the “Deal of the Century” to terrorize their underlings and incite them to engage in jihad. Trump merely gave them the latest excuse to launch rocket, car-ramming, rock-throwing, Molotov cocktail-hurling and stabbing attacks – which they have been doing with enhanced vengeance, of course, since the US president stood next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on January 28 and revealed the outline of his plan for Palestinian self-determination: a demilitarized statelet that would be granted multi-billions of dollars for economic and societal advancement. If it would only agree to live alongside the Jewish state in peace, that is. Oh, and when it stops trying to eliminate Israel by any means at its disposal.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ballistic reaction was anticipated. After all, he rejected Trump’s deal well before knowing what it contained, because he figured – based on White House moves up until then – that it was going to deprive him of the ability to annihilate the Jewish state and expose his pretense of merely seeking Palestinian independence.
Not that anyone except for fellow jihadists and their left-wing apologists in academia and the UN has been buying his lies of late. Repeated failed peace processes that included Israeli territorial withdrawals and gallons of spilled Jewish blood will do that. So will constant calls for “martyrdom in the name of Allah” emanating from PA minarets and in the PA-controlled press.
As Palestinian Media Watch reported on Sunday, Fatah’s official Facebook page promoted the following message on January 30, accompanied by a photo of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem: “#Down with the deal of the century. Palestine is not a homeland that is sold and purchased, but rather a piece of the Koran that we will defend with [our] blood and souls.”
To illustrate that they mean business, Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza have been making Khamenei proud to be using them in his grander scheme of global Shi’ite Islamist hegemony. For days on end, balloon bouquets laden with explosives have been flying over and landing near kindergartens in southern Israel, begging to be picked up by children enticed by their bright colors. IDF vehicles and soldiers have been set on fire. And a group of Golani soldiers touring Jerusalem before a ceremony at the Kotel on Wednesday night were brutally run down by a terrorist whose weapon of choice was a white Kia.
What Abbas didn’t bother to tell the driver of the South Korean sedan – or Khamenei, for that matter – is that his grandiose threats to sever all ties with America and Israel, and reconcile with his Hamas rivals, were uttered for propaganda purposes at home and abroad. Indeed, as Khaled Abu Toameh reported in these pages on Tuesday, it’s business as usual where security cooperation between the PA and Israel is concerned.
Yes, Abbas is behaving in character: putting his people in harm’s way while donning fancy suits to attend meetings, preferably in Europe, with sympathetic Western diplomats. In Khamenei fashion, though the public he supposedly serves is welcome to become cannon fodder, he himself intends to die of old age in bed between satin sheets.