In August 2015, shortly after the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran, the supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published a book of 416 pages under the title Palestine. The book carries one central message: the urge to annihilate the state of Israel and establish the state of Palestine in its stead. According to Amir Taheri, who got hold of the book early, the three key words are: “nabudi,” which means “annihilation,” “imha,” which means “wiping,” and “zaval,” meaning “effacement.”
Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is based on “well-established Islamic principles” one of which is that a land that falls under Muslim rule can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. He provides various reasons why Israel, which he terms “adou” and “doshman” (enemy), should be destroyed. First because it is the loyal ally of “the American Great Satan,” second because it has waged wars against Muslims on various occasions, and finally because it occupies the third holiest city to Islam: Jerusalem.
In what has become standard language in the anti-Semitic jargon, Khamenei describes Israel as “a cancerous tumor” whose elimination would mean that “the West’s hegemony and threats will be discredited” in the Middle East. In its place, he boasts, “the hegemony of Iran will be promoted.” The message is hardly a subtle one.