Defying historical fact, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad continued his existential verbal attacks on the State of Israel, claiming Israel has no historical basis in the Middle East Region.
Speaking to reporters at the United Nations before his address to the General Assembly, Ahmedinejad claimed that Israel has no Middle East roots and would be “eliminated”.
“Iran has been around for the last 7,000, 10,000 years. They [the Israelis] have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history,” he said. “We do believe that they have found themselves at a dead end, and they are seeking new adventures in order to escape this dead end. Iran will not be damaged with foreign bombs,” he continued, referring to Israel.
“We don’t even count them as any part of any equation for Iran,” he added. “During a historical phase, they represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated.”
Ahmedinejad has a long history of incendiary remarks targeting Israel’s existence. In 2005, Ahmadinejad called Israel a “tumor” that should be “wiped” off the map. This theme has become a common element of his speeches, since echoed by other high ranking Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Khamenaei.
The modern State of Israel was founded in 1948 on a 3300 year land claim tying the Jewish people to the land of Israel, grounded in the Bible. A continuous part of the demographic landscape, Jewish independence was a key theme in classical and late antiquity, last establishing independent rule under the Hasmonian Dynasty during the 2nd century BCE.
The Persians were actually a key ancient ally of the Israelites, permitting their return to Jerusalem under Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BCE and in the 7th century CE, before the area fell to invading Roman and later Muslim armies. Ever since, there has been a continued Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.