When there’s tension between nations, officials usually criticize the leadership of the opposing nation, reserving sympathy for the ordinary people that have to live under whatever ‘evil’ regime it is.
But in yet another example of how Israel and Israelis are different, the Iranians don’t cut the Israeli in the street any slack:
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has ordered President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to dismiss his choice to serve as vice-president, state TV says.
Appointing Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie was “against your interest and the interests of the government”, the ayatollah wrote to Mr Ahmadinejad…
The row over Israel broke out last year when Mr Mashaei, then minister in charge of tourism, was quoted as saying that Iranians were friends with the Israeli people, despite the conflict between their governments.
“Today, Iran is friends with the American and Israeli people,” he said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency. “No nation in the world is our enemy.” — BBC
Ahmadinejad may have originally overlooked Mashaei’s indiscretion because Mashaei’s son happens to be married to his daughter, but it is apparently important for the clerics that dominate the regime to make it clear that when they tell the crowds to shout “Death to Israel!” they mean every last Israeli.
Lest anyone think that Mashaei is soft on Zionism, the Tehran Times published this description of his appearance before the Iranian Majlis [parliament]:
“Israel is the most accursed name and I say death to Israel a thousand times,” Mashaii told the lawmakers…
“The lawmakers told Mashaii that calling Israel a nation is unforgivable and 220 MPs as well as senior clerics have condemned his remarks,” [MP Kazem] Jalali told the Mehr News Agency…
“Mashaii said I never used the word the Israeli nation. I said the people of Israel but many lawmakers protested that we do not recognize such people,” [Jalali] stated.
Jalali said, “Mashaii has asserted that his approach is the approach of the government. He said raising the issue of Holocaust was a real blow to the Zionist regime.”
“Mashaii said we should continue our fight against the Zionist regime. The regime occupying Quds is in its worst situation and has lost its raison d’etre.
Yes, far too pro-Israel!