World View: Ahmadinejad Invokes Islamic Messiah in UN Speech

This morning's key headlines from

  • At U.N., Israel's Netanyahu says that Israel will live forever
  • Palestinian president Abbas launches blistering attack on Israel
  • Iran's Ahmadinejad awaits the arrival of the Mahdi
  • More on the Sunni versus Shia television debate
  • Generational Dynamics World View now available through e-mail

At U.N., Israel's Netanyahu says that Israel will live forever

There have been two days of drama at the United Nations, as world leaders spoke to the General Assembly. Saying that Israel will live forever, Israel's President Benjamin Netanyahu used his speech to contrast Israel against the dark forces of militant Islam: 

Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.

Throughout our history, the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who have sought our destruction. It's their ideologies that have been discarded by history.

The people of Israel live on. We say in Hebrew Am Yisrael Chai, and the Jewish state will live forever.

The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dreamed of returning to our ancient homeland.

Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We in gathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home.

We will never be uprooted again...

For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.

The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred.

The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified.

These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.

Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens: men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians - all are equal before the law...

Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam, whom you just saw storming the American embassies throughout the Middle East, they oppose this.

They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They want to destroy Israel, Europe, America. They want to extinguish freedom. They want to end the modern world.

Militant Islam has many branches - from the rulers of Iran with their Revolutionary Guards to Al Qaeda terrorists to the radical cells lurking in every part of the globe.

But despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. That intolerance is directed first at their fellow Muslims, and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn't submit to their unforgiving creed.

They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma and unrelenting conflict.

I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will fail. Ultimately, light will penetrate the darkness.

The last portion of Netanyahu's speech was a science lesson on how to build a nuclear weapon. He held up a cartoon picture of a bomb with a fuse, and drew a red line on the cartoon, saying that Iran will have enough highly enriched plutonium to build a bomb by next spring or summer. He asked that the United States and the United Nations draw a political red line threatening military action against Iran if it continues to produce highly enriched plutonium. Latinos Post

Palestinian president Abbas launches blistering attack on Israel

In a speech that Netanyahu called "libelous," Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas began by saying that "I speak on behalf of an angry people," and launched a blistering attack on Israel: 

Developments over the past year have confirmed what we have persistently drawn attention to and warned of: the catastrophic danger of the racist Israeli settlement of our country, Palestine.

During the past months, attacks by terrorist militias of Israeli settlers have become a daily reality, with at least 535 attacks perpetrated since the beginning of this year. We are facing relentless waves of attacks against our people, our mosques, churches and monasteries, and our homes and schools; they are unleashing their venom against our trees, fields, crops and properties, and our people have become fixed targets for acts of killing and abuse with the complete collusion of the occupying forces and the Israeli Government.

The escalation of settler attacks should not surprise anyone, for it is the inherent byproduct of the continuation of occupation and a government policy that deliberately fosters the settlements and settlers and deems their satisfaction to be an absolute priority. And, it is the inherent byproduct of the racist climate fueled by a culture of incitement in the Israeli curriculum and extremist declarations, which are rife with hatred and are rooted in a series of discriminatory laws created and enacted over the years against the Palestinian people, as well as by the security apparatus and courts, which provide excuse after excuse for the settlers' crimes and for their accelerated release should one of them happen to be arrested, and by official and military commissions of inquiry, which fabricate justifications for soldiers who have committed what are clearly considered to be war crimes and perpetrated acts of murder, torture and abuse of peaceful civilians.

Abbas said that this year he will not allow the United States to stop him from applying to the United Nations General Assembly for recognition of the State of Palestine as a non-member state of the United Nations. This will qualify Palestine to join all U.N. organizations, and, if desired, to pursue Israel in International Criminal Court. Latinos Post

Iran's Ahmadinejad awaits the arrival of the Mahdi

Speaking for the 8th and last time at the United Nations, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his speech to propose a new world order based on the imminent coming of the Mahdi. Ahmadinejad is a devout believer in the Mahdaviat -- the Shia Muslim belief that the Mahdi (or "the 12'th Imam" or "the Hidden Imam") is coming to save mankind. This belief is roughly equivalent to the Christian belief in the second coming of Christ, or the Buddhist belief in the Maitreya -- that a new Buddha is to appear on earth, and will achieve complete enlightenment. In 2011, Ahmadinejad used his belief in the Mahdi to justify disobeying the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. On Wednesday, he said: 

God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam A1-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ (PBUH) and the righteous. By using the inherent potential of all the worthy men and women of all nations and I repeat, the inherent potential of "all the worthy men and women of all nations" he will lead humanity into achieving its glorious and eternal ideals.

The arrival of the Ultimate Savior will mark a new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection. It will be the beginning of peace, lasting security and genuine life.

His arrival will be the end of oppression, immorality, poverty, discrimination and the beginning of justice, love and empathy.

He will come and he will cut through ignorance, superstition, prejudice by opening the gates of science and knowledge. He will establish a world brimful of prudence and he will prepare the ground for the collective, active and constructive participation of all in the global management.

In more prosaic portions of his speech, he said that the United Nations is useless, and it should be replaced by the Non-Aligned Movement organization.

What was surprising about Ahmadinejad's speech were the things that were omitted. He didn't attack Israel, he didn't mention Syria, and he didn't mention Iran's nuclear program. Latinos Post

More on the Sunni versus Shia television debate

In yesterday's world view, I quoted a televised exchange between Sunni and Shia activists that devolved into name-calling and violence. 

The Sunni said that the Shia had been renounced by his own father and brothers, and the Shia retorted: "Your wife is contacting Shi'ites, offering to engage them in 'pleasure marriage.' ... Do you want me to provide recordings?"

A web site reader has informed me that this was NOT just an irrelevant personal attack. A "pleasure marriage" is a temporary marriage under a contract that specifies a fixed time period. It's permitted by Shia Islam, but not by Sunni Islam. And so the remark was intended to say to the Sunni, "Even your own wife is following Shia practices which should be blasphemous to you." Memri

Generational Dynamics World View now available through e-mail

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