June 30, 2020 | The Jerusalem Post

German intel says Iran ‘massively promotes antisemitism, Israel hatred’

Neo-Nazi politician met with Iran's chief proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon.
June 30, 2020 | The Jerusalem Post

German intel says Iran ‘massively promotes antisemitism, Israel hatred’

Neo-Nazi politician met with Iran's chief proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The domestic intelligence agency for the city-state of Berlin disclosed Thursday in a new report on antisemitism that Iran’s clerical regime is a leading sponsor of Jew-hatred.

“Antisemitism and hatred of Israel were also massively promoted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The leader of the Iranian Revolution Ayatollah [Ruhollah] Khomeini already described Israel as  the ‘little Satan’ and openly called for the destruction of Israel. Antisemitism has been part of Iran’s state ideology ever since [the founding of the Islamic Republic] and is regularly fueled by statements by state representatives,” wrote the intelligence officials.

The Jerusalem Post reviewed the 49-page document that chronicles the various forms of antisemitism in Germany.

The US government has gone further in its classification of Iranian regime state-sponsored antisemitism. In January, US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism Elan Carr said at an US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) Global Efforts to Combat Antisemitism hearing that  “Iran is not only the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, it is the world’s chief trafficker in antisemitism. The Islamic Republic of Iran has pushed antisemitic dogma throughout the Middle East and throughout the Muslim world beyond the Middle East.”

US administrations under both Obama and Trump have classified Iran’s regime as the world’s worst state-sponsor of terrorism.

The Berlin report noted that the German right-wing extremist politician Udo Voigt, who is considered a neo-Nazi, demonstrated support for Iran’s regime. “In his function as a former MEP [member of the European Parliament] for NPD [National Democratic Party], Udo Voigt, for example, regularly showed solidarity with the Iranian regime,” said the report.

The intelligence document added that “In addition, he maintained official contacts with the Lebanese Hezbollah which… is classified by the European Union (EU) as a terrorist organization. In 2018 and 2019,  he traveled to Lebanon with other European right-wing extremists for official meetings with representatives of Hezbollah. In his statements on the meetings, Hezbollah is described as a ‘key factor’ in the Middle East.”

The report said that that “the development of modern antisemitism is also associated with the strengthening of Islamist movements. From the 1970s onward, Islamist thinking became particularly attractive, particularly in the Arab nation-states. After the concepts of nationalism, Pan-Arabism and even socialism had failed, it was relatively easy for Islamists to propagate the superiority of an ‘Islamic’ social system. The strengthening of Islamist movements was also promoted by the Iranian revolution in 1979, as a result of which Iran established itself as a state carrier of Islamist ideology.”

The Post reported in the second week of June that Germany’s Foreign Ministry reversed its position that previously labeled the Iranian regime’s calls to exterminate the Jewish state as only “anti-Israel rhetoric,” telling the Post that Tehran’s language is antisemitic.

The pro-Syrian regime news outlet Al-Masdar News (AMN) reported in June that the commander-in-chief of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Maj.-Gen. Hussein Salami, urged the “elimination” of the Jewish state.

When the Post asked German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas about Salami’s statements, the Foreign Ministry said: “Such statements are absolutely unacceptable. We strongly condemn calling for the annihilation of Israel, legitimizing terrorism and spreading antisemitic content.”

Benjamin Weinthal is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenWeinthal

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Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Israel