Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom sent the following letter to his counterparts throughout the world in response to the Iranian president’s threat to "wipe Israel off the map."
Jerusalem, 27 October 2005
I am writing to you with the deepest sense of consternation over the comments yesterday of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, calling for the destruction of the State of
Addressing a conference in Tehran entitled "A World Without Zionism", the President of Iran yesterday spoke in praise of Palestinian terror against Israel, and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map".
This is not the first time Iran’s leadership has called for the destruction of Israel. Former President Rafsanjani also made similar comments when in office in the 1980s and 1990s. Meanwhile, Iran continues its active support of global terror and its clandestine program to develop nuclear weapons and the missile capacity to launch them against targets across the Middle East, Europe and Russia.
Israel has for many years warned of the hostile and violent intentions of Iran’s radical regime. The attempted genocide of the Jewish people in Europe just sixty years ago has taught us always to be vigilant against those who call for the destruction of our people. We have been deeply concerned about the danger – posed not only to us, but to the entire international community – of the combination of such hostile ideology together with nuclear capability.
Comments such as those yesterday – which not only pitted Iran against Israel but as the champion of "Islam" in its "historic war" with "the world hegemonic system" – serve once again to unmask the true nature of the threat posed by Iran, and the urgency that this threat be addressed before Iran acquires nuclear capability.
Iran’s incitement to genocide is unacceptable. It must be condemned absolutely. In this globalized age of mass media and the internet, there is no room for complacency regarding the impact of such comments.
I therefore urge you to take concrete steps to convey to the Iranian authorities and to all relevant publics – in your country, in the Middle East and across the world – your rejection of such hateful incitement and your refusal to associate with those who engage in it.
I call on you to act, both bilaterally and within the framework of the United Nations to bring such Iranian behaviour to an end.
The family of nations must stand up as one and take a principled and determined stand against Iran’s incitement to violence against Israel, and its actions to promote such violence, particularly its support for terror and its nuclear weapons program.
The clash we all face in today’s world is not the "clash of civilizations" that Iran’s president hailed in his public comments yesterday, but rather the clash between all civilizations on the one hand, and those forces of extremism and violence on the other, who seek to undermine coexistence and understanding between all nations and all faiths.