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Emile M Tubiana

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Ahmadinejad At Columbia University
by Emile M Tubiana   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, September 30, 2007
Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2007

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Ahmadinejad At Columbia University comment

Ahmadinejad  At Columbia University



When the people of Ahmadinejad made contact with Columbia University to arrange for an invitation, Mr. Bollinger should have asked himself two questions and should have analyzed the pros and cons. He should also have researched the reach of national and international publicity and its impact on political propaganda in general, who would likely be the winner and who could be damaged by this exposure.


Bollinger should not have overlooked the fact that Mr Ahmadinejad is a Muslim Star and that his audience is comprised of millions of Muslims including the Arabs, without forgetting the American audience, prior to the presidential election.


Did Columbia University choose the goal in advance?  It is hard to believe that Mr. Bollinger aimed at insulting his guest and bombarding him with multiple complaints. The moment the decision was taken to invite the president of Iran, the university team should have chosen to attract Mr. Ahmadinejad to a constructive path, which could have brought the Iranian President closer to the United States, as a final goal, and softened his speech.

Mr. Bollinger should have also taken the date in consideration, especially as it was just one day before the most of the world’s leaders convened for the UN assembly.


In my view, the result of this analysis should have put the responsible team in charge for a successful outcome, to the advantage of both the university and the United States.  The event of the day should have been planned and executed in a way similar to a marketing or military campaign.


Having said this, I found that the president of Columbia University, by including in his speech all differences of opinion which separate our two countries, wanted to please all groups, rather than coming out as a hero for having advanced things towards solving the problem of the century.  Mr. Bollinger did not use his best tact.  This way he gave Ahmadinejad in turn the opportunity to complain about petty matters instead of provoking positive answers.  Mr. Bollinger could have diffused the existing tension and thus given a lesson in diplomacy and eloquence to his students and to the administration.


Ahmadinejad thought that all Americans are naïve and easy to manipulate.  With his overview of the history of Palestine, well fabricated to make the Arabs believe that he is their protector, he actually based himself on the short memory of the public.


Palestine, of which he spoke, never existed as a country, or as a Palestinian nation.


Ahmadinejad said: “The Palestinian people did not commit any crime.  They played no role during WWII.  They lived in peace with the Jewish and the Christian communities.”

What about the Mufti of Jerusalem, who went to Germany to advise Hitler?  He had even recruited young Arabs to fight alongside the German armies.  In1920, the Arabs whom he calls Palestinians have attacked the Jewish community of the City of Hebron and massacred 67 people of this peaceful religious community.  Likewise, during the same 1920’s, in 1929 the Arab riots against the Jews, under the name of the Nabi Moussa holiday, spread all over Jerusalem and its suburbs.  Can one call these Arabs of Palestine innocent? Also for the sake of a good history lesson, Iran’s neighbors, the Iraqis also made a big massacre during the infamous pogrom against the Jews of Baghdad in 1941, with 200 left dead and 2100 wounded, and during which more than 900 Jewish homes were destroyed.


Ahmadinejad complained about the unfriendly reception, saying that in Iran guests are respected.  I would have concurred with him, had it not been for the hostage crisis of November 4, 1979, when the American hostages could have benefited from the so- called Iranian hospitality.


The good manners, the courteous reception of guests and the culture Ahmadinejad mentioned, may refer to Persia of the time of its great poets Omar Khayyâm and Ferdowsi, but not to Muslim Persia of today.


To the question, if he intended to eradicate Israel, he responded: “We like all nations.  We are friends of the Jewish people” We would like to believe in this friendship, but the Jewish people, religious or Zionists, wherever they may be, are indivisibly tied to Israel. He talked about Iranian Jews who are under his rule.  They do not enjoy the freedom he mentioned.


Ahmadinejad has entirely forgotten the history of friendship between Israel and Persia.  He believed he could erase the history of the Jewish people with a single stroke of a sponge, thinking that this nation, the Americans and the nations of the world are ignorant.


I would like to remind Ahmadinejad that the Jews are still alive, those who knew ancient Persian history, the world of Islam and the laws of Sharia.


Ahmadinejad suggested that we continue studying the holocaust.  I think that he should be invited to Auschwitz, to Dachau and to all the concentration camps in order to better understand the suffering of the Jewish people.


For the well-being of his people and of the region, he should stop threatening the Jews and the United States.  There is a saying that those who play with fire will eventually burn themselves.


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