[UPDATE Sunday 17-Feb-08 at 8am: The Jerusalem Post however says Israeli defence officials "expressed skepticism over the reports, saying Hezbullah had only several thousand fighters in total. The officials also said there were no indications on the ground of an increase in the Islamist organization's forces in the area." It adds that the IDF is on high alert along the northern border following those reports and after last week's assassination of arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh in Syria.]
In the same spirit, the Islamic Republic News Agency - the official mouthpiece of the Iranian regime - carries this report today under the headline: "Lebanese in ceaseless campaign until annihilation of Israel"
"[Iranian] Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said Saturday that anti-Israel campaign will continue unabated until the annihilation of the Zionist entity. In a message of condolence to Secretary General of Lebanese Hizbollah Seyed Hassan Nasrallah on the martyrdom of senior Hizbollah commander Imad Mughniyah, General Firouzabadi said Lebanese nation, inspired by Mughniyah, will continue the campaign until the total annihilation of the Zionist Regime. He said the defeated and disgraced Israeli army and its rulers should know that the Lebanese nation will continue the campaign until removal of the Zionist regime and liberation of all the occupied Palestinian territories."The FARS news agency ("Iran's leading independent news agency") has the same story under the headline "Annihilation of Zionism Imminent".
Annihilation. Think for a second about the implications of a sovereign state, a real country with voting rights at the United Nations, using that word and meaning another country.
Speaking as people who live as citizens of the country facing Iran's officially-announced program of annihilation, we're appalled, and not only by the Iranians. We're wondering what sort of reaction would now be regarded as fair and appropriate. What, on the other hand, might be a disproportionate response to threats of annihilation from a powerful and determined enemy with a monstrously large army and lead by a politician widely regarded as a lunatic and who actively seeks to bring about an apocalyptic struggle between the righteous and the wicked to accelerate the return of the mahdi or Hidden Imam.
We're also wondering when international forums like the United Nations finally internalize the broad-daylight embrace of terrorism and its rhetoric by Teheran's jihadists and their 50,000 armed agents dug-in and armed to the teeth (and beyond) on our country's northern border. The Iranians could hardly be more explicit about their hopes and plans. And as Jews, we're wondering why memories of another annihilation seem to have disappeared from the public discourse on Iran.