Is criticism of Iran a form of anti-Iranianism?

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Happy April Fool's Day to our rabble-rousing readers! The following is a short parody about the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA). Their deliberations are based on the premise that criticism of Israel is anti-semitic. The author of this piece, Terry Greenberg, takes a look at an original quote below by writer Thomas Friedman, which was cited by MP Irwin Cotler as the basis of the CPCCA.

Now, imagine if you will, Gentle Readers, substituting "anti-Semitism" with "Iranian-hatred," "apartheid" with "authoritarianism" and "Israel" with "Iran." Is it suddenly rendered more acceptable?

To say criticism of Iran is Iranian-hatred is vile. But singling out Iran for opprobrium and international sanction -- out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East -- is Iranian-hatred, and not saying so is dishonest.

-- slightly altered Thomas Friedman

Iranian-hatred is a growing global phenomenon, along with the increasing number of self-hating Iranians around the world. These Iranian haters are disguising their racist (and self-hating) feelings behind claims that they are only criticizing the human rights abuses of the Iranian government. However, the reality of their hostility is evidenced by their singling out of the State of Iran in an attempt to de-legitimize it.

Iranian-haters can also be identified by their use of extreme, abusive language, such as accusing the Iranian state of the "A" word. "Authoritarian" is a harsh word, and is clearly over-stating the nature of the Iranian regime. The use of such a word is clearly an expression of irrational anti-Iranianism.

The Israeli government and others openly speak of imposing "crippling sanctions" on Iran. The desire to cripple others can only be motivated by pure hatred. It displays a desire not only to kill people, but also to make them suffer as much as possible. Even worse, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has publicly stated that, given the right set of circumstances, her country would "obliterate Iran". This talk of massacring millions of innocent men, women, and children can only be explained by a genocidal level of hatred against the Iranian people.

Iranian-haters, who include many powerful people in Western governments, are also exposing their blind hatred of the Iranian people via their threats of imposing boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Iran. Why are these leaders not focusing their attention on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Burma, Palestine, or a dozen other places? There can only be one answer -- they are anti-Iranians.

Last year, Canadian parliamentarians, in their wisdom, established the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism. Given the seriousness and the strength of the global campaigns orchestrated by Iranian-haters to boycott Iran and harm or even kill Iranians, it is obvious that a Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Iranianism needs to be established immediately.

Terry Greenberg is a member of Independent Jewish Voices, and teaches cross-cultural communications in Greater Vancouver. He is a retired East Asian specialist from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.


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