Iran’s president-elect Hassan Rouhani made comments about Jerusalem the other day at a pro-Palestinian rally in Tehran that were then mistranslated and got global attention. The Guardian:
Iran’s semi-official Isna news agency misreported Rouhani’s quotes, which were then widely disseminated by western news agencies and prompted Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to react to remarks that the Iranian president never made.
Isna initially quoted Rouhani as saying: “The Zionist regime has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and the wound should be removed.”
In fact, Rouhani said: “In our region, a sore has been on the body of the Islamic world for many years in the shadow of the occupation of the holy land of Palestine and the dear Quds.”….
Rouhani did not mention the word Israel, nor that it should be “removed”. The agency has now amended its article to reflect the true quotes but the falsified ones have already been doing the rounds.
Netanyahu responded in this manner:
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “The real face of Rouhani has been exposed earlier than expected.”
Moderate Iranian president: “The Zionist regime is a wound that has sat on the body of the Muslim world for years and needs to be removed.”
“Quds day, which is in memorial of Imam [Khomeini], is a day that people present the unity of Islam against any type of oppression or aggression. And in any case, in our region, it is an old wound that has been sitting on the body of the Islamic world, in the shadow of the occupation of the holy land of Palestine and the dear Quds. And this day, in fact, is a remembrance that Muslim people will not forget this historical right and will always stand against oppression and aggression.”
Goldberg: Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?
Obama: No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy. The lack of a resolution to this problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions, and so we have a national-security interest in solving this, and I also believe that Israel has a security interest in solving this because I believe that the status quo is unsustainable.
Goldberg himself has yet to delete the Tweet he posted with the debunked translation in it. Considering his experience interviewing Obama, one would think such language wouldn’t alarm him so much.
Another thing to note may be that, in 1988, the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission Justice and Peace issued a report called ‘The Church and Racism: Toward a More Fraternal Society’, which condemned doctrines of superiority, lamenting that “in sharp contrast to this growing awareness of human dignity, racism still exists and continually reappears in different forms. It is a wound in humanity’s side that mysteriously remains open.”