Iran's Khamenei wants referendum to solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday said the fate of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be determined through a survey of "true Palestinians".
"Those who are true Palestinians and have been living in Palestine over a hundred years ago -- Muslims, Christians and Jews -- where ever they are, either in the occupied lands or outside of them," should be polled, Khamenei told a meeting of university professors in Tehran.
"Their vote should be applied. Is this a bad opinion?" he asked, according to his official website.
Limiting such a poll to only Jews whose families have lived in the region for more than 100 years would exclude most of Israel's Jewish population, who came in successive waves of migration largely from the 1920s onwards.
Khamenei said Iran has never wanted to "throw the Jewish people into the sea," a statement he attributed to late Egyptian leader Gamel Abdel Nasser.
"We never made such remarks: from day one, we announced a plan," Khamenei, Iran's ultimate decision-maker, said.
"We said, today democracy is a modern method that the entire world’s population agrees on. We said, for decision making on the historical country of Palestine, refer to the Palestinian people."
Last week Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah, also said that he does not advocate for pushing Jewish Israelis into the sea, but rather told them they should “get on your planes and boats and go back to the countries you came from.”
Iranian officials have often vowed to destroy Israel or Israeli cities, statements that the Israeli government says cause its extreme alarm over the potential for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons capability.
"Iran vows to destroy my country every day," Netanyahu told the United Nations Security Council last year. "As long as Iran seeks the destruction of Israel, it will not have a worse enemy than Israel."
Iran, which has a small Jewish minority that has a mandated seat in Tehran's parliament, says its hostility to Israel is not due to anti-Semitism.
The country's president between 2005 and 2013, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was famous for questioning historical facts about the Holocaust and founded an annual conference that attracted scores of deniers of the attempted genocide, in which some six million Jews were killed.
You need to be logged in in order to post comments. Sign up or log in
How about the Jews whom forced out of Muslim countries. Based on khayemeni, those and there descendants are all should be counted.