Campus Watch Research
Was Wiping Israel off the Map a Misquote? [ref. Juan Cole]
by Michael Rubin
Revisionism is in full swing in Washington as some academics and policymakers bend over backwards to convince themselves and others that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not mean what he says.
Today, the National Iranian American Council—a lobby group advocating the normalization of ties between the United States and the Islamic Republic—published this analysis, which ends:
Perhaps one can quibble over how to render a translation. Here, the Islamic Republic provides its own clarification. In its official translations, it headlined Ahmadinejad's call to "wipe Israel off the map."
There is a tendency among academics to feel they have to advocate for those countries they study. They should not. Nor should they advocate for the U.S. government. They should analyze dispassionately. But, ignoring or burying evidence that reflects badly on a regime is more likely to advance misunderstanding than advance rapprochement. It is time academics and policymakers both deal with reality as it is, rather than a sanitized version they would wish it to be.
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