They are questions as old as human history. How does evil justify itself? How does it think? How does it take root? How does it spread? What is its appeal? Today, as in Europe in the 1930s, the most virulent strain of evil, anti-semitism, is resurrecting itself. This time the virus is global.
Arguably, today's epicenter of that virus is Tehran, not Berlin. Its appeal for purity is religious, not racial. And this time, its target is not just Jews. This time it is Jews and their country. This time it is Israel.
Advocacy for evil follows a pattern. That pattern was evident less than two weeks ago when, on 21 February, Iran's "Supreme Leader," Ayatollah Khamenei, spoke at the 6th International Conference in Support of the Palestian Intifada. Once again, he was remarkably clear about his policy regarding the Jewish State.
Israel, he said, is "another dirty page in history which will be closed." The context of his remarks, presented in full on his official websites here and here, reveal these 10 constructs of evil thinking. They are also 10 reaons why it is so infectious.
1. Ideological convictions in direct opposition to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
Throughout the vast world of Islam, there is no question about the singular distinctiveness of its god. Its minimalist creed and cry, Allahu akhbar, does not mean, as normally translated in the West, "God is great." What it really means, and overtly means, is "Allah is greater." This is the rallying cry when Jews visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City. Dozens, sometimes hundreds and more, will scream Allahu akhbar. Why? Because they know there is "a war of the gods." They know that Allah is entirely different from the God of the Jews who is, accordingly too, the singular God of the Bible.
It is according to this sense that Khamenei began his remarks "in the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. ...All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and Allah’s peace and greetings be upon the Master of All Peoples, Muhammad."
It is this god, Allah, who has ordained the Palestinians to carry out bloody intifadas against Israeli citizens, Khameini explains.
The people of Palestine are proud that Allah the Exalted has given them a great favor by helping them to shoulder the great responsibility of defending this Holy Land and Masjid al-Aqsa. The people of Palestine have no option other than keeping the flames of fighting alight by relying on Allah the Exalted and by relying on their innate capabilities, as they have genuinely done so until today.
According to Khamenei, "the sorrowful story of Palestine and the excruciating sadness felt because of [Israel's] oppression against this patient, enduring and resistant nation, truly distresses any individual who seeks freedom, truth and justice; ...it thrusts an agonizing pain and suffering upon one’s heart."
Khamenei's video version of his remarks is classic propaganda. The article continues below.
The video, here from YouTube, is originally from Khamenei's website
4. Self-Righteous Indignation, Combined with an Absence of all Personal Responsibility
When Khamenei called Israel a "dirty page in history," he was in the full flower of "righteous" indignation. Like all such indignation, it completely lacks any sense of personal responsibility. Instead it all but deifies itself as a noble victim.
"This is another dirty page in history which will be closed with the permission and assistance of Allah the Exalted, just like other dirty pages in history," he piously proclaimed. Quoting Allah from the Quran, he added, "Falsehood is bound to perish” and “My servants the righteous shall inherit the earth”.
Self-righteous indignation is further buttressed by creating the myth of a secret, powerful cabal. According to Khamenei, Israel was created by a "supra-regional plot" in which "people [were] driven away from their home and their country and ...another group of people from remote areas in the world [were] brought there in order to replace that nation."
Unhampered by historical facts, he adds, "Those who created the Zionist regime [did so for] the purpose of hampering the stability, solidity and progress of the region." They did this, he said, by "imposing a long-term conflict." These same secret forces, he added,"are behind the seditions that exist in the present time as well."
"The illegitimate entity of the Zionist regime," he concluded, referring to Israel, "will continue to exist only if it is founded on the ruins of Palestine’s identity and entity."
Problems in Islamic culture and nations, Khamenei said, have been caused by Israel.
"The complicated plots of the enemy [Israel] have managed to impose civil wars on nations by benefiting from the negligence of some governments. These plots have managed to pit nations against one another and to counter the effect of the endeavors that well-intentioned personalities in the Islamic Ummah have made."
In other words, none of the problems in the Islamic world are the fault of Islam or its imams; they are all Israel's fault; they are all because of Jews and their State.
7. A Unifying Goal
Naturally, then, divisive parts of Islamic culture should unite against their root foe, Israel. All Muslim nations, Khamenei said.
"The significance of offering political support to the people of Palestine should never be neglected. This issue has a special priority in today’s world. Even if Muslim and freedom-seeking nations have different viewpoints and opinions, they can gather together with one goal which is Palestine and the necessity to liberate it."
If the enemy personifies evil, then his bloody annihilation is a righteous cause. Accordingly, Khamenei indicts Israel as subhuman on with seven charges:
"Suppressing the people of Palestine in a brutal manner;
"Arresting numerous individuals;
"Looting and murdering people;
"Occupying the lands that belong to the Palestinian nation and building settlements in them;
"Making an effort to change the appearance and identity of the Holy City of Quds [Jerusalem], Masjid al-Aqsa [the Temple Mount]...;
"Violating the basic rights of citizens; and
"Many other abuses.
"From the beginning," Khamenei concluded, "this cancerous tumor has been developing in several phases until it turned into the current disaster [Israel]."
9. Holy war
The only option, according to evil's construct, is, paradoxically, a holy war by any number of methods, including Palestinian jihad.
"The people of Palestine are proud that Allah the Exalted has given them a great favor by helping them to shoulder the great responsibility of defending this Holy Land and Masjid al-Aqsa," Khamenei asserted.
"The people of Palestine have no option other than keeping the flames of fighting alight by relying on Allah the Exalted and by relying on their innate capabilities, as they have genuinely done so until today. The intifada that has begun for the third time in the occupied lands is ...moving forward in a bright and hopeful manner. And by Allah’s permission, we will see that this intifada will begin a very important chapter in the history of fighting and that it will inflict another defeat on that usurping regime [Israel]."
From the beginning, this cancerous tumor has been developing in several phases until it turned into the current disaster. The cure for this tumor should be developed in phases as well. Until today, several intifadas and a constant and continuous resistance have managed to achieve very important phased goals. The Palestinian intifada continues to gallop forward in a thunderous manner so that it can achieve its other goals until the complete liberation of Palestine.
10. Deifying Atrocities and Those Who Commit Them
Last but hardly least, bloody atrocities and those who carry them out are deified.
"The most important achievement of the [Palestinian] Resistance," Khamenei said, "is creating a major barrier in the way of Zionist projects. The Resistance’s success lies in imposing a war of attrition on the enemy. In other words, it has managed to defeat the main plan of the Zionist regime, namely dominating the whole region.
"In this process, the essence of the Resistance and the soldiers who engaged in resistance from the beginning against the establishment of the Zionist regime and who held up the flag of resistance and conveyed it to future generations by laying down their lives- should be praised and commemorated."
And Khemenei's benediction for all who seek Israel's destruction? As his country's chief imam, he prayed:
I ask Allah the Benevolent to help all you succeed in serving the issue of Palestine as the most important issue in the world of Islam and as the pivot of unity for all Muslims and all liberated individuals in the world.
Allah's greetings and mercy be upon the lofty souls of all martyrs, particularly upon the honorable martyrs of resistance in the face of the Zionist regime, upon all sincere soldiers of the Resistance front and upon the immaculate soul of the founder of the Islamic Republic who paid the upmost attention to the issue of Palestine.
May you be successful and victorious.
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.
This is how evil thinks. This is its appeal. This is the mind and heart of Israel's enemies today, in such a time as this.