Israeli celebrations have Muslim world hot and bothered

Thursday, May 15, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Leaders across the Muslim Middle East were unable to contain their discomfort as Israel marked 60 overwhelmingly successful years since its rebirth, and in lashing out confirmed that the overall goal remains the destruction of the Jewish state and even Jewish culture in the region.

In remarks made Wednesday, the Associated Press quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations were merely an attempt to hide the fact that the Jewish state is slipping into oblivion.

"The Zionist regime is dying," said the Iranian leader. "The criminals assume that by holding celebrations ... they can save the sinister Zionist regime from death and annihilation."

Ahmadinejad said that as soon as they have even the smallest opportunity, the Muslims of the region will uproot and annihilate Israel.

Those sentiments were echoed by Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar, who told supporters in Gaza on Wednesday that his group will continue to "persecute the Zionists" until a Palestinian state is established on Israel's ashes.

The hostile rhetoric was also heard from neighboring Egypt, a nation ostensibly at peace with Israel, when Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni told the Egyptian parliament last week that he will personally burn any Israeli books he finds in Egyptian libraries.

Hosni is one of the frontrunners to become the next secretary-general of UNESCO, the United Nations' education, science and cultural organization.

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