Just one day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provoked Western outrage with his public criticism of Israel at a Geneva UN conference, several Israeli officials lashed out at the Iranian official and rejected a warning from Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani not to attack the nation’s nuclear facilities.
The speaker of Israel’s Parliament (the Knesset) Reuven Rivlin declared that Ahmadinejad’s speech had ushered in “the return of Adolf Hitler,” adding “this time, Hitler has a beard and speaks Persian.” He then called for all parliaments across the globe to act against the Iranian president. Rivlin also lashed out at UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for not participating in the walk-out during Ahmadinejad’s speech.
Addressing the warning from Speaker Larijani, Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor condemned Iran as a “lunatic and dangerous regime.” Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran‘s civilian nuclear facilities, citing what they allege is evidence of a secret nuclear weapons program.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a speech at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony to declare Israel’s “supreme obligation” was to prevent Ahmadinejad for committing another Holocaust. At the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp for another Holocaust ceremony, Deputy PM Silvan Shalomlikened Iran to Nazi Germany and said “Israel can never live with the idea that Iran will hold a nuclear bomb.”