'on Tuesday, the New York Times published an article about the efforts of the Palestinians from Battir, an Arab village southwest of Jerusalem, to have their ancient terraced irrigation system recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They claim the designation is necessary and urgent because if they don't get it, Israel may build a portion of the security barrier through the village and harm the irrigation system.
Isabel Kershner, the Times' reporter, referred to the irrigation system as "a Roman-era irrigation system."
But as the bloggers Yisrael Medad and Elli Fischer pointed out, it is a Jewish irrigation system from the Second Temple period. And while Battir is a reasonable candidate for World Heritage Site status, it is first and foremost a Jewish heritage site. Battir is the Arab name for the ancient Jewish village Betar, the site of Bar- Kochba's last stand against the Roman Empire.
It is the last place where Jews were sovereign until the establishment of the State of Israel.
But Kershner didn't mention any of that.
Doing so would lead to too many inconvenient truths – about the nature of Palestinian nationalism, about UNESCO, about Jewish rights to the land. So the historical significance of Battir was left unreported, and the nature of the irrigation system was reported incorrectly.'
'Mr. Rahimi, second in line to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the Talmud teaches to "destroy everyone who opposes the Jews."
The "Zionists" are in firm control of the illegal drug trade, Mr. Rahimi said, asking foreign dignitaries to research his claims. "Zionists" is Iran's ideological term for Jews who support the state of Israel.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict," Mr. Rahmini said. "They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade."
What made his remarks even more striking is that Iran's fight against illegal drugs is one of the few issues on which the Islamic republic can count on Western sympathy. Iran's battle to stop the flow of drugs coming in from neighboring Afghanistan has often been mentioned as a potential field of cooperation during negotiations over the country's nuclear program…
Mr. Rahimi, who spoke after Mr. De Leo, told stories of gynecologists' killing black babies on the orders of the Zionists and claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was started by Jews, adding that mysteriously, no Jews died in that uprising.
He also said the Talmud teaches Jews to think that they are a superior race. "They think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them," he said. Halfway through his speech, Mr. Rahimi said there was a difference between Jews who "honestly follow the prophet Moses" and the Zionists, who are "the main elements of the international drugs trade."
A European diplomat said afterward: "This was definitely one of the worst speeches I have heard in my life. My gut reaction was: why are we supporting any cooperation with these people?"'