Friday, March 03, 2006
February 27th, TIME Magazine ran this interview with Ali Larijani, the top nuclear negotiator for Iran. Larijani was asked by TIME about his country's policy about "wiping Israel off the map."
Larijani went on to explain that this is a mis-understanding of his contry's policy toward Israel.
Having spent some time in foriegn countries including Muslim countries, I personally understand that sometimes words and ideas are not accurately conveyed from English to other languages or vice-versa. The West just mis-understands Middle Eastern hospitality. The idea of "wiping Israel off the map" could mean a couple of things in polite, Middle Eastern culture:
1) It could mean that the area of the map where Israel is displayed needs to be wiped off. The map is a little soiled and with the application of Pledge and some elbow grease, the map could be cleaned.
2) It could mean that Israel needs to be politely shown off the map as in, "Sir, the door is this way. Can I call you a cab on your way out?"