Iran's leader challenges Europe to take back Jews in Israel

By The Associated Press

Haaretz

Tevet 21, 5766

DAMASCUS - In a new attack on the existence of Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has challenged Europe to take back the Jews who emigrated to Israel, adding that no Jews would remain in Israel if Europe were to open its doors.

Ahmadinejad delivered the challenge after arriving in Syria for a two-day visit on Thursday. Addressing Europe, he asked: "Would you open the doors of your own countries to these (Jewish) immigrants so that they could travel to any part of Europe they chose?"

"Would you offer the necessary guarantees that you would provide for their security when they came to your countries and not allow another anti-Semitic wave in Europe?" he added in an apparent reference to recent attacks on Jewish cemeteries and properties in European states.

Ahmadinejad provoked an international outcries last year when he said Israel should be "wiped out" and that the Nazi Holocaust against Jews in World War II was a "myth."

In his comments in the Syrian capital, which Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Friday, Ahmadinejad forecast that the West would not answer the questions he had posed but would instead accuse him of "talking against global peace."

He said Europe should welcome Jewish people to prove its sincerity in supporting people's freedoms.

He added he was confident that no Jews would remain in Israel if European countries allowed them to immigrate.

Ahmadinejad left Syria late Friday to return to Iran.