Everybody knows Mahmoud Ahmedinejad threatened to wipe Israel off the map, even though he didn't, and that he is a therefore a freaky fundamentalist genocidal maniac.
At last month's Holocaust commemoration at Auschwitz, Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran is "the new Amalek":
In the coming weeks Israel apparently will request an American veto in the Security Council again, in order to bury the Goldstone report. Netanyahu is planning a fourth meeting with Obama, concerning the nuclear security conference in Washington on April 12 and perhaps even before then. The agenda will center on Iran - or "the new Amalek," as Netanyahu called it in Auschwitz on Wednesday. The question is whether alongside his demand that Obama take action against Iran, Netanyahu will also tell him that in exchange, Israel will take some sort of initiative vis-a-vis the Palestinians. This would be in an attempt to persuade the world to believe him and ameliorate Israel's increasing diplomatic isolation.
-- World isn't buying Israel's explanations anymore; Ha'aretz, 30 Jan 2010.
This is "Amalek" (via Wikipedia):
War of extermination against the Amalekites
As the Jewish Encyclopedia put it, "David waged a sacred war of extermination against the Amalekites," who may have subsequently disappeared from history. Long after, in the time of Hezekiah, five hundred Simeonites annihilated the last remnant "of the Amalekites that had escaped" on Mount Seir, and settled in their place (1 Chr. 4:42-43).
The Biblical relationship between the Hebrew and Amalekite tribes was that the Amalekite tribes opposed the Hebrews and vice-versa, the former became associated with ruthlessness and trickery and tyranny, even more so than Pharaoh or the Philistines, and must be responded to with ruthlessness:
"8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
- "14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord is my banner, 16 saying, “A hand upon the throne of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." (Exodus 17)
This enmity is repeated in Numbers 24, in Balaam's fourth and final oracle:
- "20 Then he looked on Amalek and took up his discourse and said, Amalek was the first among the nations, but its end is utter destruction.
And again in the law, in Deuteronomy 25:
- "17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, 18 how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. 19 Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget."
The fighting is mentioned again in Judges 3:13, in the Judgeship of Ehud, and again under Gideon, as the Amalekites allied with the Midianites (Judges 6:3, 6:33, 7:12). This enmity is also the background of the command of the Lord to Saul:
"2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." (1 Sam. 15:2-3).
So, just to get this straight ... When the President of a partly-democratic, self-identified religious state with no nuclear weapons - whose regime stays in power through the violent suppression of a large number of the people it rules over - doesn't say that Israel must be wiped off the map, he's a genocidal monster, a threat to world peace, and a suitable target for regime change.
But when the Prime Minister of a partly-democratic, self-identified religious state with 200 nuclear weapons - whose country can exist in the first place only through massive and continuing ethnic cleansing, and whose regime stays in power through the violent suppression of a large number of the people it rules over - really does describe Iran as an enemy that Jews are commanded by God to wipe out to down to the last man, woman, child, farmyard animal or whatever, we're just fine with that?