In Wake of Gaza, Wiesenthal Center Condemns Iranian Website Signing Up Recruits for Suicide Missions against Israel

December 30, 2008


Iranian TV also shows Jewish preschoolers joining anti-Israel protest outside UN’s Tehran office


The Simon Wiesenthal Center today condemned an Iranian website created by a group of influential Shiite clerics to recruit Iranians for suicide bombing missions against Israel in wake of the conflict in Gaza. The Farsi-language website, called "Combatant Clerics" (, *(see visual below) prominently features such leading Iranian clerics and politicians as former presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami, and asks visitors,

"Following the message of the Supreme Leader and the disaster in Gaza, how will you announce your readiness to fight the Zionists?"

The three possible answers are:

"I’m ready for propaganda"

"I’m ready to fight" 

"I’m ready financially"

The registration campaign came in response to Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who issued an edict calling on Iranians to go and defend Palestinians in Gaza.
Anyone killed on this mission, Khamenei said, would be "considered a martyr."

As of this afternoon, the registration drive has gathered over 4,500 recruits.


In other developments, Iranian television and wire services report that two of the most prominent Iranian Jewish leaders, Siamak Mara-Sedq and Rahmatollah Raf, led an anti-Israel protest outside the UN office in Tehran.

Joining them were Jewish pre-school pupils wearing yarmulkes and waving Farsi and English signs that called for peace. In an address later in the day, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the attacks on the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza "the real Holocaust."

"It comes at no surprise that President Ahmadinejad has labeled Israel’s attacks against Hamas, "the real Holocaust" and has trotted out Jewish children and leaders of the tiny and ancient Jewish community as part of its ongoing campaign against the Jewish people," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. "If anyone is guilty of a crime against humanity, it is a regime that openly recruits people to become suicide bombers against civilians in the Holy Land," Cooper added.


"This crisis in Gaza would never have escalated to this extent without the direct intervention of Iran who also supply the Grad missiles that have now reached 25 miles to Beersheba," he concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.