J. Pharoah Doss: The Ayatollah adopts American students

Close allies: Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the man who was expected to succeed him, President Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed in a helicopter crash on May 19 2024. ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Live News

The History Channel ran a series called History vs. Hollywood. Each episode examined a biopic or historical epic to determine whether the film accurately reflected historical events. The series revealed that Hollywood tended to mythologize the past rather than be historically accurate.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, recently sent an open letter to American university students protesting Israel’s war on Hamas. Khamenei praised their “awakened consciousness,” which propelled them to defend the oppressed people of Gaza.

However, Khamenei’s letter was more mythologizing than Hollywood could even imagine.

Khamenei began by informing the American students that the pages of history were turning, and they were on the right side of it. Former United States President Barack Obama frequently discussed being on the right or wrong side of history. Being on “the right side of history” meant supporting specific activities or political viewpoints that promoted progress, social justice, and change.

Most media agencies referred to Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack as the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust, but Khamenei mythologized it as a turning point in history. According to Khamenei, October 7 symbolizes the start of Israel’s downfall.

After the American students announced their solidarity with Palestine, Khamenei said the American students had formed a branch of the Resistance Front.

Khamenei wrote, “The Greater Resistance Front, which shares the same understanding and feelings that you have today, has engaged in the same struggle for many years in a place far from you. The goal of this struggle is to put an end to the blatant oppression that the brutal Zionist terrorist network has inflicted on the Palestinian nation for many years.”

A loose network of proxies (such as Hamas and Hezbollah), Iranian-backed militant groups, and related state entities make up Iran’s Greater Resistance Front, allowing Iran to exercise power and achieve its strategic objectives while maintaining plausible deniability.

What is Iran’s primary objective?

In 2020, Khamenei declared that Iran wants to destroy Israel. Khamenei added, “Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime [so] Palestinians [can] choose their own government and expel thugs like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is eliminating Israel, [and] it will happen.”

Whether the American students opposing Israel’s war against Hamas recognized it or not, Iran’s Supreme Leader has adopted them in order to exert influence in this regard.

To further indoctrinate the newest branch of the Resistance Front, Khamenei recounted the history of the “Apartheid Zionist regime.”

Khamenei explained, “After the world war, the capitalist Zionist network gradually imported several thousand terrorists into this land with the help of the British government. These terrorists attacked cities and villages, murdered tens of thousands of people, and pushed out multitudes into neighboring countries. They seized their homes, businesses, and farmlands, formed a government in the usurped land of Palestine, and called it Israel.” 

According to Khamenei and the Greater Resistance Front, this is how the state of Israel was founded, and based on this interpretation of events, they believe Israel should be eradicated from the face of the planet.

Amateur historians will not deny the horrific clashes between Arabs and Jews in the British mandate of Palestine between World Wars I and II, but even an amateur historian is aware that the British partitioned the area, establishing a Jewish state and an Arab state in Palestine. The Arabs rejected the plan. The Jews accepted their portion. A civil war erupted between the two camps. Then, five Arab nations attacked Israel in an attempt to abort the birth of a nation, but Israel defeated the Arab armies and won independence.

Khamenei asked the American students two rhetorical questions:

1). Can one call a people a terrorist nation for defending themselves on their own land against the crimes of the occupying Zionists?

2). Is helping such a nation and strengthening it an act of terrorism?

If the students accept Khamenei’s mythologizing of history, they will only conclude, “no,” and once they reach that conclusion, they will be open to even more of Khamenei’s mythologizing of events.

JFK once said the great enemy of truth is not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.

Regrettably, when Israelis refute the myth, they get accused of lying. 



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