On the May 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush contained "Democratic talking points," and "even some liberal Hollywood Jewish people talking point."
From the May 10 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: So even Mahmoud knows how to push our buttons. [In Middle Eastern accent] "You need to feel guilty about your existence and what you've done in the past, and we need to talk about that, and you need to atone."
" 'It's not an issue of whether we respond,' said the White House spokesman Scott McClellan" -- Scott McClellan? When is Tony Snow taking over, over there? Monday. They're doing double duty. OK. " 'It's not an issue of whether we respond, it's an issue of whether the regime will respond to the demands of the international community.' The letter covers a list of grievances that have made Bush deeply unpopular among Muslims: The Iraq war, the U.S. support for Israel, and the treatment of prisoners in Guantánamo Bay."
Once again, it's the Democratic talking points, other than Israel, and even there -- yeah, it's [anti-war activist] Cindy Sheehan talking -- it is, you're right. It's Cindy. It's even some liberal Hollywood Jewish people talking point. Oh, I'll tell you, the Shelby Steele thing explains a lot. I've run into so many liberal Jews around the country that are pro-Palestinian. And I've never understood it, and they've kind of given me indications, "Well, it's just not fair; they're just a minority, and the U.N. [United Nations] gave these people a country, and they pushed these other people out."
It's all -- it's wrapped up in Shelby Steele. It's white supremacy; it's white guilt. And it even is relevant in the Israeli-Palestinian issue when you have -- how do you explain The New York Times constantly editorializing against Israel?
In the letter to Bush, Ahmadinejad wrote:
Mr. President, I am sure you know how -- and at what cost -- Israel was established: many thousands were killed in the process; millions of indigenous people were made refugees; hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages were destroyed. This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of establishment; unfortunately, it has been ongoing for 60 years now.
Ahmadinejad's 18-page letter, which touched on the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the unlawful detainment of prisoners, also expressed skepticism about whether the Holocaust occurred:
One of my students told me that during WWII, which more than tens of millions of people perished in, news about the war was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party. After the war they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six million people that were surely related to at least two million families. Again let us assume that these events are true. Does that logically translate into the establishment of the state of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a state? How can this phenomenon be rationalized or explained?
Ahmadinejad has previously advocated "wiping Israel off the map," has referred to Israel as a "rotten, dried tree," and has dismissed the Holocaust as a "myth."
Shelby Steele, to whom Limbaugh referred, is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the author of White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (HarperCollins, May 2006). Steele also published an op-ed on May 2 in The Wall Street Journal in which he argued that "America has increasingly practiced a policy of minimalism and restraint in war" because of "white guilt." According to Steele's op-ed, white people are "stigmatized with moral crimes," and "lack moral authority and so act guiltily whether they feel guilt or not."