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Behind the Headlines the Anti-semitism of Khomeini

December 28, 1979
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A paperback English translation of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s “Islamic Government,” which has just been published, clearly shows the Iranian ruler to be anti-Semitic as well as anti-Christian.

The book is based on a series of lectures Khomeini gave in 1969 on what an Islamic government should be. It was translated by the Central Intelligence Agency last year and was declassified just two weeks before the Ayatollah returned to Teheran last Feb. I. It is published by the Manor Press in New York which calls it “Ayatollah Khomeini’s Mein Kampf.”

Khomeini’s anti-Jewish attitude is displayed in the opening paragraphs of the foreword to the book. “Since its inception, the Islamic government was afflicted with the Jews when they started their counter-activity by distorting the reputation of Islam, by assaulting it and by slandering,” he wrote. “This has continued to our present day.”

Khomeini then goes on to attack his next villains, the “colonialists” who, he said, “can be considered more evil than the devil and his troops.” He is apparently referring to the West European countries and the United States and their activities in the Middle East.

When the Ayatollah was questioned about his anti-Semitism while he was still in exile in France last January, reporters cited his reference to Jewish “counter-activity.” He reportedly denied to Western journalists that he was anti-Semitic. While stressing that all ties to Israel would be cut, he said Jews would “enjoy all rights and full religious freedom” in an Islamic republic.


But in his book he frequently attacks both Jews and Christians. “Christian, Jewish and Baha’i missionary centers are spread in Teheran to deceive people and to lead them away from the teachings and principles of religion,” he wrote at one point “Isn’t it a duty to destroy these centers?” He goes on to call on the young people to help save Islam. “Here they (Christians and Jews are killing Islam in the name of religion and in the name of the prophets.”

At one point Khomeini attacks the Shah for helping to restore the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem which was set ablaze by a deranged non-Jewish Australian. “The Shah opens a subscription in banks to repair the Al Aqsa Mosque,” Khomeini wrote. “In this manner he fills his pockets and coffers and increases his assets. After the Mosque is repaired, he will have covered all traces of the Zionist crimes.” At another point, in urging the rule of Islam, he exhorts: “We must try to liberate the lands of the Moslems in Palestine and other places.”

Khomeini’s anti-Zionism is also linked with his anti-Westernism, particularly anti -U.S. feelings. Denouncing Iranians who seek to separate religion from government, he declares: “We must first advise such people to abandon their erroneous way, must draw their attention to the danger surrounding Islam and the Moslems and must open their eyes wide to the Zionist danger and to the Anglo-American (colonialism) that supplies the Israeli entity with the mainstays of life.”

The Ayatollah’s fanaticism is demonstrated throughout the book. “If we attain power, we should not be content with improving the economy and ruling justly among the people but must make these traitors taste the worst torture for what they have done,” he wrote.

In an analysis at the end of the translation of “Islamic Government,” George Carpozi Jr., a reporter for the New York Post, said that Khomeini has been motivated by revenge since the death of his son which he blames on the Shah. His fanaticism and his overwhelming desire for revenge may explain why Khomeini has refused to release the American hostages held illegally at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran despite the condemnation of the international community.

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