Right here on the Atlantic website, Reza Aslan writes:
It might seem shocking to both casual and dedicated Iran-watcher that the bombastic Ahmadinejad could, behind Tehran's closed doors, be playing the reformer. After all, this was the man who, in 2005, generated wide outrage in the West for suggesting that Israel should be "wiped from the map." But even that case said as much about our limited understanding of him and his context as it did about Ahmadinejad himself. The expression "wipe from the map" means "destroy" in English but not in Farsi. In Farsi, it means not that Israel should be eliminated but that the existing political borders should literally be wiped from a literal map and replaced with those of historic Palestine. That's still not something likely to win him cheers in U.S. policy circles, but the distinction, which has been largely lost from the West's understanding of the Iranian president, is important.
Hmmm. So Israel should be replaced by Palestine, which is different than removing Israel from the map. Got it. What Ahmadinejad has been trying to say all along, then, is "Shabbat Shalom, Jews!"
Just to clarify the record of the Holocaust-denying, eliminationist anti-Semitic Iranian president, here are some of the things he's said about Israel and Jews in the last several years:
October, 2005: "Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine... I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world. But we must be aware of tricks."