Fidel Castro
Photo: Reuters

Castro: Israel has right to exist

Ailing Cuban leader speaks with Atlantic Magazine, criticizes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated holocaust denial; says diplomatic ties with Israel 'will take time'

Fidel Castro, the longtime president and leftist icon who stepped aside during a health crisis but still leads the Cuban Communist Party, believed Israel definitely has the right to exist.


Castro, 84, made the statement while speaking to American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg of Atlantic Magazine.


According to the Atlantic, when asked if Cuba was ready to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, Castro said that "those things take time."


In the interview Castro criticizes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and said that Tehran should acknowledge Israel's fears for its own survival.


The former Cuban president, who handed over power to his brother Raul in 2006, said Iran should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism.


"This went on for maybe two thousand years," Castro was quoted as saying. "I don't think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything."


"In my judgment here's what happened to them: Reverse selection. What's reverse selection? Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation."


"The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust," he said.


AFP contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 09.23.10, 15:25
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