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The Old Demagoguery Is Not Working in Iran

The two-minutes-hate dreamed up by the Iranian Revolution to divert public hostility at its repression over to Israel isn’t working this year. The New York Times reports on how the Iranian opposition, again under tremendous threat of repression, chooses its own destiny:

Conservatives had warned against using the annual pro-Palestinian march, known as Quds Day, as an excuse for renewed protests against Mr. Ahmadinejad, whose disputed re-election in June plunged Iran into its worst internal crisis in three decades.

But the protesters turned out anyway, often walking alongside larger groups of state-sanctioned marchers bearing huge banners denouncing Israel. The protesters even flouted Iran’s support for pro-Palestinian militants, chanting “No to Gaza and Lebanon, my life is for Iran.” And when officials shouted “death to Israel” through loudspeakers, protesters derisively chanted “death to Russia” in response.

When Ahmadinejad comes to New York next week for the United Nations General Assembly, Human Rights Watch and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran will hold a demonstration Monday at 4 p.m. across the street from U.N. headquarters, featuring “a recent victim of torture and rape who was detained in post-election unrest in Iran,” according to a press release.

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