The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's "threat" to apply the "Final Solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "is reminiscent of the Nazis' ultimate solution for exterminating the Jews."
"He should know that any government that threatens to destroy Israel will find itself in danger of extinction". Netanyahu wrote on his official Twitter feed in Hebrew on Wednesday.
Netanyahu was referring to a poster published on Khamenei's official Twitter account in English which said, "Palestine will be freed. The Final Solution: Resistance Until Referendum." The poster is a drawing that shows people celebrating at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem after apparently capturing it from Israel as a Palestinian flag is raised over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Khamenei's official Twitter account promptly replied to Netanyahu by saying "eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews". "We aren’t against Jews," the tweet said declared that abolishing Israel means that Muslim, Christian and Jewish Palestinians can choose their own government and "expel thugs like Netanyahu".
In another tweet on the same day, Khamenei said Iran has registered "a proposal for a referendum to choose the type of government for the historical country of Palestine" with the United Nations. "We say the true Palestinians with Palestinian roots of at least 100 years, and Palestinians living abroad, [should be able to] choose the government of Palestine," the tweet said.
Ali Motahari, an outspoken conservative lawmaker occasionally contradicting Khamenei whose term ended yesterday, in a tweet supported Khamenei's slogan of "Resistance until Referendum" in a tweet on Thursday.
"The slogan of 'Resistance until Referendum' which has been suggested for the Qods Day is a clever and fair slogan. The people who have been forced out of their land and Arab, Iranian, Turk and other Muslims say they will resist the occupation [of Palestine] until a government is chosen by all the people of Palestine, including refugees," Motahari wrote in his tweet without making any reference to the controversies that have arisen from the term "final solution".
The term “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” was a euphemism used by Nazi Germany’s leaders to refer to genocide against European Jews.
The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also reacted to the controversial tweet and said the United States condemns "Khamenei’s disgusting and hateful anti-Semitic remarks" that have no place on Twitter or on any other social media platform. Pompeo, however, said the United States knows that "Khamenei’s vile rhetoric does not represent the Iranian people’s tradition of tolerance”.
Germany's foreign ministry also condemned the poster in a statement sent to the Jerusalem Post. Berlin is usually reserved in criticizing the Islamic Republic.
“The federal government sharply condemns all glorification and legitimizing of terror, [as well as] calls for the annihilation of Israel, inciting terrorist acts or spreading antisemitic content. Such hostile comments to Israel are in no way acceptable. Israel's right to exist is not negotiable. The federal republic regularly addresses critical points in all areas in an open way with Iran,” the ministry said.
Responding to the controversial poster, the Israeli army's Persian-language Twitter had also said in a derisive tone that the Islamic Republic is only capable of making "Puerile drawings" to convince itself that its fantasies will one day come true.
In 2015 Khamenei had said that Israel would be destroyed in 25 years but he is not known to have used the term "Final Solution" in his anti-Israeli rhetoric before.
The Islamic Republic is preparing itself for celebrating the anti-Israel Qods Day on Friday. This year's Qods Day march which Iranian media have called the "first Day of Qods without Qassem Soleimani", the fallen Chief-Commander of the Qods Force, has been cancelled but Supreme Leader Khamenei will address the nation on television.