The classic definition of chutzpah is found in Leo Rosten’s indispensable book The Joys of Yiddish: “that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.” I would like to offer an alternative that is especially useful in the realm of international relations: “that quality enshrined in a head of state who, having slaughtered the citizens of his own country for seeking freedom, condemns the actions of another head of state for seeking to defend his citizens against rioters and looters.” In the dictionary under this definition will be a picture of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as quoted in the Jerusalem Post:

Meanwhile, the Iranian president offered his own criticism of the British police force’s handling of the riots, saying “What kind of country treats its own people like this? The ugliest treatment is the police’s unacceptable attack on the people, who have no weapons in hand.”

While Cameron has called the burning and looting in Britain “criminality, pure and simple”, Ahmadinejad portrayed the events as peaceful protests brutally repressed by police.

“What kind of a treatment is this for the people who run out of patience because of poverty and discrimination? … I advise them to correct their savage behavior because this kind of savage treatment of people is absolutely not acceptable.”

Three words for you, Mahmoud: Neda Agha-Soltan. You remember her, don’t you, Mahmoud? She was beaten to death by your thugs in the midst of the 2009 Tehran protests. You don’t? Maybe this will refresh your memory:



It takes a special kind of sociopath to be able to say stuff like this with a straight face.