You will often hear it said – usually, I might add, by those people who believe that the Inuit have twenty different words for ‘snow’ and regard the prefix ‘apparently’ as an acceptable substitute for rational thought – that the truth is stranger than fiction. Fortunately our own language has been blessed with more than twenty words for ‘rubbish’, allowing me to correctly characterise that expression as being a mixture of garbage, tripe, balderdash, tommyrot, hogwash, gibberish, bunkum, claptrap and baloney, combined with liberal doses of flimflam, horsefeathers, twaddle, poppycock, bilge, hooey, bollocks, piffle, trash, nonsense and drivel.
The real world frequently is so breathtaking, so beautiful and so bizarre as to rival the most twisted imagination, and the truth would make for strange and compelling fiction. But that is all. The platypus may be a curious and remarkable creature, but I will bet you a lifetime’s supply of insect repellent that Gregor Samsa’s metamorphosis into a cockroach is stranger still. If Man can be rendered speechless at the sight of a lush English meadow after a rainstorm, you might as well remove his larynx altogether if a white rabbit hops into view who knows how to read a pocket watch.
But on some rare occasions, when Jupiter sees fit to rise in Capricorn and Taurus does unspeakable things to Uranus, reality goes one better. To the sound of Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean kicking themselves from beyond the grave, The Telegraph published a story earlier this week to rival any published work of espionage or political intrigue. It seems that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the well-known anti-Zionist, anti-Semite and antiquated autocrat may have been born Jewish.
How perfect. How impossibly, how incredibly, how unfathomably perfect. You can almost picture the climactic scenes in the James Bond movie. Disguised as an Iranian nuclear scientist, Roger Moore is able to his way through enough physics to penetrate the heart of the country’s secret underground reactor. Once inside, he sabotages the moderator and drives a fuel rod through the chief engineer’s spine. As he races for the exit, Marjan al-Karakter, the beautiful UN diplomat and CIA double-agent, beckons to our hero from a side door. As he approaches, the Revolutionary Guard surrounds him and the sultry and treacherous Marjan leads her prisoner to the Presidential bunker.
Our hero enters the August Presence with a quivering jowl and a barely perceptible raised eyebrow. He is faced with the back of a revolving armchair, underneath which two tiny feet swing half a metre in the air. A complicated array of controls lines the walls, and a very simple array of guns points at his chest.
“Ah, Mr. Bond:” oozes the voice from behind the chair. “How good of you to join us. Your timing is impeccable. All that remains for my plan to be complete is for that button to be pressed. A nuclear missile of unprecedented power and efficiency will come out of the ground beneath our feet and soar into the night sky. And soon, very soon, it will land. And so the Zionist cancer will be pushed into the sea, and the world will once more be pure.”
“So why do you need me?” drawls our hero as the camera shows his hands reaching for his supersonic tiepin.
“I would love to press that button myself, Mr Bond,” says the tiny man as the chair begins to swivel. “But you see, it’s Friday night, and my religion forbids me from activating machinery on the Sabbath.”
The news that the President of Iran may be Jewish is sure to have widespread repercussions throughout the Jewish world. If only because there is now another handsome and powerful Jewish man who may be interested in a Jewish wife. And darlings, he’s an engineer.
In the days since the Telegraph ran with their story the Guardian has taken it upon themselves to snuff out one of the most promising and entertaining news stories of the year. For a short while it was all too believable. Ahmadinejad’s reasons for believing in a Zionist conspiracy to take over the world would have been crystal clear: even his own country is run by a Jew.