Did Pakistan’s Army Chief Really Threaten To “Wipe Israel Off The Map”

He did, according to this article, which has been shared thousands of times:

raheel-sharifTensions in the Middle East are expanding to Asia, with Pakistan, a nuclear power, standing beside Palestine against Israel.

Pakistani army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif has reiterated that any threat to Palestine’s territorial integrity will would evoke a sharp response. He said Pakistan would “wipe Israel off the map.”

Sharif made the remarks Sunday in a statement after Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman visited him in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, adjacent to the capital.

Pakistan, a predominantly Sunni state, also has a large Shiite population.

The bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Palestine are historically close and extremely friendly, occasionally described as constituting a special relationship. Pakistan has been called “Palestine’s closest Muslim ally.

When I read this, my spidey senses were tingling, because it seemed like a very Iran thing to say. Plus, I recalled reading this a few weeks ago:

Israel Air Force jets, transport planes, and tankers landed back in Israel on Wednesday night, after taking part in the 11-day Red Flag exercise hosted by the US Air Force at Nellis Air Base, Nevada, from August 15 to 26.

The IAF took part in the drill together with the Pakistani and UAE air forces, according to American media reports.

So if the new article is to be believed, this was the most ill-conceived drill ever.

So I investigated. No news report on the Pakistani Army Chief’s alleged words exists. Unlike his name, this report did not seem raheel.

Although he actually did say something similar (reported on multiple credible news sites)

Speaking in the military garrison town of Rawalpindi, Pakistani Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif said that any Iranian threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity will “wipe Iran off the map.”

So clearly, the first article was false, a distortion of what he actually did say.

That first article was on a site called Whatsupic, which describes itself as a “News Website empowered by Social Networking capabilities aimed at providing unbiased news reported by its users along its own reporters.” In other words, there are no checks and balances in place to prevent false stories from being published.

So what happened here? Clearly someone with an agenda posted this lie. Given Iran’s childish online behavior (which includes bad photoshops and threats by their Supreme Leader), I would not put it past them. But I won’t post that as fact because I do have standards.

The moral of the story? As Abraham Lincoln famously once said “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.”

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media