Iran's president has been spewing hate speech toward Jews, but most Iranians and most Muslims want closer ties to the West. By Mark LeVine It's hard to imagine a more vile and violent comment than Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad's recent call to "wipe Israel off the map." Such statements not only reinforce the "clash of civilizations" rhetoric that has fueled the war on terrorism since 9/11. They also exemplify the kind of mentality ("pre-medieval" is the description by British Prime Minister Tony Blair) mentality that many non-Muslims accuse Muslims of harboring. Indeed, they go to the heart of President Bush's post-9/11 question, "Why do they hate us?" But as condemnations by many Muslim world leaders (including Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas) makes clear, we can't generalize from one leader's comments, however reprehensible, to an entire religion or civilization. The simple fact is that most Muslims do not hate most non-Muslim people in the West, precisely for the reason that there is no one "they" about whom we can generalize. And the Iranian case--a pathologically anti-American and anti-Jewish regime ruling over one of the most pro-American populations in the Muslim world--is a perfect example of this disjointed reality.