This could just be disinformation, but if true it explains a lot. Note that some of the worst anti-Semites in history, including Torquemada and Karl Marx, were of recent Jewish descent, and used anti-Semitism to ingratiate themselves with their non-Jewish constituencies.
Ha’aretz: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s scathing attacks against Israel and his repeated denials of the Nazi Holocaust could be motivated by a desire to conceal his own Jewish roots, an Iran expert told The Daily Telegraph on Saturday.
The British newspaper examined the Iranian leader’s identity card which he displayed in public during his country’s elections in March 2008.
The ID card bears his family’s original surname, Sabourjian, which is a Jewish name that means cloth weaver, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The Sabourjians have historically been concentrated in the same region of Iran where Ahmadinejad was born, according to the report.
Ahmadinejad’s identity papers indicate that his family changed its name and converted to Islam after he was born, the British newspaper said.
Iranian observers suggested that the president’s constant verbal assault against Israel and Jews may be an attempt to prove his loyalty to Shia Islam while making every effort to hide his Jewish past.
UPDATE: Here’s the original Telegraph story.
FURTHER UPDATE: Admittedly it’s possible that Torquemada, et al., were just sincere anti-Semites, despite their Jewish descent. But from medieval Spain until twenty-first century America (see War, Iraq), it’s been common for powerful persons of Jewish descent to be accused of using their power to further a secret Jewish agenda, whatever their expressed motives. One way of trying to preempt such criticism is to get a reputation as a vociferous critic of Jews.
To get into more controversial territory, it’s certainly interesting that many leftists of Jewish descent who have no other connection with Judaism or the Jewish community feel the need to be outspoken “Jewish” critics of Israel; the better to prove their leftist, universalist bona fides?