Sunday, July 02, 2006

"Iranian Jews do not officially recognize Israel"

Skimming through my personalized Google homepage I came across this article, posted on two Iranian news sites:
The Iranian government and nation do not officially recognize Israel and Jews share the same position, according to an Iranian Jewish figure.

Head of the Committee of Tehrani Jews Haroun Yashai told Russian Gazetta daily, "We are citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran." He ruled out allegations that religious minorities are deprived of their rights in Iran, saying, "Foreign journalists usually think that our comments on good condition of religious minorities in Iran are false; foreign journalists wrongly believe that we express everything on the call and under pressure of Iranian officials."

He said Jews are free to react to some of the policies of government and even write to government officials on the issues.

He went on to say that Jews are free to perform their religious duties and say their prayers in the Jewish language.

He added that Jews follow their customs and have been living in Iran since 2,500 years ago, when Cyrus the Great ruled the country.

Currently, maintained the Jewish figure, there are 40 synagogues in Iran, 23 of which are active, and the Jewish population are mostly scattered in Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan.

There are 25,000 Jews living in Iran.

Continue reading on
Iranmania.com
or IRNA.ir
The whole thing really threw me off. First of all, I've never seen a news article that refers to Hebrew as the "Jewish language." Secondly, what on earth is this "Jewish figure" trying to say? (Or what are we supposed to think he is trying to say? Who knows what else he might have said... I won't make assumptions.)

I mean, I'm really glad that life is turning out to be super fantastic for all the Jews living in Iran right now, it's certainly good to hear! But I don't see how disconnecting the Iranian Jews from Israel will really help their social status in Iran all that much. Anyway, if things are oh so very great, why would Jews need to make statements like this anyway?

Is this an appeal to Iranians, telling them to be kinder to their fellow Israel-hating Jews? I just don't understand. And how many Jews out there really hate Israel...?

So when Haroun Yashai tells me that "Foreign journalists usually think that our comments on good condition of religious minorities in Iran are false; foreign journalists wrongly believe that we express everything on the call and under pressure of Iranian officials", I'm inclined to believe that these foreign journalists are absolutely right. Jews may be "free to react to some of the policies of government" (and reacting sure is a nice Jewish thing to do), but if he's saying that they can "even write to government officials on the issues," I naturally worry about the use of that word, even.

Either something is wrong with me or something is horribly wrong with this article.

2 Comments:

Blogger bolboli said...

i don't get it. why is it so hard to believe that there are a lot of jews around the world who don't like or agree with israel? it's not like israel is this holy place. it's a piece of land that is run by a government that many people don't like (including the jews of iran). heck, there are even jews IN israel who don't like the policies of their government.
why are you and every other israeli i've met so opposed to ANYONE (jewish, muslim, christian) that doesn't like the idea of zionism? i'm not writing you this comment to harrass you or anything like that my friend. i just want you to open you eyes and realize that this is the real world. people with different ideas and beliefs live in this world. not everyone likes israel. i'm an iranian and even though i love my culture, my country, and my people, i (like most iranians) don't necessarily love my government. i admit that there are things that my government has done wrong and i'm not going to defend them. you should also learn that when someone criticizes israel, there is a reason for it. like it or not, israel has done a lot of things that has people pissed off. next time, when you hear something negative directed towards israel, learn something from it instead of saying "Is this an appeal to Iranians, telling them to be kinder to their fellow Israel-hating Jews? I just don't understand. And how many Jews out there really hate Israel...?"
no one hates the jews in iran. they are a very well respected community here. and for your second question, there are a lot of jews who don't like israel (30,000 of them live in iran and god knows how many abroad)
stop blindingly kissing israel's ass. sorry if that came out a bit harsh but i'm just being realistic.
god bless you

Fri Aug 18, 10:39:00 AM 2006  
Blogger gogalucky said...

Thanks for making assumptions about my political opinions, always appreciated. :)

What I was trying to say is that to me the article sounded like Iranians trying too hard to prove that they love the Jews and that their dislike of Israel has nothing to do with the fact that it is a country of Jews. The article made me wonder why they felt that they had to write something like that in the first place (I never assumed Iranians hate Jews). It also made me wonder whether the words of the Jewish guy they quoted were possibly taken out of context. Nowhere did he mention disliking Israel or, really, anything about Israel at all, and yet the title of the article is written as "Iranian Jews do not officially recognize Israel". Where do we see anything about that at all?

This wasn't meant to be a politically opinionated post or a criticism of politics or anything like that, just a reflection on a stupid article.

Mon Aug 21, 10:03:00 AM 2006  

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