Another side of the Islamic Republic of Iran

It seems a lot more comfortable for Jews under Persians compared to Arabs, according to Roger Cohen:

[…]
The Middle East is an uncomfortable neighborhood for minorities, people whose very existence rebukes warring labels of religious and national identity. Yet perhaps 25,000 Jews live on in Iran, the largest such community, along with Turkey’s, in the Muslim Middle East. There are more than a dozen synagogues in Tehran; here in Esfahan a handful caters to about 1,200 Jews, descendants of an almost 3,000-year-old community.
Over the decades since Israel’s creation in 1948, and the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the number of Iranian Jews has dwindled from about 100,000. But the exodus has been far less complete than from Arab countries, where some 800,000 Jews resided when modern Israel came into being.
In Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Iraq — countries where more than 485,000 Jews lived before 1948 — fewer than 2,000 remain. The Arab Jew has perished. The Persian Jew has fared better.
Of course, Israel’s unfinished cycle of wars has been with Arabs, not Persians, a fact that explains some of the discrepancy.
Still a mystery hovers over Iran’s Jews. It’s important to decide what’s more significant: the annihilationist anti-Israel ranting, the Holocaust denial and other Iranian provocations — or the fact of a Jewish community living, working and worshipping in relative tranquillity.
Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran — its sophistication and culture — than all the inflammatory rhetoric.
That may be because I’m a Jew and have seldom been treated with such consistent warmth as in Iran. Or perhaps I was impressed that the fury over Gaza, trumpeted on posters and Iranian TV, never spilled over into insults or violence toward Jews. Or perhaps it’s because I’m convinced the “Mad Mullah” caricature of Iran and likening of any compromise with it to Munich 1938 — a position popular in some American Jewish circles — is misleading and dangerous…
[…]
I asked Morris Motamed, once the Jewish member of the Majlis, if he felt he was used, an Iranian quisling. “I don’t,” he replied. “In fact I feel deep tolerance here toward Jews.” He said “Death to Israel” chants bother him, but went on to criticize the “double standards” that allow Israel, Pakistan and India to have a nuclear bomb, but not Iran…

Mark C.
Damian adds: I can’t help wondering, what would happen to Mr. Motamed if he did complain about the way the Jews of Iran were treated?

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One thought on “Another side of the Islamic Republic of Iran

  1. “…that allow Israel, Pakistan and India to have a nuclear bomb…”
    They didn’t ask for permission, and if they had wanted to, from whom? The Nuclear Club is comprised of member states that made it there on their own ‘merit’.
    (That’s an observation, not a value judgment.)

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