to Jew, or not to Jew?
That is the Question.. I’ve posted about this before, the most difficult status of Jews in Iran, here’s an article reprinted at Iran Focus which highlights their precarious position.
"Every Iranian Jew who had the financial possibility or courage has already left, but there’s still a small but flourishing community," said Amir, who moved to Israel from Iran at the age of 20 in 1959. He has been broadcasting for 46 years in Farsi for Israeli state radio.
He is all too familiar with the precarious position of Iranian Jews who are called on by the government to declare their public support for the country’s nuclear policy.
"Not to mention, every time Iran publicly condemns Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories, the Jewish community is expected to issue a statement of support," he said.
Even though the regime officially recognizes Judaism as an official religious minority and the Jewish community is even allocated a seat in the Iranian parliament, the reality on the ground is different.
Jewish leaders are reluctant to draw attention to incidences of mistreatment of their community, due to fear of government reprisal, along with fear of being arrested or accused of being spies. In 1999, 13 Jews were arrested in the city of Shiraz and charged with spying for Israel. While eventually all were pardoned, it exposed the fragile position of the country’s Jewish community.
"While there are Jewish schools, the principals and most of the teachers are Muslim, the Bible is taught in Farsi, not in Hebrew, and the schools are forced to open on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath," Amir said, as he played Hebrew music for his listeners.
"So while the regime declares that there is freedom of religion, it is all just for the sake of appearances." [...]
Forced to mouth and serve up platitudes for the Iranian regime against Israel, or be caught up in Iran’s appalling Human Rights record.
It’s a pretty bad jam to be in with Iran heating up like a foil carton of jiffy pop these days.. If only Assmad himself could be popped so easily.