A statement published Sunday in the formal internet website of the Jewish community in Iran said that "the Jewish congregation in Iran censures the human rights violations of the Palestinians in the Gaza strip by the Zionists and is grieved by this occurrence."
It is not first time that the leaders of repressed Jewish communities have been coerced into making anti-Israel statements: after all 13 Jews were arrested on 'spying' charges in 1999, although all were released by 2002. Haron Ishayai's anti-Zionism is probably genuine: he is a communist. Nonetheless, it is disturbing that the Israeli presss should have run these reports without spelling out the essential context.
Ynet-news reports (with thanks: Albert):
"The letter was signed by head of the Iranian Jewish congregation, Harun Ishayai, and the Jewish representative in the Iranian Parliament, Maurice Motamed. According to the two, "there is no good reason for the campaign of death being undertaken by Israeli soldiers to kidnap Palestinian government members and bomb population centers."
"We condemn this violent behavior by Israeli leaders and are sure that the Palestinian nation will firmly defend its right to exist and its other legitimate and natural rights," said the leaders of the congregation.
They added: "We deplore this aggressive behavior and are sure that it will exacerbate the situation with each passing day. Behavior such as this may lead to bloodshed among blameless men and women and among innocent children."
Leaders of the congregation claim that the IDF operation is antithetical to Judaism: "We are aware that these actions are in no way related to principles of the Jewish faith, the precepts of Moses or the holy books. They are antithetical to the Jewish faith."
"We call upon Jews around the globe to speak out to the world in protest against the behavior of the soldiers and the Israeli leaders," they continued. "It is the mission of Jews, more than any other people, to prevent a policy that tramples upon the humane tenets of the Jewish tradition."
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