Monday, August 14, 2006

Most Iranian youth disapprove of regime


With the conflict between Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Israel, a local Californian newspaper asks some of the 50,000 Iranian Jews now settled in the state their views on the Iranian regime. (With thanks: Albert)

"I am not torn," said Farzaneh, a 44-year-old Encino mother of three who asked that her last name not be used because she fears retribution against her family in Iran.

"There is a definite distinction between Israel and Iran. I feel connected to Iran culturally. That is where I was born and picked up good, rich, ancient culture. But what Iran's regime has been doing for the last 20 years, I have nothing to identify with."

For half of the 20th century, Iran was a hospitable place for Jews. They had been there for 2,700 years, longer than Jews had remained in any one country.

After Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi came to power in 1941, Jews began to prosper. He gave them their best treatment since the 5th century B.C., when ruler Cyrus the Great freed Jews from captivity in Babylon and allowed them to return to Israel.

But then came the Islamic revolution. The shah was deposed in 1979, and an estimated 70,000 Jews left.

Still, almost 30 years after the revolution, Iranian-American Jews temper what they say about Iran, lest more caustic words cause retaliation against the 20,000 Jews remaining in Iran.

And in the past year tensions have escalated even further as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." He claimed the Holocaust did not occur. And he said the road to peace begins with the obliteration of Israel.

However, scholars see a cause for optimism in Iran.

"The overwhelming majority of youths disapprove of this regime," said Eliz Sanasarian, a University of Southern California political science professor and author of "Religious Minorities in Iran."

"You cannot have this kind of a regime going for another 10 years with this group of young people growing up."

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1 comment:

Larry said...

I wouldn't talke this too serious. Every jew I know supports Iran forever. I am just sorry there are not more sane and rational jews out there.