Moving piece in the Jewish Journal by Afshine Emrani expressing how Jews from Iran are torn between their love of Israel and love of Iran. Nevertheless, the vast majority of Iranian Jews in the US, like Jews in Israel, are opposed to President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.
Jewish children in Purim costume in pre-revolutionary Iran
My father served the Iranian government for over thirty years.
With the majority of his friends and colleagues Muslim, few Persian Jews know of him now.
He pulled himself out of poverty, away from the misery of losing his
own father at a young age. He reached one of the highest positions a
Jew had achieved in 1979.
All his savings went to buy a beautiful apartment complex in Tehran.
We lived on the first floor, with a large backyard, a garden and an
empty pool. The other four floors above were rented out, as he waited
for his four sons to grow up, get married and take one floor each,
keeping the family nucleus intact, so that he could finally enjoy
what he did not have as a child.
As happens in life, we plan and God laughs- but I think God has a full-on belly laugh with Jews.
His adult life was dedicated to strengthening Iran, advancing its
mining, engineering, infrastructure. I still hear the sounds of the
water canal running next to our home, how we left the door wide open so
that the breeze would usher in the smell of the air mixed with the
droplets of the roaring water, music to his ears.
He lost it all with the revolution.
We, Jews of Iran, are torn on so many levels, it is hard to explain.
We love the people of Iran. We love Israel. We are Jews before we
belong to any country. We are American. We hate oppressive regimes. We
detest those who wish our destruction. Still every generation rises up
to destroy us. We are diverse.
So when an American president (for whom the majority of Jews voted
twice) pushes a deal that can potentially harm the people of Iran and
the people of Israel and the people of America- wounds open, bleed,
sizzle and make ours eyes tear.
I now realize why that pool was left empty.
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US Iranian Jews: we blame ourselves