Along with Presidents Putin and Erdogan, Iran's Foreign Minister has sent greetings to Jews on the occasion of Rosh Hashana - the Jewish New Year. Yet Israel and Iran have clashed in Syria. A tweet from Mohammad Javad Zarif was accompanied by photos of Iranian Jews worshipping in a synagogue, underlying the assumption that Judaism is merely a religion. The Times of Israel reports:
With one designated member of parliament, Iran’s Jewish community is
one of three officially recognized religious minorities. Armenian
Christians have two designated MPs, while Assyrian-Chaldeans and
Zoroastrians have one each.
Still, many Iranian Jews complain they are not treated equally under
the law. In July an Iranian court overturned a ban on religious
minorities standing in municipal polls.
Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Zarif’s wishes come after a year of heightened tensions between
Jerusalem and Tehran that saw the largest ever direct clash between
Israeli and Iranian forces and Israeli agents brazenly steal Iran’s nuclear archive —
material that proves, according to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu, that the regime has lied when claiming it has not sought to
build a nuclear weapons arsenal and that it intends to resume its
pursuit of nuclear weapons when it can.
In May, some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces from southern Syria with Israeli jets then targeting numerous Iranian-controlled sites across Syria.
The Israeli army said the initial missile barrage was carried out by
members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Forces. This
appeared to be the first time that Israel attributed an attack directly
to Iran, which generally operates through proxies.
In response, Israel launched an extensive retaliatory campaign,
striking suspected Iranian bases throughout Syria for hours following
the initial Iranian bombardment.
Senior Iranian officials have relentlessly encouraged the destruction
of Israel, and Iran finances, arms and trains terror groups on Israel’s
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah also sent Rosh
Hahsanah greetings to the Jewish people and agreed to meet with Finance
Minister Moshe Kahlon after the holidays.
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Karmel Melamed slams western media who are eager to do Iran's bidding by portraying Iran's Jews as happy and peaceful:
USA Today's report on Iran's Jews is both inaccurate and irresponsible (Jewish Journal)
Every so often the when the Iranian regime’s public image in the West
has taken a hit, the regime’s leadership loves to invite various Western
media outlets to Iran in order to parade members of the Jewish
community in front of them in an effort to bolster their true negative
image as an anti-Semitic repressive regime. The regime’s Intelligence
Ministry has hand-picked leaders of the Jewish community in Iran telling
the Western reporters that Iran is a supposed a “safe and peaceful
place” for Jews to live in. Unfortunately in the past Western media
outlets such as the Guardian in England, the Forward in New York, the New York Times, CNN or NBC News
have either been naïve enough to believe and report these lies, or just
complicit in spreading them. Again such has been the case with USA
Today recently publishing an article claiming the Jews of Iran feel “safe and respected”.
As an Iranian Jewish journalist who has been covering Iranian Jewry
worldwide for nearly two decades, I feel compelled to expose USA Today’s
inaccurate and irresponsible reporting on Iran’s Jews.
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What is interesting here is that Al-Bawaba - an Arab-owned medium based in Jordan - is using the status of the Iranian-Jewish community as a tool to lambast the Iranian regime.
Are Iranian Jews proud or frightened? (Al Bawaba)
Given that he has been repeatedly re-elected by Iran’s Jewish community,
one should not dismiss Morsadegh’s words outright. But nor can his rosy
declarations of Iranian Jewish life be taken for granted. Iranian Jews
are largely left in peace by the regime because the government trusts
them not to protest. But there is justifiable suspicion that Jews keep quiet not because they don’t have grievances with the regime, but because they know that the consequences of expressing them would
be dire. At a time when Israeli-Iranian relations are best described as
hateful, it would be all too easy for ruthless parliamentarians to make
Persian Jews a target.
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