Saturday, August 12, 2006

Iranian Jews feel dutybound to support Israel

An emotional evening (featuring an address by Karnit Goldwasser, wife of one of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers) capped weeks of urgent fundraising on behalf of Israel by the 30,000 strong Iranian Jews living in Southern California and 15,000 Iranian Jews living in New York, the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles reports. (With thanks: Albert)

"The giving has special meaning for Jews who not long ago enjoyed the umbrella of protection Israel offered them while living in Iran. Now, they feel a sense of duty to support Israel at a time when it is being threatened by Iran.

"We are the children of parents who were born and raised in Iran's ghettos during the Holocaust and the subsequent birth of the state of Israel," said Sam Kermanian, secretary general of the IAJF, which is based in Los Angeles. "I think we have a keen understanding of the fact that when the chips fall, the only guarantee against another Holocaust is a strong state of Israel."

"Kermanian said Iranian Jews in Southern California and New York have been quick to stand behind Israel as many frequently do business in Israel and also have family ties with the 200,000 Jews of Iranian decent living there.

"Besides the donations pledged for Israel Monday night, younger Iranian Jews collaborating with the IAJF also raised roughly $170,000."

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