Minority report from Iran: Jews in, ‘Da Vinci Code’ out
You would think that a repressive regime with a drive to develop nuclear weapons, a propensity to deny the Holocaust, and a very real desire to wipe Israel off the map might have a poor track record in dealing with its minority populations of Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. In Iran, however, reports are piecing together ...
You would think that a repressive regime with a drive to develop nuclear weapons, a propensity to deny the Holocaust, and a very real desire to wipe Israel off the map might have a poor track record in dealing with its minority populations of Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. In Iran, however, reports are piecing together a slightly different, and unexpected, reality.
Last month, the Guardian ran a piece about the 25,000 Jews who live among Iran’s 70 million Muslims. The one Jewish member of the 290-member Majlis, Iran’s parliament, was interviewed for the article. He is described as having “one of the loneliest jobs in the Middle East.” He said that Iran is “relatively tolerant” of its Jewish population and that “I am an Iranian first and a Jew second,” suggesting that he supports his president on the nuclear standoff with the U.S. and Israel. His reaction to Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial?
When our president spoke about the Holocaust, I considered it my duty as a Jew to speak about this issue,” Mr Motamed said in his office in central Tehran. “The biggest disaster in human history is based on tens of thousands of films and documents. I said these remarks are a big insult to the whole Jewish society in Iran and the whole world.”
I asked [Ahmadinejad], ‘Are you anti-Jew?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ I said, ‘Why not go to a synagogue to express regret for what Iranians have done to Jews?’ … He said, ‘I have another idea, a better idea.’ He will do something to show he is not anti-Jewish. I hope he will do it soon. He will make a gesture to the Jews in Iran and that has implications for Jews elsewhere. What he will say is very important and will remove the idea that he is anti-Semite.
That, from the same June 27 Guardian piece. Maybe Ahmadinejad is trying to dispel widespread beliefs about his anti-Semitism with the same speed that he is responding to that package of nuclear incentives.
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