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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven


The Plight of the Jews in Iran

by Shelomo Alfassa

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February 17, 2006 Israel Insider Magazine

In April 2005 an article entitled, "Mr. President, Please Call Tehran," by this author, was widely circulated in the media. It was a call for the Iranian-born President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, to facilitate communication between Israel and the Jewish community in Iran, in an effort to seek evacuation as the Iranian hatred for Jews was starting to simmer.

Now, ten months later, the hatred toward the world Jewish community is boiling over. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for jihad against Israel with his proclamation that Israel must be, "Wiped off the face of the earth." Ahmadinejad is strategically fanning the flames of hatred among Islamic terrorist groups to unite against the Jews and the Western world.

Iran has funded Arab terrorist groups for many years. This includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with millions of dollars, money used with one intention -- to kill Jews and destroy the State of Israel. Last month Hamas was elected by the Israeli Arabs to lead them toward their future. Not even in office one month, they declared their political platform in the international media: "We will drink the blood of the Jews!!"

In recent weeks, Iran has gone against the United Nations and has once again motioned to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranians are not listening to rational ideas from anyone, they are out of control. Anti-Jewish hatred and Holocaust denial is one thing, but threats of nuclear missiles are another.

The government of the United States, its military, and its intelligence officers are without doubt making plans to strike Iran -- and understandably so. Does this mean they will strike Iran, no. But they must prepare to respond to a vicious and openly threatening nation, which may develop the capacity to cause global havoc.

So this begs the question, if the US (or Israel) makes a preemptive strike against Iran to destroy their nuclear reactors, what will be the fate of the 30,000 Jews who live there?
The consequence of a preemptive salvo against Iran would set the Muslim world ablaze. Jews living in Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and other countries would become targets of angry Muslim crowds that have been indoctrinated, since birth, to blindly hate the Jews as part of their social and sacred responsibilities.

According to the Nessah Cultural Center, a Persian Jewish center in Beverly Hills, California, the remaining 30,000 Jews of Iran are officially allowed to leave, but it is a difficult process. Jews who apply for a passport to travel abroad are immediately put under surveillance. With the world eyes upon Iran, there is no telling how this may alter the existing difficult emigration policy in coming months. In the past, while Iranian Jews were allowed to leave, they could only do so individually (not as a family) to prevent mass flight. In 1998, Jewish businessman Ruhollah Kakhodah-Zadeh was murdered in an Iranian prison, without a public charge or legal proceeding, apparently for assisting Jews to emigrate.

The Jews have been in Iran (Persia) for thousands of years, long before Islam existed. Persian Jewish history is a proud history, and while many call for them to leave, it is not easy to leave from a place you call home for thousands of years.

Because of political situations in our present day, Jewish organizations must be cognizant that the Islamic seat of power at Tehran may see a renewed call for Iranian Jews to emigrate as an offensive gesture. This may jeopardize the existing peaceful status of the Jews in Iran. Nonetheless, the US State Department and all countries should be monitoring the situation very carefully for any changes or developing needs. The Israeli government, the United States government, and all peace loving countries, must be immediately ready to open their doors to the Jews of Iran (and other Islamic countries) if the situation deteriorates.