Iran and Israel and children of Ester:
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an Article against an Iranian singer who was on a tour in the US and posted it on an Iranian blog. It was my first experience with Iranian blogs. My writing was harsh .I had criticized that singer (who is a crony of current Iranian government) as well as his type of singing .I had mentioned that while people are dying on the streets of Tehran for freedom, a concert on Islamic mysticism (Sufism) is the last thing we need. The response to my article was astonishing. Many people criticized, attacked and insulted me .Of course that was not a problem, I know how to debate, the interesting phenomenon was the fact that many of them referred to me as an agent of Israel or under the influence of Israeli propaganda. This was a new experience in my life and showed me how the Iranian government deals with voices of decent . If you are not supportive of Ahmadinegad then you are an agent of Israel. I decided that if I am going to be branded as a "traitor", then it is time to go ahead and pour my heart out on this issue and irritate everybody at the same time.
Growing up with Yahoodies
Growing up in Iran I had some Iranian Jewish friends, we called them Yahoodi. During high school years there were a couple of Yahoodies in every school. Over all we were good friends, there was not any significant conflict, except when there was a soccer match between Iran and Israel (At that time Iran and Israel were the two Asian countries with the best soccer teams). During those years Iran and Israel had several common enemies, Their leader was the Egyptian president "Nasser" .He was a pain in the neck .He would make irritating remarks like : "breakfast in Tel Aviv and Lunch in Ahwaz". His illusion was to conquer Israel in the morning and take over the cities of oil fields of Iran in the afternoon. Ironically all Arabic countries were supporting him too; even King Husain of Jordon who was the Shah's personal friend was among the same gang. Obviously when Israel kicked the hell out of Nasser most Iranians had a moment of relief except the religious bunch who have always been a pain anyway. The Shah returned the favor by selling oil to Israel and let them to open a small embassy in Tehran.
History of Children of Ester
The history of Iranian Jews is old and full of ups and downs. They came to Iran about 2500 years ago .That was when Cyrus the Great freed them from the hands of the Assyrians and the Babylons. He wrote the first bill of human rights, which is currently available in the British museum. Although most of the Jewish tribes went back to Israel some of them dispersed around Iran. At a second occasion when the Romans destroyed their temple several of the tribes came to Iran and settled in different locations. The interesting fact about Iranian Jews is that they are the only group of people who can actually document their residence in Iran for 2500 years, I do not know of any other group or tribe who can so precisely prove that they are as old of an Iranian as they are. Since the story of Ester and & Mardecai happened in that time period in Iran, most of them refer to themselves as children of Ester, The Tomb of Esther & Mardecai is in Hamedan and the grave site of the Daniel the prophet is in Shush (Susa).
The plight of the Yahoodies in Iran like any other minority has been problematic, There are many stories of anti Semitic feelings and mistreatments of Yahoodies ,however, they were not mistreated as badly as what they went through in Europe. In recent history the best period for them was during the reign of the Mohammad Reza Shah 1953-1979 , and they received the worst mistreatments from the 1979 revolution to now .They have been systematically chased out of the country by Khomeini's zealots. Their population shrunk from 150000 to less than 30000. This event also set the precedent that 2500 years of residence in the country is less valuable than being a Shiite. Most of the Iranian Yahoodies ended up in Israel, Australia and the US. A large group of Iranian Jews lived in the city of Shiraz, and some of them owned wineries, the wine from city of Shiraz is quite famous. Rumor has it that some of the Iranian Jews took the wine tree of Shiraz to Australia and that is the bottles of Shiraz come from.
Khomeini and Ahmadinegad's beef with Israel:
The current part of Iranian history is embarrassing and difficult to digest. It all began with Khomeini's prejudices. He did not like the minorities, he did not like Muslims who were not Shiite, he did not like any body who did not think like him completely, and he killed many people, from prostitutes to drug dealers to liberals to communists to devout Shiites who criticized any thing about him. In such an environment there was no room for Jews. He hated Israel; however he wanted Israel to be destroyed. Ironically, when Saddam Hossein attacked Iran in 1980 Khomeini authorized the purchase of spare parts and jet fuel from Israel .It should be noted that the first foreign dignitary to step in Iran after the departure of the Shah was Yasser Arafat. When the war between Iran and Iraq broke out in 1980, all Arabic countries and Arafat sided with Iraq .The only countries which helped Iran were Israel and Syria (politics make strange bed fellows).In 1986 when Ronald Regan wanted to get Iranian help to free the American hostages in Lebanon he sent Oliver north and McFarlane to Iran with a bible and a cake, they traded armaments for hostages with Israeli intermediaries .This event blow up to make the Iran Contra affair. For last couple of decades The Islamic Republic and Israel have been on each others throat. Israel does not like Iran's support of the Hezbollah and Iran does not like Israel's close proximity with the US. However this was reasonably tolerable until Ahmadinejad showed up in the picture. Although Iranian presidents do not have much of a power. Ahmadinegad used his title to sound more important than he actually was. Traditionally Iranian president were picked by the Ayatollahs as an answer to American presidents. Therefore ,during those years that Ronald Reagan and Bush senior were the presidents of the US , their counter part in Iran was the slick ayatollah Rafsanjani, when there was a more moderate president like Clinton in power, there was ayatollah Khatami who tried very hard to normalize the relationship between two countries. And when George Bush showed up, they replaced Khatami with Ahmadinegad who was as ugly and as crazy as the guy from North Korea. Ahmadinegad began to pick a fight with Israel right away, although this fight seemed so unnecessary (Iran does not have any borders with Israel), never the less he continued with his outrageous rants. The easiest way for him to irritate the US and Israel was to deny the existence of the holocaust. If he really believed in his denial of the holocaust is of little value. It obviously has a lot of pay offs for him and his base and that is why he does not stop.
The pay offs In Iran:
(1)If one would disagree with any thing related to Islamic republic he was branded as an agent of Israel (the treatment that yours truly received last week). (2) Anybody who is not an agent of Israel but does not agree with Ahmadinegad, he is fooled by Israeli propaganda. (3) All people who are friends of Iranian government but want a change should be locked up and tortured because they are also agents of Israel.(4) All those people who want to reduce the tension between Iran and US are agents of Israel.(5) If the Iranian economy is bad it is all because of Israel
The pay offs Outside of Iran
(1)there is only one country who really cares about the plight of Palestinians and that is Iran .(2)There is only one group which did not loose a war to Israel and that was Hezbollah. (3)There is only one Muslim country which is gutsy enough to standup against the US and Israel and that is Iran.(4)There is only one independent Muslim country close to making the bomb and that is Iran.(5) If you want to be truly independent of imperialist , colonialist , communist Satan you must follow Iran.
What do majority of Iranian people think?The popular chant these days in Tehran is: "not Gaza, not Lebanon, I live and die for Iran"