The mounting tension between Israel and Iran has now drawn the Islamic Republic’s chief rabbi into the fray, and not on the side of the Jewish state.
Rabbi Yehuda Gerami is the head rabbi of Iran’s remaining Jewish community. On the occasion of Quds Day, an annual anti-Israel fest put on by the ayatollahs, Rabbi Gerami was enlisted to issue the following televised statement to Israel in Hebrew:
“We Iranian Jews want to sent this message to the Zionists, and first and foremost to Netanyahu. Know that you Zionists do not represent Judaism and do not represent the Jewish people. You only represent the idea of a political movement whose ideas and values oppose the ideas and values of our holy Torah and the Jewish religion. We strongly condemn your aggressive actions and emphasize to the whole world: There is a big difference between Judaism and Zionism.”
Iran’s sole Jewish parliamentarian, Moreh Sedgh, also marked the hateful holiday by smearing the Jewish state as the “catastrophe of Zionism,” and calling on Jews around the world to rise up against Israel.
Such remarks from Jewish public figures in Iran are not uncommon. One might assume that they are simply too frightened to say anything else. And while perhaps Rabbi Gerami and MP Sedgh personally don’t like Israel, Iranian-born Israeli Jews say that the majority of the Jewish people who remain in Iran do love the Jewish state.
Rani Amrani operates Radio Ran, an Israeli station that broadcasts in Persian. In a recent interview with the ultra-Orthodox news portal Behadrei Haredim, he explained why those Jews who remain in Iran are so often seen opposing Israel:
“They are afraid of antisemitism and persecution. Many times during the Quds Day demonstrations, you Jews come out and protest against Israel because they fear being harassed if they don’t. They are in a situation where they must prove that they have nothing to do with Zionism.”
For more on how Iranians (not their hateful regime) really feel about Israel, see the following