[Marxism] The Jews and the Baha'i in Iran
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Aug 4 11:04:32 MDT 2007
There’s an article in the August 3rd Counterpunch by Jonathan Cook that
makes a number of excellent points about the status of Jews in Iran.
Since the neoconservatives in Washington and their Zionist allies are
distorting Ahmadinejad’s statements on Israel as a threat to exterminate
Jews in Iran, it is imperative that the truth come out.
To Cook’s credit, he makes no attempt to whitewash the Iranian government:
As one of several non-Muslim minorities in Iran, Jews there suffer
discrimination, but they are certainly no worse off than the one million
Palestinian citizens of Israel — and far better off than Palestinians
under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.
Iranian Jews have little influence on decision-making and are not
allowed to hold senior posts in the army or bureaucracy.
Despite these limitations, Jews enjoy a fairly trouble-free existence in
Iran. Cook writes:
They have an elected representative in parliament, they practice
their religion openly in synagogues, their charities are funded by the
Jewish diaspora, and they can travel freely, including to Israel. In
Tehran there are six kosher butchers and about 30 synagogues.
Ahmadinejad’s office recently made a donation to a Jewish hospital in
These points are absolutely necessary to be made, but there are still
some troubling aspects to the status of Jews in Iran, no doubt reflected
by emigration statistics. In 1979, there were 80,000 Jews in Iran but
today there are only 20,000. That is a mass exodus that needs to be
analyzed. To some extent, it can be explained by the privileged material
status of Jews, who were primarily bourgeois and petty-bourgeois. Like
many other Iranians, particularly those with ties to the Shah, the felt
that their class interests were being threatened and emigrated to Israel
or to the United States, where many settled in Los Angeles, along with
tens of thousands of non-Jewish Iranians.
More information about the Marxism