Esther, Mordecai and anti-Semitic propaganda in Iran

Jews in Iran enjoy freedom of worship and trade, are represented in parliament, and generally live in peace with their non-Jewish neighbors. However, every year around Purim, anti-Semitic elements spread a distorted version of the story of Esther on the web, calling it “The Iranian Holocaust.” Here are some samples.

According to Maariv, two Jewish boys were arrested last week in Tehran for writing a “Death to Haman” graffiti. According to reports, the authorities realized it was just a prank, but have not released the youth yet.

Why arrest a person for writing “death to Haman”? Haman is dead already, and he wasn’t even Jewish! Agag was the king of Amalek, and Amalek was Esau’s grandson. Thus, Haman was a Semite too.

The official stance of the Islamic Republic is anti-Zionist, but tolerant toward non-Zionist Jews. However, anti-Semitic propaganda based on the Book of Esther gains more and more popularity every year, and even some Jewish-friendly people believe it, they just think it’s very far in the past, and is not as bad as what the Islam did to Iran in the 7th century CE and since 1979.

This is a video I translated for you (click cc for the captions). I chose it because it’s short. Most videos are longer and more elaborated. Watch and count the lies:

(Farvardin is the month parallel to Nisan. Its 13th day is the last day of the New Year festival, known as “Sizdah bedar” — “13 out.” On that day everyone goes out on picnics)

The death toll of the “Iranian Holocaust” is usually 77,000 (in the Bible it’s 75,810 and not only Iranians), but it can be higher. This image is from Mashregh News says:

Iranian Holocaust anti Semitic propaganda
Mashregh News. Small headline: “The holiday of Purim: the Jews dance in the Iranian Holocaust”. Main headline: “Sizdah Bedar is the day the Jews celebrate the massacre of 500,000 Iranians”


The article is quite long, so here is just the teaser:

What do you know of the holiday of Purim? Where and against whom did the Jews carry out the real Holocaust? Do you have any idea of the massacre of tens of thousands of Iranians by the hands of the Jews? Does the “Sizdah Bedar” day of Nowruz and going out of home has its roots in the massacre of the ancient Iranians? Come join Mashregh news in its report of the dancing of the Zionists in the anniversary of the massacre of the Iranians.

This is my own call for action: As a bridge builder between these two nations, I want to educate the brainwashed – give them the information they have never been exposed to. This is how:

If you would like to see samples from my book in order to see how I can use each one as an excuse to educate about the other, here is a sample of The Book of Esther Unmasked in English and here’s The Book of Esther Unmasked in Hebrew.

About the Author
Thamar E. Gindin holds a Ph.D. in Iranian Linguistics. She is a lecturer, teacher and researcher, and author of The good, the Bad and the World, a Journey to Pre-Islamic Iran (Hebrew), and The Book of Esther Unmasked (Hebrew, soon English and Persian). Photo: Tom Langford