Andrea Zanardo
The Zionist Rabbi your friends warned you about

Why your silence about Iran?

I have a question for my fellow Leftist Jews.

Those who obsessively retweet any thought of Peter Beinart and his wishes for the Jews to give up political self-determination. Those from places such as Long Island or North London are scolding the pro-democracy Israeli movement because “what about Palestine?”. Those who have in the past appeared in public together with Palestinian dignitaries but now fail to raise the topic of Abu Mazens’s antisemitism.
Today is the anniversary of the murder of Mahsa Amini. People are taking to the streets all over Iran, even in Tehran. More than 500 protesters have been killed by the Iranian police in the past twelve months.

Why are you silent?

Is it because Netanyahu frequently mentions the Iranian threat?

Is it because you believe Iran’s proxies, such as Hizbullah, have some reason. To put it bluntly, do you think they must be doing something good because they support the good guys -the Palestinians- against evil Israel?

Or is it because the Iranian protesters seem to have a favourable opinion about Israel, which makes you very uncomfortable?

Or maybe because the Iranians are protesting against an Islamist religious police, and you fear being labelled “Islamophobic”?

Or because, at the moment, it has become hard to sell the story of rosy coexistence between Muslims and Jews and to wish Israel to be replaced by some experiment of that kind. Well, that story has always been difficult to sell; the pogroms in Shiraz in 1910 and Mashad in 1839 were full-blown antisemitism. It’s hard to sell them as anti-Zionist demonstrations…

Yes, fellow Leftist Jews, your knowledge of Iranian Jewish history is a bit patchy; there are not so many Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews among your friends; guess why…
Nonetheless, I am really curious. I don’t remember you mentioning Iran when you list everything that in the Middle East troubles your conscience.

Is it not Tikkun Olam wishing for the end of the Iranian theocracy?

Is the blood of Iranian women less red than the blood of, say, the Palestinians? Because you talk a lot about the Palestinians…

Mine, you see, is a genuine question. I want to take you seriously when you say you want peace in the Middle East.

Four days ago, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander-in-chief, Hossein Salami, addressed his thugs, warning that the situation was dire and that the regime could collapse within a year.

I genuinely hope he’s right. And when the regime falls, Iranian women will be free to walk bareheaded, and the wind of freedom will blow all over Iran; I really wish you would have something better to say than, “Oh, I was busy protesting against the settlements”.

Your silence of today will be your shame tomorrow.

About the Author
Italian by birth, Israeli by choice, Rabbi of the largest synagogue in Sussex (UK). Uncompromising Zionist.
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