Friday, February 17, 2006

Haroun Yashayaei

I am going to have another go at the cartoon controversies soon, hopefully picking up, at some point, with elements that my friend P articulated and trying to further enunciate some of our differences. Today, I wanted to draw your attention in particular to an individual you should become familiar with.

Mr. Yashayaei is the Chairman of Iran’s Jewish Council. In a sharply worded letter, he has criticized Ahamadi Nejad’s vulgar denials of Holocaust as strongly as I have seen anywhere while expressing shock and fear. There is no full translation of his letter yet. The Farsi text for those who read the language.

Mr. Yashayaei’s thoughts on The past and future of Jewish private schools in Iran.

Some background on the controversies that surround him and the growing unease in/about the Iranian Jewish community.

The following excerpts (quickly translated) give us a sense for the revulsion and the tone given the obvious pressures the gentleman lives under:

“Mr. President:

Beyond a doubt, the Second World War caused the annihilation of 50 million people globally; what’s the significance whether six million or one million out of the fifty are Jewish? In your opinion, doesn’t the denial of the slaughter of the Jews get us closer to the slight of rights and bloods of 50 million human beings?

Mr. President

The Holocaust is not a myth and continues to remain a festering wound on Western Civilization. Be worried that the Neo Nazi advance guards in Europe today who set the houses of blacks on fire and raid the Muslim neighborhoods might be preparing snare just as horrifying as the Holocaust.

Mr. President

Organizing numerous Holocaust denial conferences and announcing pre-determined findings will have no fruits for the people of Iran, the Palestinians nor the Muslims globally. It will only serve to sooth the racists.”

One blogger’s moving reactions to Ahmadi Nejad’s shamelessness here and here and her loathing for the Islamic Republic.

In other news, an Oxford Research Group report, Iran: Consequences of a War.

The most recent French statement on Iran’s nuclear ambitions; Russian’s take and their conditions, as well as the report of some huge oil deal between China and Iran.

Iran’s demand for the British withdrawal from Basra!

And the recently released pictures of the obscenities in Abu Ghuraib.


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