January 27, 2013

Iranians And Jews Have A Shared History That No Catastrophe Will Erase

"It can rightly be said that the Jewish diaspora, spanning twenty-seven centuries, begins in Iran. In fact, it has been argued that Iran is second only to Israel in historical importance for the Jews. The religious and cultural tradition now known as Judaism underwent one of its most radical transformations as a result of contact with Iranians. This influence, which is felt in the later development of Christianity and Islam, reverberates throughout the cultures of more than half the world today." - Richard C. Foltz. "Spirituality in the Land of the Noble: How Iran Shaped the World's Religions." 2004. Oneworld Publications: Oxford. Pg. 45.
Iranians and Jews have a common bond and a shared history that no catastrophe will erase.

It should always be remembered that the current confrontation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and USrael is a temporary thing and not reflective of eternal hostilities between Iranians and Jews. If the confrontation enters a new and tragic dimension the Iranian response shouldn't be anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism.

The same non-racist thinking should guide American and Western public opinion about the Muslim world. Anti-Muslim bigotry in America is relatively minor and this is a good reason to be hopeful about the course that American culture is taking in this century.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about Israel, where racist views of Arabs and Muslims dominate public discourse. Right-wing leaders enjoy widespread popular support and have triumphed in the recent election. Journalist Max Blumenthal spoke about the election and "the ethnic and religious bigotry than permeates Israel," on the Scott Horton radio show (Source: Scott Horton radio show).