Netanyahu Distorting History about Iranian Jews

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Haroun Yashayaei
Jewish Cultural Activist

During his recent address to the US Congress, the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu told a story from the Book of Esther in order to foment Iranophobia among the American lawmakers. In his story, he told them about a plot which had been hatched during the Achaemenid rule in Iran with the main goal of paving the way for the massacre of the Iranian Jews. Benjamin Netanyahu told the story in such a way that as if such a horrendous incident had actually taken place in the history of Iran and many Jews have been slaughtered by Iranians. In reality, however, the story is not only undocumented, but it is actually not about the massacre of the Jews. It is, however, about the plot worked out by an Iranian minister at the royal court against the Jews, which is finally discovered and his plot is thwarted by the Iranian king, Xerxes. Even the people of a Jewish tribe living in Iran were later allowed to take part in the punishment of those people who had been conspiring against them.

Of course, this story has not been mentioned in Torah and, basically, the Book of Esther is not among the original sources of the Jews. The story lacks authenticity among the Jews and is not considered credible. Apart from that, Netanyahu told the story in such a way that as if Iranians have been enemies of the Jews. Netanyahu is not in a position to tell and interpret a religious story. He is just trying to find new excuses to brew brand-new chaos in the region. Of course, in an interview with the BBC, it seemed that he was trying to somehow go back on his earlier claim.

Throughout history, Jews have held Iran and Iranians in high respect and have been grateful to them. In the books attributed to later Jewish prophets, Cyrus the Great has been mentioned and named as Messiah. In addition to the fact that Cyrus was the king who liberated the Jews from the oppression and tyranny of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, Iranians also greatly helped the European Jews during the World War II. Iranian diplomats and ambassadors to European countries, especially in France, saved many Jews from the persecution by the Nazis and helped them to leave Europe. In recent history and following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Jews have continued their peaceful coexistence along with their Iranian compatriots. Following the World War II there were revolutions and military coup d’états in many regional countries like Egypt, Libya and Iraq, and Jews had to leave all those countries. In Iran, however, Jews continued to live in the country. This is a good sign of the lofty Iranian culture as well as the tolerance and peacefulness of the Iranian news.

What Netanyahu said during his address to the US Congress lacked any value both in religious and historical terms. He simply tried to take political advantage in favor of his own goals and plans from distorted version of a religious narration, which in itself lacks credibility.

Key Words: Netanyahu, Distorting History, Iranian Jews, Book of Esther, World War II, Yashayaei

Source: Iran Newspaper
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

Link for Further Reading:

*Iran's Jewish community in Esfahan: We 'feel at home':

*Photo Credit: BBC

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