Friday, January 18, 2013

Mythbusting: Iranian Jews

We haven't done one of these in a while, so here's a quick one. In their efforts to promote Iran as the greatest place around (because it doesn't like the USA and Israel), the Huffington Post anti-Zionists sometimes try to claim that the Jewish community there prefers to live there instead of Israel, the Jewish homeland. Here is an example just so you know that I am not strawmanning:


This makes it sound as if there is a massive Jewish community in Iran and always has been for the past three thousand years. Unfortunately, a simple check on Wikipedia reveals something other than the truth.

What do you think is the most popular country for Persian Jews (i.e. Jews from Iran and their descendants) to live in? If you thought Iran, sorry, it's actually Israel. Somewhere between two hundred thousand and two hundred Persian Jews live there, followed by the USA in which sixty to eighty thousand live. In Iran itself there are 8,756 according to a recent poll. Eighty percent of the Iranian Jewish community left after the 1979 Islamic revolution. So indeed, it sure sounds to me like Iranian Jews have voted with their feet about where they prefer to live. And where they prefer to live is Israel.

Now it is true that in 2007 some charities offered the remaining Iranian Jews money in order to emigrate to ?Israel, and although most of them didn't take it, forty did. And while I'm sure our Iran apologists like the user above would claim that it is because life for Jews there is so comfortable, Iranian-American activist Sam Kermanian says otherwise. He points out that the community is graying and only speak Persian, which is not a national language of Israel. Furthermore, Iran restricts whole families immigrating, only individuals are allowed to. That combined with the fact that people don't generally like leaving where they are and the normal difficulty of immigration, it's no surprise that the remaining Jews don't want to leave. 

What isn't up for discussion, though, is that the Iranian regime is anti-Semitic. Just look at their Holocaust denial conferences if you don't believe that.

So this just goes to show how easy it is to bust an anti-Zionist lie. Never take anything they say for granted, because most of the time it's either half true or all false.

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