Monday, February 23, 2009

Roger Cohen on Iran's Jews

Roger Cohen, one of the New York Time's conservative op-ed columnists, had a nice piece about Iran's Jews in yesterday's paper. Iranian political and religious leaders make a lot of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic comments, which make a lot of American and Israeli Jews fearful and angry. Yet it seems that the Jews who actually live in Iran basically blow off the rhetoric, and blame Israel for the recent Gaza invasion.

I'm not sure these Iranian Jews are sophisticated, as Cohen suggests, or naive. But either way, I think this is an interesting example of how our geographic neighborhood influences our seemingly objective interpretation of reality.

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11 comments:

YZF said...

Maybe they're neither sophisticated nor naive, just uninformed. It's not like Iran has any semblance of real freedom of the press, so we can't expect its Jews to get accurate reporting.

Sim said...

so two Jews in Iran said that they blame Israel. I agree with Yacov- do you think that Iranian television showed the part about katyushas hitting sederot? Or that every target was a known terrorist operation? Or how much the Israeli army warned civilians?

Anyhoos, these guys are not presenting an objective view at all as their nationalism is definitely a bias. Do you agree with the second one, who is unsure why they don't just give Ahmadinajad an H-bomb?

Samurai Scientist said...

@YZF,
It's not like Iran has any semblance of real freedom of the press, so we can't expect its Jews to get accurate reporting.

I'm sure they got word of the rockets :) Many people in the free world opposed bombing Gaza.

@Sim,
Anyhoos, these guys are not presenting an objective view at all as their nationalism is definitely a bias.

Bias was the point of my post.

Do you agree with the second one, who is unsure why they don't just give Ahmadinajad an H-bomb?

Well, my own opinion is that everyone should dismantle all their H-bombs and use the uranium to solve the energy crisis. So I guess my own bias also reflects the neighborhood in which I live.

DF said...

Honestly, what do you expect a few thousand Jews to say in a country filled with Muslim extremists? I'm guessing their reactions is a matter of safety and self-preservation. I can't blame them for that. I wonder if they'd risk admitting that a holocaust happened.

DF said...

"[T]here reactions are" that is.

DF said...

"[T]heir reactions are" that is. Man, my brain is having trouble today.

Dave L said...

You are right, Iran’s Jews probably make statements against Israel because of they have come to that conclusion because of the democratic environment that they live in. I mean, it’s not like Iran jails people who write unauthorized blogs or controls the media. I’m sure that the fact that Jews were put into solitary confinement until they “confessed” to spying for Israel plays no role in the decision to not stand up for Israel. After all, those imprisoned Jews had security-sensitive jobs like shoe salesman. Imagine if Al Bundy was sold all the important state secrets that he knew to the Russians, I know that we would do the same thing to him.

Iran is such a democratic country, that it values freedom of speech such as no other country on the planet. When no other land would host a conference considering whether the Holocaust was a ploy by those greedy, hook-nosed Jews to squeeze more money out of the world, Iran had the courage to hold the debate. While the USA only allows people to publish cartoons that make fun of Hungarian Jews inhaling Zyklon B in Auschwitz and Polish Jewish babies being bayoneted for sport, Iran pays people to put out those cartoons.

So yes, it is this wonderful atmosphere of freedom in Iran that has led to its Jews criticizing Israel.

Dave L said...

Please excuse the extra “of” and “was” in my comment above. I had very little sleep last night and, unfortunately, there was no government censor in the US to correct my grammar (if only I had been in Iran…)

YZF said...

Dave, you totally crack me up!

therapydoc said...

What a great post, and in Samurai's defense, he did say that where you live affects how you think. Maybe it's time to move Samurai.

therapydoc said...

Chicago's nice. Come here! We'll teach you to cross country ski!

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