Iranian soap opera ‘flips facts on Holocaust’

Iranian Jews in the USA who have analysed a popular Persian-language drama on Iranian state-run television dealing with the Holocaust conclude that the show contains anti-Semitic and anti-Israel themes, Karmel Melamed writes in The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.

“News publications, including The Wall Street Journal, have hailed the new show, “Zero Degree Turn” as sympathetic to the plight of Jews during the Shoah, but Jewish experts fluent in Persian have analyzed the program more closely and have come to a different conclusion.

“This TV program lists in its credits a man named Abdollah Shabazi, who was an ideological strategist for the Iranian government, and he gave this idea to make this propaganda film to show that Iranians are ‘good with the Jews,'” said Bijan Khalili, a Los Angeles-based Iranian Jewish activist and Persian-language book publisher. “But in reality, this man is the author of many anti-Semitic and anti-Bahai [Persian-language] books.”

“The show focuses on an Iranian Palestinian Muslim man who, over the course of 22 episodes, helps his French Jewish lover and her family escape Nazi-occupied France by providing them with forged passports. Khalili and other L.A.-area Iranian Jews say the program is laced with blatant historical inaccuracies and messages of hate for Jews and Zionists.

“One of the objectives of this program is to show that Jews are corrupt, because they are shown as both giving bribes and accepting bribes,” Khalili said. The story includes a character called Homayoun Talab, an Iranian diplomat, who accepts bribes in order to provide false papers to Jews.”

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