Persian-Israelis defy ban to reach out to Iranians

Persian Jews in Israel have been keeping channels open with people in Iran, as demonstrated by a Voice of America  documentary series made in 2017. Now the series has  been posted online. This week, i24 News reports that a delegation of American Iranians are visiting Israel to demonstrate their solidarity:  (with thanks – Lily)

 

Broadcaster Menashe Amir surrounded by Persian memorabilia in his Israeli home


Amid long-standing and deepening tensions between Israel and Iran, some prominent Israelis with Persian roots have engaged in little-publicized contacts with Iran’s people and advocated for reviving the historic friendship between the two Mideast powers.

These Israelis are part of the world’s only Persian diaspora community located in a country that Iran’s Islamist rulers have banned their citizens from contacting. They spoke about their barrier-breaking conversations with Iran’s people and hopes for reconciliation as part of VOA’s Persians of Israel documentary series that was filmed in 2017 and published online Friday.

The Israelis featured in the series include veteran journalist Menashe Amir, who has been broadcasting to Iran in Farsi via radio and online for six decades; Rita, one of Israel’s most successful pop stars; Dorit Rabinyan, a novelist who has won international acclaim for writing about romances of young Persian women and a taboo-breaking Jewish-Muslim couple; and Dan Halutz, who led Israel’s military during two of its most challenging operations of the 2000s.

See i24 News Clip »

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This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

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