Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky told The Jerusalem Post this week that the support of the free world is critical for those Iranians deciding whether they should take an active part in demonstrations.
“When there is a critical mass of people who say they don’t accept the regime, it falls; but for this, millions have to be ready to say that,” said Sharansky, who spent nine years in the Soviet gulag for his dissident and human-rights activities. “If the impression is that the government has a free hand to do what it wants, that the world will allow it to do what it wants, then it will keep people from crossing the line.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement in support of the Iranian protesters on Monday was the most widely watched video he has ever posted on Twitter, generating more than two million views, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday.
Netanyahu was among the first leaders of the free world to come out in support of the protesters, along with US President Donald Trump.
Sharansky praised Netanyahu for coming out with the video. He said its importance was less that it would influence people inside of Iran to take to the streets, but more that it may influence and create pressure on other world leaders to take a stand.
Not only was the short video seen by millions, it generated thousands of responses, many of them in Farsi, and many of those supportive of Netanyahu and Israel.
A random reading of the responses, however, showed that many of the supportive responses in Farsi were from Iranians living abroad.
For instance, Taj Mohammad Haussaini, who wrote “Long Live Israel,” lives in Sweden.
One man, Ali Chaharbaghi, wrote that if Netanyahu cared for the Iranian people as he said he does, “then provide them with arms, because you know [the] regime sooner or later will start to make streams of blood of people. The only way people can succeed, is to answer the fire with fire.”
He lives in North Laurel, Maryland.
Another man, Faramarz Peiravi, who lives in Flowery Branch, Florida, said the best way for Israel to support the Iranians would be to “put more pressure on fighters in Syria and Iraq so they can’t be deployed to Iran to shut down the protests like in 2009! If we get rid of this regime, everybody wins against all terrorists in the whole Middle East.”
A number of responses called on Israel to help the Iranians secure an Internet connection or anti-filtering programs. For instance, Leila Kyani wrote: “Well instead of sitting there and just talking, you got to find a way to at least provide the Iranian people with satellite Internet so the world can hear their voice!” The responses also included a fair share of curses and invective directed at Netanyahu and Israel.