Iranian Jews protest Gaza 'slaughter'

Jewish leaders reportedly deplore "Israeli crimes" while expressing support for "Palestinian nation."

gaza anti-israel iranian jews 248 88 (photo credit: AP)
gaza anti-israel iranian jews 248 88
(photo credit: AP)
Different groups representing Iran's Jewish community on Tuesday gathered in front of the United Nations office in Teheran in order to protest "Israeli war crimes and the slaughter of the innocent people in Gaza Strip," the Iranian IRNA news agency reported. The protesters, led by the Jewish representative in Parliament, Siamak Mara-Sedq, carried placards with anti-Israel slogans in both Farsi and Hebrew, the report said. "We are here to express our support and sympathy with the Palestinian nation," Rahmatollah Rafi, the chairman of Iran's Jewish community was quoted as saying at the rally. Hinting mainly at Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the report said that Rafi went on to criticize "certain Arab governments for their inaction and silence towards Israeli inhuman acts and war crimes in Gaza and the entire Palestinian territories." Separately, IRNA reported that in a Tuesday speech to the Iranian parliament Mara-Sedq "expressed shock" over the "savage acts" perpetrated by "the Tel Aviv regime." The report said that the Jewish MP "expressed hope that all the peace-loving nations and the true advocates of human rights would thoroughly support the defenseless Palestinian people and make Israel stop the genocide in the region by exerting pressure on Tel Aviv." He also reportedly gave voice to the "hatred" the Iranian Jewish Community harbors towards "the Israeli crimes." According to the report, Mara-Sedq's remarks elicited a chorus of anti-Israel and anti-US slogans from members of parliament. Iranian Jewish leaders are often quoted as having given voice to extreme anti-Israel views, but it is unclear whether these opinions are imposed upon them by the regime. Some 25,000 Jews live in Iran.