Hundreds of Israelis held a rally in solidarity with protesters in Iran on Saturday night, and following Tuesday's general election, one of the demonstration organizers on Thursday called on the new government to speak up against the oppression of the Iranian people.
"I request from the new government: Don't stay silent about the genocide in Iran, help anyway you can," Persian-Israeli community leader and former Persian TV broadcaster Shirly Shamsian told The Jerusalem Post.
"For what price is this silence?"Shirly Shamsian
Israelis speak out about violence in Iran
Shamsian said that for a nation that suffered from the Holocaust, Israelis could not remain silent.
The protest was held because "The world is silent," said Shamsian. "This is what is hurting them the most," she said, and the demonstration sought to show Iranians that they were not alone.
"This demonstration was particularly important to me because it shows that support is not exclusive to one community or demographic even within Israel," said writer and activist Emily Schrader, another event organizer. "This is an international movement in support of equality for women and in support of regime change in Iran. We were very proud and honored to have members of Knesset from the left and right together in solidarity, as well as leading academics and musicians. I hope it gives the people of Iran hope to continue their courageous fight."
"I request from the new government: Don't stay silent about the genocide in Iran, help anyway you can."Shirly Shamsian
Political support for Iranian protesters across the spectrum
The demonstration was attended by Israeli politicians such as MK Sharren Haskell, MK Ruth Wasserman, MK Mossi Raz, and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan Nahoum. Haskell had previously expressed support for the 'Women, Life, Freedom' movement when she cut her hair during a speech at an International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) event earlier in October.
Speeches and musical performances were held in Persian, English, Hebrew and Arabic.
"It was moving to take part in the only demonstration for the people of Iran in the Middle East with Arabs and Jews coming together to take a stand against the Iranian regime," Yoseph Hadad, whose NGO Together Vouch for Each Other sponsored the event, told The Post. "It's common knowledge that Iran threatens Israel but the truth is they are destroying and threatening the entire Arab world too, so this is really a shared cause. So we stand with the Iranian people hoping they succeed so they can one day visit Tel Aviv and we can visit Tehran."
"The Iranian citizens are not our enemy," Shamsian said of potential criticisms against the demonstration. She cited the historical connection between Jews and Iranians, both in the recent past prior to the Islamic Revolution and ancient history.
"I hope it gives the people of Iran hope to continue their courageous fight."Emily Schrader
"What is happening is genocide"
Anti-regime protests unfolded in Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Iranian Morality Police. The demonstrations for "women, life, freedom" — as some activists have taken to calling the movement — have faced violent repression by the regime.
"What is happening is genocide," said Shamsian. "They don't have weapons in their hands, they're not violent. And they're [Iranian regime authorities] shooting them."
Shamsian described to The Post how Iranian activists had been raped and beaten for minor transgressions against the regime's authority.
"For what price is this silence?" she said.