Iran Top Rabbi: Israel Supporters Not Jewish

Story ByLee Bullen, Sub EditorJoseph Golder, AgencyNewsflash

Iran’s Jewish community leader has slammed Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the occasion of Iran’s anti-Israel day.

With the open hostility between Iran and Israel, it is often overlooked that there is a Jewish community in Iran that numbers around 8,000.

Many of them, however, reportedly live in fear of being harassed or accused of being a spy, and to help defuse tensions, prominent figures in the Jewish community occasionally issue anti-Israel statements that match the regime’s agenda, such as this latest statement made on Quds Day.

Newsflash

Quds Day is an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan that was started in the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 to express support for Palestinians and oppose Zionism and Israel.

Rabbi Yehuda Gerami, head rabbi of the Jewish community in Iran, said in the statement addressed to the Israeli Premier: “You don’t represent Judaism.”

In a TV interview in the Iranian capital Tehran, the rabbi said: “We Iranian Jews want to send this message to Zionists and primarily to Netanyahu. Understand that you Zionists do not represent Judaism or the Jewish people.

Newsflash

“You represent only the idea of a political movement with ideas and values that run counter to the ideas and values of our sacred teachings and the Jewish religion.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently justified comments calling for Israel to be eliminated.

On 24th May, the official Twitter account of the leader’s website said: “The enemies misinterpret the Islamic Republic’s idea of “eliminating Israel”. Eliminating Israel does not mean eliminating Jewish people.

“We are not #Antisemitic; Jews live in peace in Iran. Eliminating Israel represents elimination of the imposed Zionist regime.”

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