Jewish and Persian Connections Mission

In response to statements emanating from the Middle East regarding nuclear threat to both the Jewish and Persian peoples, we seek to project an alternative voice on Jewish- Persian relations that disseminates knowledge about the historical and cultural ties between these two peoples, fosters friendship and openings for creative exchange, and contributes to the identity of adults and children of mixed Jewish and Persian ancestry.

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Please submit your personal writings on the following topics:
a) Relationships between Persians and Jews
b) Raising a Persian Jewish child
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D) Current Debate: Is the current conflict between Iran and Israel inherently tied into the Israeli- Palestinian conflict?

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Will Iranian 'friend of Israel' be dismissed?

Dudi Cohen. Y Net News. 08/14/08

Parliament members call on President Ahmadinejad to deal 'with severity' with his deputy who was quoted as saying Iranians are 'friends of all people in the world — even Israelis'
Parliament members call on President Ahmadinejad to deal 'with severity' with his deputy who was quoted as saying Iranians are 'friends of all people in the world — even Israelis'
Dudi Cohen

More than 200 Iranian parliament members slammed Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashai for stating that Iranians are 'friends of all people in the world — even Israelis.'

In a condemnation statement issued by the parliament members, they called on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to "deal with his deputy with severity" – in other words, to ensure that he is dismissed.

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"Mr. Mashai has no right to make such shameful remarks, and is not at the position to take such responsibility," the statement said. "It appears that Mr. Mashai is unaware of the fact that those who he refers to as a people are the ones occupying the homes of millions of Palestinians."

The statement noted that "these people created the illegitimate Zionist regime. We do not recognize a country called Israel, let alone its people."

Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, who is in charge of Iranian tourism affairs, is one of the closest people to Ahmadinejad and his daughter is even married to the Iranian president's son.

Speaking at a conference in Iran about a month ago, he deviated from the Tehran regime's official stance against Israel, saying that "no nation in the world is our enemy. Iran today is the friend of the people in the United States and in Israel."

A day later he denied saying the remarks, and in a press conference held earlier this week he claimed that he had referred to "the original Jews of Zionism, not those who immigrated there following the Zionist invasion."

In another attempt to prove his remarks, Mashai added that he would have said them again. "I said earlier that we have no hostility against the Israeli people and that I would have said the same thing again proudly," the vice president was quoted as saying by several newspapers in the country and on the Tourism Ministry's official website.

"Not all Israelis war military boots on the streets," he added.

Mashai's remarks were most likely a slip of the tongue by a senior Iranian official who did not bother to do his homework before his address.

Meanwhile, the Iranian president continued to give an example to his people by stating Wednesday that Western countries must stop supporting Israel and that "the life of the regime there has come to an end."

Now that the Iranian parliament has spoken, Ahmadinejad may be forced to make some difficult decisions and find another associate to act as his deputy.