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Unintended consequences – Tablet magazine

Horror and Hope for Jewish Life in Post-Revolution in Iran - Tablet

This week, the Tablet examines the 40-year revolution in Iran


When the 1978 anti-Shah upheaval broke out, Iranian Jews have been naturally on each side of the revolutionary movement

Due to the increase in violence, many wounded protesters calling for the establishment of the Islamic Republic, present in a somewhat shocking place: the Sapir Hospital (Bimaristan-i Sapir), a Jewish hospital. In Tehran

8. September, 1978 Mass events broke out in Tehran. Shah sent a military to shoot reside ammunition among protesters.

"This Friday, Farangis Hasidim, headmaster, called me and told me they were bringing many sick," recollects Dr. Jalali, one of many oldest officials at Sapir Hospital at the moment. “I drove to the hospital, but Zhalah [avenue] was blocked, so I went foot and shot. … As a result of I was friendly with individuals in ambulance providers, almost 90 % of the injured came to the Sapir hospital, the place we handled all of them in four operating rooms. "

11. December 1978 One of many biggest demonstrations towards Shah occurred in Tehran. The newspapers referred to as it "the demonstration of millions" and it was a milestone within the wrestle towards Shah's regime. Jewish participation also sets data; In response to some sources, 5,000 Jews participated in these protests. The opposite scores have been a lot greater. Hushang, an extended-standing left-wing activist of the Jewish group and a member of the Jewish Leftist Activist Group (AJII), helped arrange an enormous Jewish appearance that day: “According to press reports, nearly 12,000 Jews took part in these protests that day, he says. "The Jewish religious leaders marched in the forefront and the rest of the Jews followed them and showed great solidarity with our Iranian compatriots." “From the first days of the revolution, we received considerable support from religious leaders. Hakham Yedidia Shofet, Hakham Uriel David, rabbi David Shofet, Hakham Yosef Hamadani Cohen and others attended and supported. … Other key figures were Parviz Yesha & # 39 ;, Aziz Daneshrad, Yaqq Barkhurdar, Hushang Melamed, Dr. Manuchihr Aliyasi and Farangis Hasidim, all played a major role, ”Hushang says. Based on him, the activities of AJII helped to scale back tensions between nearly all of Muslims and the Jewish minority. Nevertheless, all spiritual leaders who joined that day weren’t so cordial

. "My job was to convince Hakham Shofet to join us, get him into the picture," Mihrdad stated. “He was compassionate about this, however he felt a heavy heart. She didn't need to come and tell her that it was for the group and for security. We even discovered a rabbinical writing and a Halachan determination that says that if the group requires you to do so and you don't do it because that is your faith, but as a result of the choice can be locally's favor. So he stated he got here out. “

Shofet then took part in the early bookings, making him a singular case on this story. Loyalty to each Shah and the group meant lots to her. He got here the same day and afterwards, not because he felt that it will facilitate the mixing of the group into a wider society, but sought to protect the group in a rapidly changing actuality.

Habib's reminiscences of this demonstration help us to know the profound affect it had on the members: “We met the Darvazah-i dawlat synagogue in South Teheran and joined an important demonstration there. … Our indicators and songs have been: Mubarak of Yahudi-musalman dental tooth [Jewish-Muslims blessed solidarity]. It was so exciting, I couldn't cease crying.

At this time's reminders from Hakham Shofet agree:

In every place we stay, we must respect the bulk's opinion and accept and respect their management [not necessarily the elected or ruling leadership]. Because of this rule, today, we joined these individuals by marching in [the ninth day of the holy month of Muharram; in Shi’a tradition it symbolizes the day before the battle of Karbala and the preparations of Hossein] 19 Azar Mah 1357 [Dec. 9, 1978]. Muhandis Daneshrad and different members of the Jewish group [Anjuman] have been on my aspect. … It was constructive and galvanizing. Many Muslims, who led this nice march and have been answerable for it, warmly welcomed us, amongst them most of the clergymen in Shi.

This memory is fascinating, especially because he didn’t oppose Shah brazenly. Shofet has several accounts that commented positively on Shah's time as unprecedented for Iranian Jews and expressed his fears about an unsure future. In an interview, a type of who made Shofet becoming a member of the march stated that Shofet stated he would do it on behalf of the group, but he needed the march organizer to know that every Saturday he provided prayers for well being. He means it.

Muslim protesters greet the Jewish group by singing "Jewish brother, welcome, welcome" (baradar yahudi khush Amadi, khush Amadi). Alongside Madrasah's Alav, they sang: "The leadership of Khomeini is the foundation of national unity" (Rahbari-yi Khomeini asas-i vahdat i milli). “On that day,” Habib says, “All of us had tears of happiness. All of us supported democracy and freedom and the revolution. "

Though national unity was introduced in the demonstration, it was clear from past expertise that the protest didn’t finish peacefully. The employees at Sapir Hospital was properly prepared for the occasions in Tasu and Ashura. "This morning they called me Madrasah Alavista and asked me to keep all the staff and doctors for a day. I got 70 or 80% of the injured all over the city. this situation lasted for 72 hours, ”remembers Jalali. In turbulent months, Kurush-i Kabir Hospital, named after the Sapir Revolution, became one of the places where personal risks were reversed and revolutionized by the Revolution because of the Revolution. EVENT "Today was opened in sudden ways." I went to see a rebellion who arrived at the bullet's injury to his leg, and he was bleeding. I immediately took him to the operating room. I had not decided to treat her when another patient came and every minute more and more was hurt. The hospital staff felt for many hours on the front lines of the war zone. "

The hospital employees additionally had to cope with Shah's security officers who got here to seek out the rebels hidden:" Someday we heard an awesome noise from the hospital yard and I noticed countless individuals in uniform and peculiar clothes [that is, secret police] in search of rebels. … The 24-hour guards walked around the hospital, but we didn't hand them over to anyone. … Through the pay and Ashura, the whole hospital employees stayed within the hospital for over 24 hours. Hospital ambulances crossed the streets to select up wounded protesters and convey them to hospital for remedy.

Following these events, a Jewish group delegation arrived in Paris at the end of 1978 to satisfy Khomeini, the chief of the revolution. The silent function of this journey was to make it possible for the Jews were not thought-about revolutions, but as supporters of them. This assembly was the primary between the Jewish management and Khomein. Shortly thereafter, the hospital acquired its first recognition from Khomein: "For this reason [the humanitarian help] Imam Khomeini had sent a thank-you letter to the hospital director before returning to Iran, recognizing his help and support for the wounded revolutionaries," stated Dr. Siamak Moreh-Sedeq, one of many hospital leaders and present Jewish deputy within the Majlis interview . He described the help given to the revolutionaries and as soon as once more confirmed the story of the siege of Shah's military in 1978. The popularity of Khomeini isn’t a small efficiency.


During revolutionary events and revolutionary groups and Jews, there was a continuing effort to make a transparent distinction between the Jews. and Zionists. This is able to be a theme within the early revolutionary period, but even on the time of the protest there have been a number of occasions where revolutionary and non-revolutionary ways provided to inform the distinction.

1. September, 1978, a couple of days earlier than Black Friday, Yousef Kohan, then Majlis's Jewish consultant, and one other MEP Ahmad Bani-Ahmad met with a terrific-grandfather Muhammad Kazim Shari. The purpose of this assembly was to get a good Ayatollah to stop the arson towards the Jews, which was turning into an issue in some provinces in Iran. His memorial Kohan described his efforts:

Bani-Ahmad invited me on September 1, the afternoon of September 1, and stated, "Kohan! Put on your clothes and come to me right away. Import your documents with you. “That day, Bani-Ahmad was in danger because he was seriously opposed to Shah's regime. I took his secret location, one of his Azerbaijani home, and left immediately. Outside the house, there were a number of tough Azerbaijanis, and I could tell that they were armed. I asked Bani-Ahmad what was happening. "We need to go visit his Eminence Ayatollah Shari," he replied.

In any case, he was humbly knowledgeable of all things that day in Qum. At occasions it was inclined to declare that the Jewish life was protected until they have been Israeli representatives. Bani-Ahmad advisable that “although this is true, but by mentioning it, it causes the evildoers to take the desired Jewish life and declare that he was a representative of Israel. It might be higher if His Eminence had given a basic, unconditional and unambiguous command. “Most of the major international news businesses and correspondents had been continuously alerting the Shari Home in their home with their cameras as a result of that location was an Epicenter of Iranian politics, which was of curiosity to the world. That night time, Iranian radio and tv broadcasted this declaration from an awesome supply of emulation by Muslim Muslims:

. Iranian minorities have all the freedoms and rights of the Iranian individuals. However, based on the instruction of Islamic orders, the private rights of all residents of the world and even the human rights of enemies have been acknowledged. The spiritual minorities outlined in the Structure have been on the shoulders of the Iranian nation as far as I can keep in mind. They joined the individuals to all levels of the constitutional revolution. I’ll by no means accept the smallest menace or menace towards them in the identify of Islam. I personally contemplate such actions to be anti-Iranian and anti-Islamic conspiracy. We need to know that irresponsible individuals with sabotage duties are scattered and want to spread the seeds of hatred and injustice. "

Such a declaration of such a well-known spiritual leader, akin to Atathah Shari & # 39; atmadar, was a big achievement for the Jews as management and reality was the decisive second when Israel rose more typically as part of the anti-Shah slogans, and some Iranians could not separate Jews, Zionists. and the Israelis.

Later that month through the occasions On Black Friday, it was rumored that Shah used Israeli troopers to face demonstrators. This rumor, in fact, was not the inspiration, nevertheless it shortly turned a problem that required consideration from the Jewish management

2013 Documentary Before Revolution: An Unreadable Israeli Paradise, Nissim Levy, one of many safety officers of the Israeli Embassy, ​​reminds that when he was driving on the streets of Tehran just earlier than The last word victory of the Revolution, he saw graffiti who read: "Kill all Israelis – but do not harm the Jews." Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left for Iran. "Shah Raft" (The Shah to the left) reported the newspapers the subsequent day to luxurious crowds, and about two weeks later they introduced that Imam had arrived (Imamin amad). All major minority groups came to the airport to Ayatollah Khomeini again to Iran. The Jewish delegation co-ordinates its involvement with the outstanding chief of the second revolutionary motion, Al-Mohammad Bihisht

After the set up of the new system, the hospital had contradictions. Jalali says: "One night after the revolution, they called me to tell that a number of governing bodies came and changed the name of the hospital to Khusraw Golisurkh Hospital. "The left-wing member, Gol-isurkhi, was executed by Shah. It took us a very long time together with Parviz Yesha & # 39; to trade it with Dr. Sapir's hospital." Proof from people who acquired remedy in the hospital, collected newspapers, letters from clergymen to hospital in the course of the revolution and gave them in a big field. when the Jewish group retained the hospital's control and the government acknowledged the position of the hospital in the course of the revolution. acha kamocha; persian: Hamnow at ra mesl-i khodet mud base, and that is primarily a philosophy of this hospital because the founding of Sapir

Jews have been lively in all Iranian organizations comparable to Tudeh, and of course also in sectarians, especially in Jewish teams akin to AJII. Nevertheless, the Jews even participated virtually solely in Muslim organizations corresponding to Mujahid i Khalq (Iranian Mujahid). Mujahidin-i Khalqin was based by members of the intellectuals – engineers, docs, college college students, and the religious elites of nationalist opposition events. This organization used an interesting combination of Marxist and Islamist debate in the design of revolutionary ideology. Mujahid i Khalq was probably the most essential opposition organizations in the 1970s till the revolution.

One of many Jewish activists at Mujahid i Khalq was Edna Sabet. Sabet was born in 1955 to a Kermanshah family dwelling in Tehran. His household belonged to the middle class of the town, and lots of of his relations have been American educated engineers and industrialists. Through the years of theoretical Ariyamihr Technical University, Sabet turned politically lively and joined the underground group Paykar. He instantly turned a member of the Tehran Central Committee. In Paykar, he met Ghulam Husay's Salim Arun, who he married later. Aruni was a Muslim and was interested in Mujahid by Khalq. Soon he joined the organization and Sabet followed. They have been both vital activists in motion, and their stories have been extensively distributed amongst Tehran teams.

The Provisional Revolutionary Authorities Department prevented Mujahidin-i Khalq from collaborating in the April 1979 elections. Consequently, the group turned to the newly shaped authorities of the Islamic Republic. Iran's new revolutionary guards have been arrested (and even executed with out trial) by members of Mujahidin-i Khalq, who only fought towards Shah's oppressive regime simply a short while in the past. In 1981 Aruni was arrested, arrested, accused and executed within the infamous Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhal Courtroom. Sabet was arrested in a number of months.

The proof later confirmed that Sabet by no means met any courtroom costs. He was tortured in jail, but remained flexible and assured. He was executed on February 12, 1982, when he was solely 27 years previous. Mujahid's Khalq's companion good friend stated: “He was all that the new Islamic regime feared: a brave woman, a Jew, a left-wing fiercely fighting the core of the Islamic Republic.”

Sabet was one of the Jews who have been virtually solely members of the Muslim group. Despite his tragic ending, Sabet's story still describes a posh id and loyalty that is attribute of lots of his generations. His accession to the Mujahid i Khalq and the story of the Sapir Hospital in the course of the Revolution is an example of a violation of the normal frameworks of this group assimilation. These examples once more show that within the late 1970s most Iranian Jews favored their countrymen 's pursuits in their very own good or slender group interests.

The identical events, wars, philosophies, and ideologies that revolutionize the remainder of the world impressed the era born in Iran within the 1970s. It was a time when American college students have been preventing towards the Vietnam Conflict and Sartre and Michel Foucault inspired European students and supported the totally different objectives of third world id teams. While many nations skilled their first moments of independence, the local challenge of Iranian college students was to struggle the American-backed monarchy in Iran, and as an alternative set up a functioning socialist republic. In fact, such a republic can be based mostly on the ideals of egalitarian society through which spiritual or ethnic ties do not take part. So the promise was to create a multinational, pluralistic society in Iran.

The involvement of the Jews is explained by the extent of assimilation that they had achieved at this significant moment. Though their mother and father' era in the late 1960s and early 1970s spent their very own younger individuals on their approach out of ghetto and Jewish conventional life, in order that they might continue their schooling and careers in the personal and public sectors, their youngsters felt they had to struggle for his or her place as a marginal minority however slightly for the higher society in Iran. The Jewish id at this stage was the second element and attainable accession to the bigger social image of the Iranian minorities

Jewish members in scholar movements, both in Iran and abroad, belonged to the nationalist bourgeoisie at the moment, whether or not they acknowledged it or not. Their assimilation efforts have been fruitful, and Jewish culture and id have been just further markings that they carried and may need rooted them deeper into Iranian soil. On this context, we will start to know the creation of AJII, initiatives such as the Sapir Hospital through the Revolution, or the participation of the Jews in the revolutionary actions of Muslims. All of them symbolize the complete nationwide assortment, which is part of the AJII members' choice to recognize Iran's nationalism as Jews in the efforts of the Sapir Hospital to type a partnership for humanitarian assist (as soon as again, a number of the partners apparently supported Shah), and Sabet's option to embrace all the weather of Iranian and Islamic symbolism and rhetoric.

Nice participation in the demonstrations can result in nearly all of the Jewish population, regardless that they were not lively in the occasions resulting in the revolution, understood its inevitable victory and seized the opportunities and blessings it might convey to the group and its future of their residence nation.


Adapted between Iran and Zion: Jewish Historical past of the Twentieth Century Iran. Copyright © 2018 Leland Stanford Jr. University Board of Administrators. All rights reserved. Used with permission from Stanford University Press.

Read more about 40 years of the Iranian Revolution in the Particular Tablet Collection

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