Thursday, May 18, 2006


"Israelis and Iranian and American we are all brothers."

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Hossein Derakhshan writes a blog called Editor: Myself in which he writes about Iran, events, news, pop culture, and technology. He was recently given a BBC News column in which he wrote about a trip to Israel, in which he attempted to do his part to change relations between Iran and Israel, who have had many ties in the past:

For me, an Iranian raised in post-revolutionary Iran, Israel has always had three great qualities: unknown, forbidden and therefore extremely intriguing. That's why I finally decided to visit Israel.

But unlike all Iranians who have visited Israel, I decided to publicise my visit to the 20,000 daily readers of my blog - even though I knew I would not be able to go back to Iran again.

Mr Derakhshan encountered many fellow Iranians and former Iranians in Israel, and was confronted by not only his misconceptions of Israel:

Having been born and raised in a religious, pro-revolution atmosphere in Tehran, like many others from my generation, I knew nothing about Israel except that they were "a declining group of Jews who constantly conspire to kill Muslim and forcefully capture their lands".

Most Iranians still believe all influential world institutions are secretly run by a small group of Zionist Jews (the Iranian regime doesn't usually make a distinction between Judaism and Zionism), who basically run the world. This includes CNN, The New York Times, Hollywood, the World Bank, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations.

But Israeli misconceptions about Iran:

On the other side, I could imagine how Israelis' perception of Iran was being formed by their own government, as a big country with millions of angry Muslims, all look-alikes of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, bent on destroying Israel with nuclear weapons.

I thought this [was] especially true of the young generation, who would not remember that 30 years ago, the then Shah of Iran was a close ally of Israel and the two countries used to exchange tens of thousands of tourists every year.

Commenters on his site had this to say:
I'm also an Iranian who works in Palestine, better to say the occupied territory. My encounter with Israelis have been quite different. I have seen the miseries they have caused and see almost everyday in every checkpoint i have to cross to get to work how they treat the Palestinians. So, please if you want to negate the biases that people have it does not help if you fall from one side to the other. Iranian regime is a dictatorship and it feeds people with false information but this does not make those Israelis who live in the occupied homes of Palestinians a saint.
-by ruzi

In my opinion people -who in fact are the victims of all this controversy- are driven by media and politicians to consider other people as their enemies only because of their different nationality or belief. Israelis and Iranian and American we are all brothers. Kain and Avél they are trying to make us.
-by Yannis Koromilas

you little zio hack. How were you able to go to Occupied Palestine and manage to avoid a single Palestinian? What happened to your honesty? The entie Palestinian population is being embargoed and starved and mr Hero manages to talk with the occupiers and never even mention the occupied.
-by rio

its necessary to overcome the blind antizionism from the "muslim" side. iranians can play an important role in that. karim, what you wrote is just one side.hostility and brutality not only came from the israelis. most of the arab states are violators of most human right conventions...not to talk of all the terrorist organizations which kill innocent civilians and call it "self defence". as long as so many people in the orient focus on israel/palestine as the key to all the problems in the region and only blame one side (the israelis) for everyhing, nothing will change there and the circle of violence will continue. the more israel is declined by its neighbours, the more they have to lean against the "west" and then israel is considered by the same people even more as a "crusader-state" oder "imperialist state", and so on. the solidarity with the palestinians often is false-faced and dishonest. most palestinians in the meantime have accepted the existence of israel while many of their apologists have not. a state with 20 000 square kilometres cannot be the root of all evil in the whole region... to hoder: i, as a person of iranian origin, have also been once in israel. sometimes it was not so pleasant, when i declared myself as (part-) iranian.i had-maybe like you-not only good experiences. but i learned also-probably just like you- a lot of sympathy, respect, interest.
-by admin

Thank you very much for your open minded work. I think all of us iranian that are outside Iran have a big responsibility against our younger iranian people living inside Iran. They must know the truce that Israel is really a friend of our people and the main enemies of our nation are the regim that abuse Islam and its power in arabic world and iran to reach their dirty aims. Long live Iran and Israel. We must clean our country of arab culture and make our real culture getting a new live!
-by asheghevatan

Yes, a nice article. Welldone. You mentioned that many Iranian bloggers and the Iranian media hadn't mentioned your visit to Israel. I think Iranian's want peace and want to enjoy their life without threats. People these days aren't as political as they were in the 70s as people are tiered of all the conflict. I'm not saying it's right, but just stating the impression I get when talking to friends and family.
-by Navid

I am an Israeli Jew of Iranian descent, living in the US. Although my maternal grandparents had to flee Iran in the 1950s, my mother still plays songs in Farsi, she cooks all the Persian dishes, she often invites Iranian friends to our house, both muslim and jewish, so that we can understand the type of culture her parents came from. My grandparents were only allowed to take two carpets with them when they fled, and we still have those carpets in our home. Fortunately, Israel was a great place for them to build their life and bring up children in a healthy positive environment. It is a shame that the situation is like how it is now, but I think it really is up to people in that part of the world, like Hossein Derakhshan, to really question their environment and decide what is acceptable and what is not, thats the first step.
-by Gal Gershoni

it might surprise you to know that we the persians were and still are the only country in the face of earth who had a jewish queen..esther....she is burried in hamadan...also we defended the jews as we should when dumb arabs were killing them as our father's father CYRUS the great we always one has to ask themselves what and why we became so weak to allow bunch of uneducated idiots all with arab origin rule on us and decide for our future??? answer ...we we gave up our way of life and our true religion ZOROASTRIAN faithand true persian copy and obey bunch of idiots who came with their camels from desert..ofcourse we ourselves are to blame also....mismanagement and corruption of few in pre-islamic government also is to what???? as long as iranians obey islam and ways of arab lifestyle there is no hope.....we must know ourselves first b4 we can understand were we are going... damn this life,damn this fate,damn this world...that arabs have to invade my home to force me to become muslim...
-by david

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