Sunday, April 22, 2007

Protesting Iran

Given the negative posts that I've written about the behavior of the Iranian regime and its president, you might think that I'd be in favor of kicking it out of the UN, as called for by a recent protest (April 17) at the United Nations organized by Rabbi Avi Weiss and his organization Amcha. Steg attended the demonstration and provides a detailed account and lots of photographs. I feel ambivalent, however, because I've been reading a couple of Iranian blogs - one written by Esther, an American woman married to an Iranian and now living in Tehran (View from Iran) and another written by Arash, an Iranian who is now studying in Canada (Kamangir). Both of them are quite critical of the regime (perhaps Arash is more critical), but they both obviously love the country. I despise the Iranian regime, and think that it is a threat to Israel, especially if they manage to make nuclear weapons, but I'm not sure that calling for throwing Iran out of the UN is really a worthwhile demand. For one thing, it's not going to happen. For another thing, why should this just be identified as a Jewish issue? For another thing, I wish that the demonstrators had made it clear that they're not interested in the U.S. going to war against Iran.

The thing is that when I read Esther's and Arash's blogs, I stop thinking of Iranians as a monolithic mass, and start thinking of individual Iranians that I might really like, and who are and who will be harmed by sanctions against Iran (which Hillel is calling for - see this news release on their website - Iran Petition). There are already sanctions against Iran imposed by the U.N. because of the intransigence of the regime about their nuclear program - and of course they will hurt the ordinary people of Iran and not the members of the regime. So I'm very ambivalent about them, since I'm starting to think of people whose writings I enjoy being injured by them, not just an undifferentiated mass of people who are an "enemy."

7 comments:

  1. Protesting Iran will not help. Any thing the UN does will NOT help modernize Iran. Throwing it out of the UN will do nothing but make things worse for Western countrys. We must put a stop to this right now before its to late if we keep ignoring the problem things will get much worse. What im trying to say is that we must attack Iran rigt now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And how will that help? How many American troops will we then send to Iran? Don't you think that if the U.S. attacks Iran, then it won't just mobilize all the Iranians who also don't like their regime into supporting it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi

    Please consider writing news pieces or an op-ed for Jewrusalem: Israeli Uncensored News. We strive to present different views and opinions while rejecting political correctness. Ideally, we try to make the news "smart and funny." Thus, your input is very welcome.

    Best,
    Alex
    www.jewrusalem.net/en

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Rebecca,
    I share your sentiments about this particular protest. But I think the UN sanctions that are in place now actually hurt members of the elite more than ordinary people - surely a good thing. A lot of the measures adopted most recently focus on key companies and individuals in the government - i.e., the bank accounts of quite wealthy people are being frozen, among other things.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Amos, I wasn't aware of that - that's a good idea, then.

    ReplyDelete