The Spirit of Israel Lives On

By Amil Imani

Sixty-two years ago, May 14, 1948, was the rebirth of one of the oldest nations in history, Israel. She is a unique and diverse Jewish state with a young viable democracy, in an unstable region. The circumstances surrounding Israel’s re-birth was anything but simple. Regrettably, Israel’s journey from her early beginning to the present has been fraught with great suffering. It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people that they persisted in their valiant struggle to re-gather again in the land of their birth. Some even go as far as saying that Israel’s renaissance — after 2,000 years or so– was nothing short of miraculous.

The rebirth of Israel, in reality, is a culmination of thousands of years of gestation during which the Jewish people, dispersed throughout much of the world, endured immense degrees and varieties of suffering. The Nazi murderers and their collaborators capped the crimes committed against the Jewish people by brutally slaughtering six million innocent men, women and children.

When we delve into history books, we can hardly find people or countries that have gone out of existence for as long as 2,000 years and then reappeared and been reborn. Thus, it is indeed accurate to say that the rebirth of this beautiful culture, people and the land was truly a miracle.

In the ancient days, a noble and just Persian king, Cyrus the Great, rescued tens of thousands of Jewish people from captivity in a foreign land and empowered them to return home and build their sacred temple. By his action of freeing an entire people from captivity and restoring their rightful dignity, Cyrus the Great, the author of the first code of Human Rights, cemented a bond of friendship between the Jews and the Persians. It was the Just King’s way of setting the world on a course of freedom, equality, and justice for all people, irrespective of any and all considerations.

Israel has welcomed many Jews across the world, including the Iranian Jews who could no longer tolerate the rule of the oppressive venomous mullahs. These mullahs are indeed traitors to the lofty long-standing tradition and values championed by Cyrus the Great and revered by Persians throughout the ages. Israel also must be commended for affording millions of Israeli Arabs opportunities denied to them in many other lands.

The world has come to understand that the Islamic Republic is not Iran and Iranians are peace-loving, freedom seeking and a highly sophisticated people. Under the yolk of Islamism, the clerical regime in Iran has become the world’s most notorious state sponsor of terrorism. Sadly, a very small number of Iranians are hoodwinked into supporting these leeches and believing in their pie-in-the-sky promises. For more than three decades, this illegitimate fantasy government of the Islamic Republic has been waging a brutal war against the entire population of Iran who has been fighting for individual and religious freedom for many years. We must always make a distinction between the people of Iran who want freedom and those who have made life intolerable and miserable for the entire population.

Regrettably, the sworn enemy of the Iranian people and the Persian heritage also supports terrorism abroad. The Islamic regime increased its support for groups that seek the destruction of Israel. These include the Lebanese Hezbollah and such Palestinian groups as Hamas, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. Israel has the right to defend herself from these brewing factions who want nothing short of obliteration of the Jewish state.

“We should consider the rebirth of the Jewish State to be a blessing for the Muslims. Israel has provided the opportunity to show the world the results of the Jewish state of mind in action…a mind that yearns to be free, and a mind that longs to see that all humanity enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The Iranian people are immensely grateful for Israel’s fair treatment of the Iranian Baha’is in Israel. This is a further testimony to their ability and willingness to live in harmony with any and all people. In Iran, the birthplace of the Baha’i faith, Baha’is are ruthlessly subjected to a form of gradual genocide by the cruel mullahs. Some Baha’is are executed for their faith, Baha’i children are denied university studies, Baha’i holy places destroyed and even their cemeteries are bulldozed, just to cite a few examples. By contrast, Israel has provided the Baha’is freedom to care for their holy places which were established in the Holy Land during the 19th century, long before Israel’s rebirth.

“The Jewish community of Iran is one of the oldest in the Diaspora, and its historical roots reach back to the 6th century B.C.E., the time of the First Temple. Their history in the pre-Islamic period is intertwined with that of the Jews of neighboring Babylon. The Jewish colonies were scattered from centers in Babylon to Persian provinces and cities such as Hamadan and Susa. The books of Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel give a favorable description of the relationship of the Jews to the court of the Achaemids at Susa.”

To this day, traditional Jews pray three times a day for the Temple’s restoration. During the centuries the Muslims controlled Palestine and two mosques were built on the site of the Jewish Temple. (This was no coincidence; it is a common Islamic custom to build mosques on the sites of other people’s holy places.) Since any attempt to level these mosques would lead to an international Muslim holy war (jihad) against Israel, the Temple cannot be rebuilt in the foreseeable future.

“Next year in Jerusalem being the wish of Diaspora Jews, dispersed from their homeland yet acknowledging their spiritual and historical home is Israel, specifically, Jerusalem. Psalm 137 referred to as the well-known lament of the Babylonian Jews who wept ‘by the rivers of Babylon’ and declared, ‘If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither.”

The perennial prayer, “Next Year in Jerusalem” has finally been answered. We, the spiritual children of Cyrus the Great pray that Israel succeeds in taking the steps necessary for making the New Jerusalem a place of hope and lasting safety for the Jewish people as well as people of all religions and those with no religion at all.

Although Israel was reborn in 1948, the Israelis were unable to settle down for long in their own homeland, to worship their God as they wished, and to live in peace. They were assaulted once again by the forces of destruction that sent them scurrying for the relative safety of other lands. These challenges continue to this day.

Now, Israel is a sovereign state but hardly safe. She is surrounded by nations and peoples who are bent on her destruction. It is tragic that her neighbors and she have not been able to find an equitable way of living side-by-side with mutual respect and in peace. I earnestly hope that ways can be found for a peaceful resolution to this destructive impasse.

A thorny issue of great concern to Israel is the Mullahs’ gallop to join the nuclear club and use the bomb as a club over the head of any nation, near or far, that stands in their way or does not accede to their demands. And it is here that some advocated a pre-emptive action by Israel, the U.S., or both to postpone, if not prevent the Mullahs from achieving their objective.

For example, attacking the soon to be online Bushehr nuclear facility alone would be a nightmare, releasing radiation into the atmosphere. “To attack Iran’s nuclear facilities will not only provoke war, but it could also unleash clouds of radiation far beyond the targets and the borders of Iran,” Elias Tuma, of the Arab Internet Network, told the Federal News Service last March. In addition, it is almost a certainty that the Islamic Republic would retaliate by hitting Israel’s Dimona nuclear complex. No one wins.

The best strategy that stands the greatest chance of success and entails the least risk of starting a cataclysmic chain reaction is for a “coalition of the willing,” to borrow a phrase, to rally behind the Iranian opposition. It is the democracy-seeking secular Iranians who are thoroughly capable of dislodging the tyrannical Mullahs.

We should also keep in mind that Iran sits on many large and active fault lines. Of the major earthquakes that do occur in Iran, a good many are stronger than magnitude 6 on the Richter scale. Should, say, the Bushehr plant be hit by an earthquake, it will be catastrophic , not only to the entire region, but beyond.

Today, Israel has reunited Jerusalem and provided unrestricted freedom of religion. Access of all faiths to the Holy Places in the unified City of Peace is assured. The story of the rebirth of Israel is truly a miracle, yet challenges have remained, challenges that threaten the existence of this tiny ancient country filled with rich a culture. As we watch, we pray for Israel and the Jewish people, for an everlasting peace and prosperity. Let’s face it, if Israel goes down, we all go down.

Happy 62nd Birthday, Israel

Imani is the author of the smashing book “Obama Meets Ahmadinejad”. Get your copy today.

Obama meets Ahmadinejad

August 22, 2010 | 5 Comments »

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  1. Logicom, it is simply not logical to suggest that Iran is attempting to lure America, Israel and other Western allies to attack and invade Iran.

    Your suggesting America was snookered by Saddam Hussein to attack Iraq and depose him also is not logical.

    What is logical in your view, though many would take issue, is that America should not attack and should stay out of Iran, just as it should have stayed out of Iraq. The logic appears to be that with an ocean and Africa and Europe being somewhat of a protective buffer for America, Iran should be left to do what it wants in the Middle East.

    It sounds like an isolationist point of view to me. Are you suggesting that Israel should be thrown to the Iranian wolves because it is not in America’s interests to come to the aid of an ally? Are you suggesting that American interests in the Middle East are not worth America investing treasure and blood to protect them?

    The problem with that logic is that while the protective buffer does give some protection to Americans provided Americans do not become involved in attacking Iran, what Iran might do in the Middle East, especially if no longer concerned by the prospect of America acting on a military option, could severly damage American interests and badly prejudice America’s ability to further those interests in the future.

    You might also consider the fact that Iran sees America as her greatest enemy. To hear the Mullahs and their supporters in Iran and elsewhere talk, the only good American, like the only good Jew and Israeli is a dead one.

    Iran is the greatest supporter of global terror. Through her agents or proxies, Iran’s reach is global.

    Logicom, do you really think it is in America’s interests to stay in bed and hide under the covers on the issue of the Iranian threat?

  2. Of all the enemies the west has faced in the last 60 years, Iran is easily the most dangerous, and clever. They have been attempting to lure America And Israel and the other western allies into the same trap that Saddam had done some 7 years ago.

    We must not be snookered into a morass which we can easily fall into and spend years extricating ourselves from.

  3. Unlike Sobel, I am circumspect of Iamani’s views, not as to the sincerity with which he expresses them but as to whether his views fairly and accurately express the views of the Iranian people as distinct from the views of Iran’s leaders.

    Iranians en masse rejected Shah Palevi and warmly welcomed and embraced Khomeini and his views. The Iranian theocracy has ruled and disseminated their views to the Iranian people for a generation.

    To be sure there are Iranians who have come to reject the draconian Islamic Iranian rule. These rejectionists have been loosely labeled dissidents. We read of them, hear of them on radio and see their anti-Iranian Supreme council demonstrations on television.

    There are however, about 70 million Iranians. Those dissidents we have heard from, heard of or seen on television comprise a miniscule fraction of the Iranian population.

    Pundits, like Iamani claim that:

    The world has come to understand that the Islamic Republic is not Iran and Iranians are peace-loving, freedom seeking and a highly sophisticated people. Under the yolk of Islamism, the clerical regime in Iran has become the world’s most notorious state sponsor of terrorism. Sadly, a very small number of Iranians are hoodwinked into supporting these leeches and believing in their pie-in-the-sky promises. For more than three decades, this illegitimate fantasy government of the Islamic Republic has been waging a brutal war against the entire population of Iran who has been fighting for individual and religious freedom for many years. We must always make a distinction between the people of Iran who want freedom and those who have made life intolerable and miserable for the entire population.

    Where is the proof to support such an unequivocal claim that save for a very small number of Iranians who have been hoodwinked by the Mullah “leeches”, the Iranian people en masse reject their theocratic government and its views?

    References to Iran or Persia under Cyrus the Great and Persia’s relations with and treatment of Jews in ancient times, ignores that Cyrus the Great ruled long before Islam took hold of Iran.

    History suggests that Iran’s pre-1979 treatment of Jews was relatively good and that even Israel had some relatively good relations with Iran. What however, does relative mean?

    The Mullahs however, have had a generation to indoctrinate Iranians with their views of self, the world and the Jews and Israel. Even assuming there are a majority of Iranians who crave Western freedoms and values to be incorporated into their lives, where is the proof that these Iranians, if their wishes came true, would suddenly become pro-Western, pro-Israel and pro-Jewish and convert Iran’s culture from being completely Islamic to being an Islamic culture that reconciled and adopted Western norms, values and attitudes into their Islamic nation?

    Iraq serves to illustrate that point. Until Hussein’s ouster, while tensions and hostilities existed between the Sunni and Shia of Iran, they were largely contained by the strong and cruel arm of Hussein. The Iraqi Sunnis and Shia however, did agree on one thing and that was it was right to hate Jews and Israel and support Hussein in his Jew/Israel rhetoric and policies.

    With exposure to Americans and some Western allies and the values and attitudes they brought, you would have thought that Iraq’s al Malaki government and the Iraqi people would soften their stance as regards Jews and Israel. It is apparent that they have not or at least not enough to make any real difference.

    While I hope Imani’s take on the Iranian people is true, I am far from convinced. I have yet to see anything in the way of real proof of that. Unsubstantiated opinions such as Imani’s are not proof.