Does Iran use its local Jews and even foreign Jewish journalists to shape public opinion? Roya Hakakian says the country’s leaders have a long history of doing just that.
This past March, I stood alongside hundreds of others lining Madison Avenue to watch New York’s Persian Day Parade. I am not the parade-watching type, but nostalgia for the country of my birth at times moves me to behave in uncharacteristic ways, like cheering for mediocre trumpeters and papier-mâché monuments.
In mastering the knowlege that even bigotry is relative and comes in gradations, I was a premature pupil. I learned this lesson when I was only 10.
The Iran of May 2005 is, in some ways, looking very similar to the Iran of November 1979. Back then, when the American embassy in Tehran was seized by hardline university students, every other domestic issue was cast into oblivion. Nothing mattered more than the hostages. Nothing superseded the war with the “Great Satan.” The hostage
The diplomatic officer asked, for the third time, how I’d been persecuted as a Jew in Iran, as he leafed through my application for political asylum. But I said nothing.His stern tone, his fierce gaze demanded certainty, clarity and conviction — all the things that I could not find within. Sitting opposite him in his office at the American