Reuters has a spread today on Iranian Jews in Israel worried about an attack on their former country. There are still 25,000 Jews that remain in Iran out of a population of 69 million. At its peak,the Iranian Jewish community–from Queen Esther and Mordechai to the establishment of Israel's "Little Satanic" state–numbered well over 100,000.
One Tel Aviv Iranian-Israeli had this to say: "I am strongly against any war with Iran as I do not want to see Iranian people hurt."
Another responded: "We are Israelis but we are still Iranians. I hope there are no air strikes. I would prefer the ruling leadership being removed by U.S. or Israeli special forces. Perhaps then the people there will be able to breathe again."
Reuters went on to discuss a Daily Farsi Radio program broadcast from Israel. The program's become popular in of all places, Iran, which receives a feed through Europe. Israeli President Moshe Katsav, an Iran native & sometime-guest will show up for Sunday morning interviews where he occasionally receives calls from the Islamic Republic.
In an interview with al-Jazeera satellite TV reported in Iranmania, Katsav had this to say:
"The world is not against Iran. I was born in Iran and I have much affection for Iranian culture and history. My family lived in Iran for 2,500 years. Iran today can gain the support of the international community."
The million dollar question then: Can Israel send Katsav on a peace mission to some neutral station (say, Norway?) to meet with top level Iranian officials. They can shmooze in Farsi, talk about Yazd, avert the next World War…maybe even eat some Haleem Baadenjaan together.
Reuters also quoted the famous Toronto-based Iranian activist Hossein Derakhshan, one of the best-known Farsi "bloggers" on the Internet–RegimeChangeIran:
[Derakshan]visited Israel this year — a trip he described as a good opportunity to break "a long-established taboo" about the Jewish state. "Because of the anti-Israel propaganda of the Iranian regime there is a backlash and people have become curious," said Derakhshan, who left Iran five years ago after working as a journalist with a reformist newspaper. On his Web site, he wrote about his recent experiences in Israel and posted video clips of his visit, especially his meetings with Iranian Jews. He said more than 4,000 people, many of them in Iran, have viewed the recordings. "People in Iran are intrigued by the idea of Israel and want to visit it," he said. "Tel Aviv could easily be the sister city to Tehran if Iran becomes open and democratic."