Archive for the ‘History’ Category

By Professor Jack L. Schwartzwald

Jack L. Schwartzwald, MD, is an Assistant Professor (Clinical) of Medicine at Brown University School of Medicine.


“…Sadat offered Golda Meir an interim deal for opening the Suez Canal in return for a partial Israeli pullback in the Sinai, which she rejected, making the 1973 War inevitable.” – Ehud Ya’ari, The Jerusalem Report (December 13, 2004), p. 28.

“Finding that Israel rejected American peace proposals (which involved the return to Arab sovereignty of virtually all the territories occupied in the 1967 War), and that the Israeli government headed by Mrs. Golda Meir dismissed contemptuously Sadat’s hints of readiness for an accommodation, Sadat decided to launch a fourth full-scale Arab-Israeli war.” – Larousse Encyclopedia of Modern History (revised edition, 1981), pp. 427-8


At 6 PM on June 10, 1967, a cease-fire took effect ending the Six Day War between Israel and her Arab neighbors—Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The war had changed the face of the region, and had left Israel in control of vast new territories: the Sinai Desert, the Golan Heights, the West Bank [1] and the Gaza strip. Israel, however, was not intent on keeping her new-won gains. Led by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Foreign Minister Abba Eban, she sought to barter the territories for a comprehensive peace. On June 19, 1967, Eban approached the American delegation at the UN with the following specific proposals: (i) Israel would return to her international boundary with Egypt in return for peace, demilitarization of the Sinai, and a guarantee of free passage in international waterways; (ii) Israel would return to her international boundary with Syria in return for peace, demilitarization of the Golan Heights, and a guarantee of Israel’s fresh water rights in regional rivers; and (iii) Israel would enter into direct negotiations with Jordan regarding boundaries and peace. Israel’s proposals were forwarded to Egypt and Syria by the American delegation. [2]

On September 1, 1967, Israel got her answer. Led by Egypt’s bombastic President, Gamal Abdel Nasser (whose decision to blockade the Straits of Tiran on May 23 had provoked the Six Day War), representatives of the Arab governments, meeting in Khartoum, promulgated the infamous “3 Nos”: “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiation with Israel.” [3] It is probably safe to assume that the annals of diplomacy do not contain a more generous peace proposal by a nation that had prevailed in war, or a more thoughtless response by combatants who had been so soundly defeated. On hearing of the Khartoum declaration, Abba Eban remarked that the Six Day War was “the first war in history in which the victor sued for peace and the loser called for unconditional surrender.” [4]

In light of the impasse, the UN Security Council attempted to formulate its own peace resolution. Preliminary drafts were put forward by the United States and India, but the first was felt to be too “pro-Israel,” and the second too “pro-Arab” to obtain passage. The task of framing a more even-handed proposal thus devolved upon the British Minister of State, Hugh Foot, Lord Caradon. [5]

After an introductory statement against the acquisition of territory by force of arms, Lord Caradon’s resolution declared that a “just and lasting peace” required both “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and “termination of all claims or states of belligerency.”

The specific wording was important: Multiple resolutions had already been put forward insisting on reversion to the pre-war armistice lines. They had all been defeated. The new resolution anticipated an Israeli “withdrawal from occupied territories,” but did not stipulate the extent of this withdrawal. Quite purposefully, the resolution did not call upon Israel to withdraw from all occupied territories or from the occupied territories. The British felt that the pre-war lines were untenable and thus constituted a recipe for renewed conflict. Moreover, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Foreign Secretary George Brown thought a return to these so-called “June 4th lines” was a bad idea on principle, because it would teach the Arab states that a war could be provoked and lost without penalty, thereby rewarding their extremism. [6]

Furthermore, as Abba Eban has noted, by tying any return of territories to an end of belligerency, the resolution appeared to legitimize Israel’s presence on the cease-fire lines until the parties had agreed to “durable” peace terms. [7] Eban let it be known that the proposal would be acceptable to Israel provided that it contained a clause to the effect that the UN would strive to “promote” a settlement between the parties (as opposed to “imposing” one on them). [8]

Caradon’s resolution was duly submitted as UN Resolution 242, which this journal has analyzed in the past (see New Society 1, Fall 2007). Predictably, there were immediate efforts to redefine its meaning: Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin—who was hostile to Israel—pressured United States President Lyndon B. Johnson to construe the resolution as calling for Israel’s withdrawal from “all occupied territories” irrespective of what the document actually said. President Johnson responded that the U.S. “would not agree to a single word beyond what was written in the British text.” Next, the Indian and Arab delegations called upon Lord Caradon to say, informally, that the withdrawal clause obligated Israel to withdraw from “all occupied territories.” Caradon answered that “nothing could be read into the resolution that was not specifically stated therein.” On November 15, U.S. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg spoke at the UN in support of the withdrawal clause as written, noting that the conflicting parties had never come to an agreement on borders—either before or after the war—and that they would thus need to determine these borders by negotiation. [9] One week later, the resolution passed the UN Security Council by a unanimous vote.


By this time, some Israelis had begun to have second thoughts. A vocal minority adhered to the tenets of religious Zionism as espoused by the so-called “Land of Israel Movement,” which maintained that the territories occupied in the war had reconstituted Eretz Israel—the land of Israel promised to the Jews by God—and that the government did not have the authority to partition it again. Many more were moved by pragmatic concerns: Given the Arab position as elucidated in the Khartoum declaration, they felt that peace with the Arab states was an unlikely prospect and that Israel would do better to keep what had been won as a strategic buffer against renewed attack. Although the latter argument resonated with a healthy percentage of the population, the Eshkol government continued to pursue its original policy. Abba Eban has eloquently described the cabinet’s line of thinking: Israel had come into existence in 1948 largely because she had agreed to the notion of partitioning Palestine, and she would be without international support if she now pursued a policy of unilateral annexation. The Arab states would certainly not acquiesce. Thus, the expanded boundaries would not be “a guarantee of the security of the state and of peace,” but “a guarantee of future wars.” [10]

In February 1969, Prime Minister Eshkol died in office, and was replaced by Golda Meir whose attitude was more skeptical. Eban, who continued as Foreign Minister, has described her thus: “She was not a romantic territorialist. . . .Under her leadership Israel enunciated in clear terms a willingness to accept the principle of withdrawal to secure, recognized and agreed boundaries. But she was more inclined to articulate this principle than to ‘risk’ putting it into practice. And she was resolved not to be sold short on Israeli security.” [11]

On her first day in office, Meir declared that her government was “prepared to discuss peace with our neighbors, any day and on all matters.” [12] Nasser replied with his trademark bellicosity, saying: “That which was lost by war must be restored by war.” By month’s end, his shelling of Israeli positions in the Suez Canal Zone had made a mockery of the 1967 cease-fire and had initiated the so-called “War of Attrition” (March 1969 to August 1970). Israel responded by bombarding Ismailia (one of the Egyptian Canal cities).

Three months into the fighting, Meir offered to fly to Egypt to negotiate a settlement. In reply, the Arab press ridiculed her as “behaving like a grandmother telling bedtime stories to her grandchildren.” [13] Ignoring her offer, Nasser stepped up his attacks. Israel retaliated with bombing raids so deep into Egypt that the explosions were audible in Cairo. As Golda Meir has testified, she wanted to make it clear to the Egyptian people “that they couldn’t have it both ways: war for us, and peace for themselves.” [14] Whether or not her approach was the right one, it would be fair to say that the international community was less than delighted with it. And what was worse, Israel didn’t necessarily get the better of the fighting. Egypt obtained anti-aircraft technology from Russia, and the toll on the Israeli Air Force was such that Israel had to obtain new planes from the U.S.

Russian pilots, meanwhile, had begun guarding Egyptian airspace to the rear of the Canal Zone. Hoping to steer clear of them, Israel ceased her deep bombing raids, but in July 1970, there were two altercations involving Israeli and Russian pilots. In the first, there were no casualties, but in the second, Israeli fighters shot down four MiGs, and got away unscathed. [15]


Anxious to avoid any escalation in the conflict that might directly involve the USSR and the U.S., the Nixon Administration proposed a cease-fire agreement in August 1970 that included a joint commitment by Egypt, Jordan, and Israel to press forward with UN Resolution 242. Golda Meir objected to the proposal—not so much to its terms, as to its being thrust upon her without prior consultation. (She had been given assurances by the U.S. that she would be consulted.) Nor did she take solace from Egypt’s subsequent acceptance of the plan, since she was certain that Nasser was only playing for time while he regrouped his forces. [16] The U.S., however, offered Israel some excellent incentives to follow the Egyptian lead: (i) the U.S. would continue to supply weapons to Israel even if there was a cease-fire; (ii) Israel would not have to remove any troops from occupied territories unless or until a durable peace had been negotiated; (iii) Israel would not be expected to solve the refugee problem in a way that would jeopardize her sovereignty; and (iv) the U.S. would exercise its veto power in the UN Security Council to protect Israel from being bullied into concessions. [17] Israel embraced these terms, and in August 1970 the War of Attrition came to an end. Characteristically, as soon as the shooting stopped, Egypt violated the terms of the agreement by bringing new Russian missiles into the cease-fire area. [18]

One month later, Gamal Abdel Nasser died and was succeeded by his Vice President, Anwar Sadat. It was widely presumed inside and outside Egypt that Sadat would be a mere figurehead. Against all expectations, however, he began removing Nasser’s cronies from positions of power, and was soon in a position to pursue his own policies.

At the same time, Moshe Dayan, the Israeli Defense Minister, was propounding the idea of an interim settlement with Egypt that would call upon both parties to withdraw a specified distance on either side on the Suez Canal. The plan—which had been conceived as a means of averting a repetition of the attritional war without addressing the potentially difficult choices required for a comprehensive peace—would have removed the combatants from artillery range, and would have allowed a resumption of shipping through the Suez Canal (which had been closed since the beginning of the Six Day War).

Sadat was anxious to have the Canal open again. Deprived of Suez revenues, Egypt’s treasury had been severely drained. Thus, as Sadat relates in his autobiography, he spoke to the Egyptian Parliament on February 4, 1971, essentially saying:

“if Israel withdrew her forces in Sinai to the Passes, I would be willing to reopen the Suez Canal; to have my forces cross to the East Bank; to extend the Rogers Plan cease-fire by six, rather than three, months…and to sign a peace agreement with Israel….” [19]

This was not exactly what Dayan and Israel had envisioned. (For one thing, they could do without the Egyptian troops on the East Bank of the Canal.) Yet it might have been the basis for talks if the plan had not been derailed by a new United Nations initiative put forth by Gunnar Jarring, the UN’s special representative to the Middle East. Jarring’s proposal called upon Israel to withdraw to the June 4th armistice line on the Egyptian front in return for an Egyptian assurance of peace. [20]

Jarring’s opinion was that the proposal should be accepted without amendment. But it had long been a clearly and publicly stated tenet of Israeli policy that border issues would have to be negotiated between the parties, and that territorial exchange would require a formal peace treaty. Jarring’s initiative smacked of an imposed settlement—not the effort “to promote agreement” promised by UN Resolution 242—and it required Israel to make extreme concessions before any discussions had been held. After considering the matter, the Israeli cabinet answered with relative unanimity that the position of final borders would have to be negotiated. A debate ensued, however, over a phrase favored by Meir spelling out that Israel would not withdraw to the June 4th line. In June 1967, the Eshkol government had been willing to do so, but in the interim, Israel had sustained 3000 casualties in the 18-month attritional war waged by Egypt, and Meir presumably felt that it would send the wrong message to suffer such losses without taking a harder line on security.

Abba Eban disagreed. With many years of distinguished service as a diplomat, he felt that the June 4th stipulation was superfluous. Israel was already saying that the border would have to be negotiated. By ruling out a full withdrawal before negotiations even began, Meir might provoke charges of Israeli intransigence when the cabinet was merely adhering to its longstanding position that decisions on borders had to be reached by negotiation, not by imposition. Despite these arguments, the phrase was retained.

Jarring received Israel’s answer as though it had been the Khartoum declaration in reverse. He ceased his initiative forthwith—an unwarranted response given that Israel had clearly expressed her willingness to negotiate. (Indeed, if anyone was refusing to budge from his position, it was Jarring himself.) [21] Moreover, it is enlightening to note that Jarring seemed untroubled by the amendments Egypt wanted to append to his proposal. Indeed, he seems to have agreed with them, [22] even though they were far more demanding. To be sure, Sadat had agreed to talk peace, but he had a number of preconditions: Israel must agree in advance (i) to withdraw her forces from all occupied territories on all fronts, (ii) to settle the refugee issue “in accordance with United Nations resolutions” (undoubtedly as interpreted by Egypt), and (iii) to accept demilitarized zones of equal size on both sides of the June 4th Egyptian-Israeli border. [23] Such maximalist demands were not worthy of serious consideration—never mind acceptance. Nevertheless, just as Abba Eban had foreseen, many of Golda Meir’s detractors, at home and abroad, sought to saddle her with responsibility for the failure of Jarring’s mission. [24] Recalling these negotiations several years later, Meir said: “‘intransigent’ was to become my middle name.” [25]


Israel now reconsidered Dayan’s idea for an interim Israeli-Egyptian agreement consisting of a bilateral withdrawal from the Canal Zone and the reopening of the Canal to international shipping. Dayan’s plan called for a 30-kilometer withdrawal by each party, but Meir and the majority of the cabinet insisted upon a lesser distance—10 kilometers—so that Israel could push back to the Canal in an emergency.

A disengagement of 10 kilometers, however, did not suit the purpose of Dayan’s proposal: At 30 kilometers, the combatants would have been beyond each other’s artillery range and the Canal could be traversed with a sense of security. At 10 kilometers, passage through the Canal would, in effect, be taking place under Israel’s guns. Egypt was unlikely to accept under such circumstances. Eban, therefore, offered his support to Dayan if the latter would press for the greater withdrawal. Sadly, there was a history of antagonism between the two men, and rather than side with Eban against Meir, Dayan preferred not to pursue the matter (May 1971).

Eban thought this decision regrettable. In later years, he argued that if Dayan’s plan had succeeded, the surprise attack on Yom Kippur 1973 could not have taken place. [26] But Dayan’s lack of resolve was not the sole issue. The final nail in the coffin was Sadat’s response: He would approve a bilateral withdrawal from the Canal in order to restore his Suez revenues, but only if Israel agreed in advance that it was a preliminary step in the fulfillment of all clauses of UN Resolution 242 (again as interpreted by Egypt—meaning withdrawal from “all occupied territories,” etc.). Once again, Sadat was seeking maximalist commitments in the absence of face-to-face negotiations—something that Meir’s Cabinet would not abide. [27]

Although the chances for a speedy settlement seemed remote, they received a last boost in the fall of 1971 when four African presidents attempted to jumpstart the Jarring mission. After discussions with Israeli leaders, the four men—representing Senegal, Zaire, Cameroon and Nigeria respectively—reported to the UN that Israel was committed to negotiation and to “withdrawal from territories,” and that in negotiating boundaries she would not pursue an annexationist course, but would focus solely upon her security and her rights of passage in international waterways. [28]

Here was concrete evidence that “intransigence” on Israel’s part was not solely responsible for the failure of Jarring’s mission—indeed, that there was no Israeli intransigence. Unfortunately, the Arab states and their supporters had gained significant currency from the “intransigence” myth and used their votes to prevent the UN from accepting the report of the African leaders. [29]

Thus, by the latter half of 1971, matters had reached an impasse. Golda Meir was unwilling to cede territory in the absence of negotiations. Sadat was not willing to negotiate unless Israel accepted his far-flung preconditions. In this setting, Israel felt confident that the existing cease-fire lines guaranteed her security, and that the Arab states had no choice but to accept the present situation or come to the negotiating table. Nor did events in Egypt do anything to alter this estimate—for an unexpected twist in Egyptian foreign policy was now to make the chance of war seem exceedingly unlikely.


The Soviet Union had been Egypt’s chief arms supplier since the 1950s. In 1967, Soviet arms (and meddling) had helped push Egypt and Syria into war. During the War of Attrition, Soviet weaponry had again played a crucial part. After the collapse of the Jarring mission, Sadat signed a new Soviet arms accord (May 1971) and began speaking of 1971 as “a year of decision” in which the humiliating verdict of 1967 would be overturned. But then matters suddenly deteriorated: The Soviets failed to deliver much of the promised weaponry, and when Sadat questioned them on the matter, they would not be pinned down. Moreover, the thousands of Soviet “advisors” who were stationed in Egypt had begun to act as though Egypt was nothing more than a Soviet bailiwick. So, in July 1972, Sadat kicked the advisors out.

This was the cue that Henry Kissinger (U.S. President Richard M. Nixon’s National Security Advisor) had been waiting for. Kissinger had long kept a cautious eye on the Middle East. In his view, Israel’s insistence on direct negotiation was “as seemingly reasonable as it was unfulfillable,” since in essence Israel was asking “for recognition as a precondition of negotiation.” [30] On the other hand, there was no point in pressuring Israel to moderate her approach while the Arab states clung to their pro-Soviet policy and maximalist demands. The best course was to allow the impasse to continue until one or more Arab states broke with the USSR and assumed a more reasonable demeanor. “Then,” believed Kissinger, “would come the moment for a major American initiative, if necessary urging new approaches on our Israeli friends.” [31]

It certainly appeared as if Kissinger’s moment had arrived. By evicting the Soviets, Sadat had dismissed his chief arms supplier. An Egyptian offensive no longer seemed feasible.

But the truth was rather more complicated: the USSR had consistently failed to supply Egypt with the very weapons—particularly missile-firing jets—that were required for an offensive war. In effect, the Soviets had been controlling Egyptian policy by depriving her of the means to act. By dismissing them, Sadat had freed his hands to make his own decisions. While it might not have been clear to Kissinger—or to the Israelis—war was actually more likely with the Soviets gone.

Convinced that diplomacy was Sadat’s only option, Kissinger arranged a secret meeting with Hafez Ismail, Sadat’s national security advisor. Owing to America’s preoccupation with the Vietnam War, the talks were delayed until February 1973, by which time Russia had agreed to a massive new arms deal with Egypt in an effort to salvage Soviet influence in the region. As soon as the talks opened, Ismail made it clear that Israel must accept a return to the 1967 borders “with some margin, perhaps, for adjustment on the West Bank,” before any negotiations could take place. Moreover, Israel would have to agree to bilateral demilitarized zones on either side of the Israeli-Egyptian border. In return, Egypt would end her belligerency with Israel and guarantee Israel’s right of passage in international waterways. But there would be no formal peace treaty until Israel had negotiated a settlement with Syria and the Palestinians. Thus, says Kissinger, “the price paid for the return to the prewar borders was not peace, but the end of belligerency, not easy to distinguish from the existing cease-fire.” [32] Further talks were held in May, but there was no movement in the Egyptian position. In October, Kissinger met with Abba Eban and laid plans to open three-way talks in November. But by then it was too late.

In a Newsweek interview in April 1973, Sadat declared that, “For the first time, we see total and complete agreement between the U.S. and Israel on Middle Eastern Policy…. I want a final peace agreement with Israel. But there was no response from the U.S. or Israel—except to supply Israel with more Phantoms [i.e., fighter jets]… Everything in this country [Egypt] is now being mobilized in earnest for the resumption of the battle—which is now inevitable.” [33]

In May, the Egyptian army carried out a full mobilization. At great expense, Israel did the same. Nothing came of it. Thus, in early October, when the Egyptian and Syrian armies began massing troops on their respective borders with Israel, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan thought it was another bluff and did not follow suit. On October 6, 1973—Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar—Egypt and Syria launched a combined surprise attack. The devastating setbacks sustained by Israel during the first week of the conflict, the dramatic airlift of new supplies from the U.S. (a remarkable feat in itself), and Israel’s victorious counterthrusts on both battlefronts must be left to others to recount—for we still have some detective work to do.


So what then is the verdict? Did Golda Meir make the 1973 War inevitable by rejecting Sadat’s offer of an interim deal as Ehud Ya’ari and several other writers aver? Did she provoke Sadat to war by “contemptuously” dismissing his “hints of readiness for an accommodation?” The evidence bears out neither charge. When Sadat’s preconditions are thrown into the mix, the interim pullback from the Suez Canal was hardly an attractive proposition for Israel. But the evidence exonerating Meir is stronger than this. The fact is that the same interim bargain came up several more times before the outbreak of war—in September 1972, January 1973 and February 1973. Each time, it was proposed to Egypt by the U.S. State Department, and each time Egypt turned it down. In contrast, on March 1, 1973, Golda Meir told Nixon and Kissinger that she was prepared to accept such a plan as the opening move toward a comprehensive settlement. [34]

Meir never contemptuously dismissed the notion of an accommodation. What she dismissed—contemptuously or otherwise—was the idea of having final borders imposed on her before anyone had even deigned to talk to her. If one seeks an example of a peace proposal being dismissed with contempt, a far better example can be found in Nasser’s response to Meir’s peace overtures: “There is no voice transcending the sounds of war…and no call holier than the call to war.” [35]

Offered the return of the entire Sinai by the Eshkol Government, Nasser traveled to Khartoum and issued the “3 Nos.” Given a second chance by Meir, he launched the War of Attrition. One may argue that the Egyptian President was not in a position to negotiate, for as Henry Kissinger has noted, “in the mood of Arab humiliation following the defeat in the Six Day War, concessions would in all likelihood be ascribed to military weakness rather than to statesmanship.” [36]

This is undoubtedly true, but one should not lose sight of the fact that Nasser provoked the Six Day War, and if the Arabs were humiliated over having lost it, that was a problem of their own making. Why should it have been incumbent upon Meir to solve it? As she herself was to say: “It was a great pity that the Arab states felt so humiliated by losing the war which they had started that they just couldn’t bring themselves to talk to us, but on the other hand, we couldn’t be expected to reward them for having tried to throw us into the sea. We were bitterly disappointed, but there was only one possible reply: Israel would not withdraw from any of the territories until the Arab states once and for all put an end to the conflict. . . .We waited for the Arabs to accept the fact that the only alternative to war was peace and that the only road to peace was negotiation.” [37]

Nasser’s culpability in the Six Day War and the War of Attrition is beyond doubt. In addition, he can be called to account for stonewalling all progress toward an accord. But Nasser had been dead for three years when the Yom Kippur War erupted. He may have done his part to lay the groundwork, he may have said, “that which was lost by war must be restored by war,” but he certainly didn’t carry the project through.

At whom, then, should we point the finger? As it turns out, one of the key participants has yet to testify. There is an interesting passage in Abba Eban’s Personal Witness, describing a verbal duel between U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Rogers sought to assure Meir that the new Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, was ready to make peace (May 1971). Meir replied that Rogers was naïve to place his trust in such protestations. Eban concludes that Meir “was affronted by the idea that an American secretary of state could discern virtue in an Arab leader.” [38] This was certainly one possibility. Another possibility is that Meir was right to distrust Sadat.

Is it possible that the far-sighted Egyptian statesman who would ultimately forge a peace deal and pay for it with his life was simply being duplicitous? The evidence suggests that he was—and the most damning of that evidence is to be found in his own utterances. In his autobiography, Sadat declares that on his accession to the presidency in late 1970,

“the key to everything…was to wipe out the disgrace and humiliation that followed from the 1967 defeat. I reckoned it would be 1,000 times more honorable for us—40,000 of my sons in the armed forces and myself—to be buried crossing the Canal than to accept such disgrace and humiliation. Posterity would say we had died honorably on the battlefield…and posterity would carry on the struggle.” [39]

It is no easy task to square these sentiments with an earnest desire for peace. Still, in his speech to the Egyptian Parliament in February 1971, Sadat did say that in return for an interim Israeli withdrawal from the Suez Canal he would, among other things, “sign a peace agreement with Israel….” Some might argue that this absolves him. But does it? Sadat goes on to say:

“My Peace Initiative of February 4, 1971, launched an Egyptian diplomatic offensive—the only alternative to a military one which I was, at the time, unable to undertake.” [40] [emphasis added]

This is a puzzling way for a man of peace to express himself. Was Sadat truly seeking peace, or was he dissimulating until the times were more conducive toward making war? The answer lies in a startling revelation made by Henry Kissinger:

“If I had been able in mid-1973 to guarantee [Sadat] the 1967 borders without his having to make peace, he would have accepted it—though with reluctance, as he later told me, since it would have done little for Egyptian pride.” [41] [emphasis added]

Each of Sadat’s so-called “hints at an accommodation” during the period under question contained maximalist territorial demands as the price of initiating face-to-face negotiations. Refusing to negotiate until all of one’s demands are met does not constitute “accommodation.” To say that war is “inevitable” unless one’s enemy accedes to maximalist demands is not to propose peace–it is to deliver an ultimatum. And to accept “with reluctance” everything that one has asked for, means that what was asked for was not what was wanted. Anwar Sadat did not want peace with Israel in the period between 1970 and 1973, because peace would not “wipe out the disgrace and humiliation that followed from the 1967 defeat.” War alone could do that. Consequently, war is what Sadat desired.

This, of course, does not mean that Israel achieved perfection in her pursuit of peace during this period. Most Israelis felt secure on the existing cease-fire lines and did not believe that another Arab attack was likely. As a result, they perceived little danger in a continuing stalemate: Either the Arabs would have to accept the status quo or they would have to negotiate – and whichever course they chose, Israel would be holding the stronger cards.

If anyone personified this confident mindset, it was Golda Meir’s Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan—the state’s most popular political figure. In addition to his duties as Minister of Defense, Dayan was responsible for the administration of the occupied territories. In the immediate aftermath of the Six Day War, his policy had been to make the occupation as inconspicuous as possible. As he told a subordinate: “I want a policy whereby an Arab can be born, live and die in the West Bank without ever seeing an Israeli official.” [42] At that time, the occupation had been viewed as temporary, but as the years passed with no progress towards a negotiated settlement, Dayan came to believe that the Arabs had no intention of making peace with Israel in exchange for territory. [43] In his view, it was not Israel’s task to remain in suspended animation if the Arabs refused to negotiate. Rather, she should “create facts”—especially by building settlements in crucial areas—so that if the Arab states did eventually agree to negotiate, Israel would already be ensconced in those sites that were critical to her security.

Within certain parameters, this concept was widely accepted in Israel. But there were two common objections to the way Dayan pursued it. First of all, he favored a more aggressive settlement policy than did most members of the cabinet. [44] Indeed, in Abba Eban’s view, his vision, particularly with regard to the West Bank, was “dark with false images.” [45] But the real objection to Dayan’s approach was that his preoccupation with administering the territories took his mind off his primary role as defense minister. His failure to fulfill this responsibility—which included determining, with some degree of accuracy, the likelihood of a major enemy offensive—was to produce consequences of the unhappiest sort once war broke out. Dayan completely missed the boat on Egypt’s and Syria’s war preparations, and he was slow to react even when the ugly truth could no longer be denied.

But even if Dayan didn’t see the war coming, he correctly discerned why it came. As he succinctly summarized it:

“The Yom Kippur War grew out of Egypt’s and Syria’s refusal to reach a peace arrangement with Israel or to leave Sinai and the Golan Heights in Israel’s hands. The Arabs wanted to retrieve the territories they had lost in the Six Day War without reconciling themselves to the fact of Israel’s existence. This goal could only be achieved through war.” [46]

War did not come because Golda Meir scoffed at peace proposals (she didn’t), or because Dayan was pushing too aggressively for settlements (there were only 7000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Gaza in October 1973), [47] or even because Israelis were overconfident in the ultimate issue of the continuing diplomatic impasse. The ultimate cause of the war was Arab rejection of Israel’s legitimacy, compounded by an inimical and overweening Arab sense of pride—pride that could not have been assuaged even if Israel had handed back every inch of occupied territory and demanded nothing in return.


1. I.e., territories on the western side of the Jordan River that had been occupied the Jordanian Kingdom since the 1949 armistice.
2. Abba Eban, Personal Witness: Israel Through My Eyes. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1992, p. 437 & 446; Conor Cruise O’Brien, The Siege. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986; pp. 489-90.
3. Eban, p. 446.
4. Eban, p. 450.
5. Eban, pp. 455-6.
6. Eban, p. 456.
7. Eban, p. 457.
8. Eban, pp. 456-7.
9. Comments of LBJ, Lord Caradon and Goldberg: Eban, pp. 458-9.
10. Eban, p. 461.
11. Eban, p. 478.
12. Meir, Golda. My Life. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1975, p. 383; see also Gilbert, Martin. Israel, A History. London: Black Swan Books, 1998, p. 410.
13. Meir, p. 384; Gilbert, p. 410.
14. Meir, p. 382.
15. Sachar, pp. 694-5.
16. Reich, Bernard. A Brief History of Israel. New York: Checkmark Books, 2003, p. 98.
17. Eban, pp. 488-9.
18. Sachar, p. 695.
19. Sadat, Anwar. In Search of an Identity, an Autobiography. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1977, 1978, p. 219. Mitchell Bard, however, notes that Sadat’s offer of a peace agreement with Israel was not made public (Bard, Mitchell G. Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Chevy Chase, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2002, p. 72).
20. Eban, p. 500.
21. Eban, pp. 501-3.
22. Bard, p. 72.
23. Sachar, p. 696.
24. Eban, p. 501.
25. Meir, p. 373.
26. Eban, pp. 503-5.
27. Sacher, p. 696.
28. Eban, p. 507.
29. Eban, pp. 506-7.
30. Kissinger, Henry. Years of Upheaval. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1982, pp. 197-8.
31. Kissinger, pp. 201-2.
32. Kissinger, pp. 215-16.
33. From Anwar Sadat’s interview with Arnaud de Borchgrave, entitled “The Battle is Now Inevitable.” Newsweek, April 9, 1973, pp. 44-5; see also, Kissinger, p. 225. (parenthetical text added by the author for clarity.)
34. Kissinger, pp. 207, 211-15 & 221.
35. Meir, p. 383.
36. Kissinger, p. 226.
37. Meir, p. 370.
38. Eban, p. 504.
39. Sadat, p. 215.
40. Sadat, pp. 221-2.
41. Kissinger, p. 226. (italics added.)
42. Gilbert, p. 396.
43. Perlmutter, Amos. Israel: The Partitioned State. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985, p. 217.
44. The cabinet had more or less officially adopted the “Allon Plan” for the West Bank, which called for a security belt along the Jordan River and the annexation of Jerusalem. Dayan favored more extensive settlement there, but the settlement movement was still in its nascent phase (see Eban, p. 470).
45. Eban, p. 466.
46. Dayan, Moshe. Story of My Life. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1976, p. 504.
47. Eban, p. 470.


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By Victoria S. Golshani

Victoria S. Golshani is a graduate of Emory College (B.A. Economics and B.A. International Relations, 2004) and the London School of Economics (M.Sc. International Relations, 2005). She has worked as an analyst at McKinsey & Company and for the Department of Homeland Security.


“It is no longer our country, Iran. What have we to go back to? We are Persians. They, those people who rule today, they are Muslims. They have forgotten what a Persian is.”—Anonymous

The Jewish people have been part of Persia since the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem between 586 and 538 B.C.E. Their presence in Persia can be traced as far back as the Biblical story of Esther and Mordecai, whose tombs rest in ancient Ecbatana, present-day Hamadan, Iran. Perhaps surprisingly, Iran has the second highest number of Jewish holy sites, only surpassed by Israel. [1] Persian Jews have a distinctive Jewish faith and tradition, but they can scarcely be physically distinguished from other Persians. [2] Since the introduction of Islam in Persia in 1502, however, Jews have been made to live as second-class citizens, sequestered in ghettos, and considered “untouchable” by Islamic law. Only under the reign of the Pahlavi dynasty, did Jews experience a golden age, a time when they achieved much educational, economic, social, and political success. That period was deleted from the history books by the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

From Ancient Times to Pahlavi Rule

In 1502, Imami Shi’ism was declared the national religion of Persia. Under Shi’a rule, Persian Jews faced forced conversion, mass exile, and murder. Prior to the introduction of Islam, the Jews of Persia had a comfortable and stable existence, but the adoption of Shi’ism reduced the status of Persian Jews to that of a “persecuted minority” or an outcast group. [3] Under Islamic law, Jews were considered ahl al- kitâb or “People of the Book” and afforded the protected status of dhimmi. But as in other Islamic lands, dhimmi law forced the Jews to wear a colored patch, multi-colored hat, and non-matching shoes, to remain sequestered in ghettos, without the right to own land. Iran instituted the discriminatory Pact of Umar, a covenant of subjugation dating back to 717 C.E. for the ahl al- kitâb living on newly conquered lands, and the Jam Abbasi laws, introduced by Shah Abbas in 1588, which limited Jewish activity. Together, these laws restricted Jewish mobility, public conduct, house and synagogue construction, rights to property and legal representation, and the range of professions Jews could legally hold.

During the Qajar Dynasty (1781-1925), the anti-Semitic laws of the Persian Empire grew significantly more severe. The Muslims consid-ered the Jews to be ritual polluters, najas, or “dirty.” [4] Laws forbade Jews to be outside when it rained, for the impure water that touched them may come in contact with a Muslim. [5] For the same reason, Jews and Muslims could not share bathhouses. A Jewish person could neither sell meat to a Muslim nor touch any merchandise that could be purchased by a Muslim. Jews were forbidden from speaking loudly in public and Jewish women were forced to veil their faces. It was not long until Iranian Muslims began physically harassing their Jewish neighbors. Jews were often attacked, had their clothing torn to shreds, their hats cut to pieces, their heads shaved, their earlocks clipped, and their beards removed. [6] The phrase jud baazi, or Jew-game, described the act of making a Jew beg for his life, and the term jud kosht or Jew-murder became a generalized term describing the most painful form of death. [7]

A Golden Age: The Pahlavi Dynasty

With the coronation of Reza Pahlavi in 1925, Jews established a higher social position than ever before. [8] After Shah Pahlavi disbanded the Pact of Umar and Jam Abbasi and proclaimed religious freedom in Iran, Jewish fears of persecution diminished considerably. [9] Reza Pahlavi’s son, Muhammad Reza also known as Reza Shah, continued to improve the conditions of Jews throughout Iran. The liberal polices Reza Shah adopted toward Jews were the byproduct of his efforts to Westernize and modernize his country. [10] The centuries-old barrier separating Judaism and Islam slowly crumbled as the Jewish people integrated into the Iranian society. [11] Jews were no longer barred from any profession nor were they forced to pay dhimmi taxes. Under the Pahlavi rule, Jewish ghettos immediately began to disappear and by 1967 more than half of the Jews who lived in Shiraz, once the historical center of Jewish life in Iran, had relocated to the northwest quadrant of the city. In 1977, only one quarter of Shirazy Jewry remained in the old mahalleh or Jewish ghetto. [12]

Under the banner of modernization, Pahlavi rule ushered in a long-desired societal acceptance of Iranian Jews. Jews began to give their children Persian names, making them indistinguishable from their fellow Muslim citizens. Linguistic differences began to disappear as Jews were admitted into the educational system. Most importantly, neighborhoods became integrated and socialization between Jews and Muslims increased. Children faced fewer obstacles to interfaith friend-ships. Parnianpour, a woman who grew up during the Pahlavi Dynasty says:

“Most of my life, relations between Jews and Muslims have been pretty normal. My family has always lived primarily among Muslims. My friends from childhood were mostly Muslims, and we all think of ourselves as Iranians.” [13]

The Iranian government financially supported public primary education for Jews and allowed foreign Jewish organization to aid the Persian Jewish community. Palestinian Jewish emissaries were permit-ted to come and teach in Jewish schools. [14] In 1947, the American Joint Distribution Committee provided education, medical services, sanita-tion and feeding programs for Iranian Jewish children. [15] Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU), a French organization started in 1860 that supported Jews who were subject to religious persecution, initiated a system of schools in Iran after World War II. [16] AIU proselytized the French ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity to Iranians. Other Jewish philanthropists founded the Ostar Hatorah schools in cities that lacked the Alliance schools. Jews could now receive both a Jewish and secular education with ease.

The majority of Jewish students continued to attend public schools, however, which reflects the religious and cultural comfort they must have felt in Iran. By 1968, 80 percent of the male Jewish population and 25 percent of the female Jewish population in the city of Shiraz received a secular education. [17] By the end of Pahlavi rule, Jewish literacy rates approached 100 percent [18] and Iranian Jewish students were attending boarding schools and colleges in Europe and the United States.

Not only did Jewish schools and synagogues flourish, but the Shah overturned laws barring Jews from many professions. Jews could now climb the social and professional ladder. Within decades, the Jewish standard of living grew substantially higher than that of the non-Jewish population. [19] Muslims and Jews could freely conduct business with one another for the first time in centuries. Jews invested in sales franchises, land, and hospitality services, thus allowing for a vast improvement in the economic status of the Jewish community. [20] Jews were no longer only peddlers, goldsmiths, butchers, and merchants but were now doctors, teachers, landlords, and even civil servants. Jewish newspapers, books, and magazines printed in Hebrew and Persian entered circulation. By 1977, only two percent of Jews were receiving state economic relief. [21] For the first time in Iranian history, a Jewish bourgeoisie that even boasted a small population of million-aires emerged, with Tehran as its epicenter. Many Jews inside Iran, as well as those in bordering nations, such as Iraq, stopped emigrating to Israel and looked instead to Tehran. [22]

The political life of Jews in Iran during Pahlavi rule has been called “the most favorable era for Persian Jews since Parthian rule.” [23] When Hitler visited Iran during World War II, the Shah protected the Jews; Iranian Jews believe that the Shah told Hitler that the Jews of Persia were as old as Persia and as Aryan as the rest of the Iranians. [24] He abolished the Law of Apostasy and allowed Jews to have political representation in the Majlis, the Iranian Parliament. Most importantly, the Shah began full diplomatic relations with the state of Israel in 1960. [25] Israeli delegates regularly attended international conferences held in Tehran and Israeli athletes participated in Iranian sporting events. Top Israeli politicians and leaders such as David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Abba Eban, Yitzhak Rabin, and Yigal Allon visited the Shah and high-level Iranian politicians. El-Al, Israeli’s flagship airline, operated openly through Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport. Trade and other transfers between the two nations were extensive, and included oil transactions, agricultural assistance, and consumer good sales. An estimated 70 to 80 percent of Iranian military officers with the rank of major or higher made trips to Israel between 1960 to 1979. [26] The Shah’s close relationship with Israel was symbolic of the improved relations between Muslims and Jews within Iran.

Turning Back the Clock: Post-Revolutionary Iran

Overnight, the 1979 Islamic Revolution overturned all the societal gains made by the Jewish community under the Shah. In the first few years after the Revolution, dozens of Jews were executed. [27] Habib Elghanian was the wealthiest Jewish philanthropist in Iran where he funded Hebrew schools across the country. Elghanian, who had introduced plastic to Iran, was accused of being a Zionist traitor, or to be more specific, he was charged with “friendship with the enemies of God, warring with God and His emissaries, and economic imperialism.” [28] He was hanged in 1979. Although Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering that all Jews be treated well, [29] and that Iranian Jews should be distinguished from Zionist agents, the record shows otherwise.

The supposed equality of Jews and Muslims and the rhetorical dis-tinction between Jew and Zionist soon became a political joke. Jews reverted to the status of dhimmi. Khomeini reinstituted the jizya and declared that if Muslims had obeyed the divine ordinances, “a handful of Jews would not have dared to occupy our land.” [30] During the year of the Revolution alone, numerous Jews were killed for “causing economic corruption in Iran.” [31] Any person who had a connection with the Shah or had “too much wealth,” was handed a death sentence. [32] Most of those who fled left their wealth behind to be appropriated by the Islamic regime.

These discriminatory practices all continue to this day. All workers in public sectors have to be screened for Islamic credentials. [33] “Blood money,” the payment given by the family of a murderer to the family of the victim, once again became customary in Iran after the Revolution, and the amount of financial compensation a Jew can receive from a Muslim in the case of a relative’s murder or death is equal to one-eighth the amount that is paid if the victim is a Muslim. [34] Further-more, Jews face obstacles in bringing civil suits to trial, are barred from high-level government posts, and are faced with insuperable delays in service delivery. Iranian courts refuse to accept testimony from Jews and, unsurprisingly, murderers of Jews have never been brought to justice. [35]

Parallels have been drawn between the state of Iranian Jewry and the state of German Jewry in the 1930s. [36] The Jewish population’s decline in Iran strongly reflects the new anti-Semitic fervor stirred up by the Revolution. [37] The Jewish population is estimated to have declined from 150,000 at mid-century to 30,000 in the decades following the Revolution. Current estimates range from as low as 10,000 to as high as 35-40,000. Both the U.S. and Israel have recognized the dangerous state of Jewish life in Iran. Immediately following the Revolution, the Iranian government confiscated all Jewish passports and would not allow more than one member of a Jewish family to travel abroad. [38] Although these laws no longer exist, the regime keeps a close watch on the Jewish community, their travels, and their ex-tended family, especially in the U.S. and Israel.

After the Revolution, Iran severed all relations with Israel and de-clared Israel an enemy of Islam. Iranian Jews learned the hard way to renounce any connection to Israel or Zionism in public. [39] “You can be Jewish and not associate yourself with Israel,” says Sarah Hay, a 21-year old computer engineer student from Tehran. [40] Jews are unable to telephone or send mail to relatives in Israel, let alone visit. Jews who have corresponded with family in Israel have been executed or jailed for “spying for Israel.” [41] In 1999, 11 Jews were convicted on this charge. One boy was only thirteen years old. “Virtually every Iranian Jew has relatives in Israel. To regard normal family connections of Jews with Israel a crime makes a mockery of pledges in the Islamic Republic constitution that Jews will be accorded full rights as a recognized religious minority,” another Iranian woman says. [42] In March 2006, fifteen Iranian Jewish folk dancers visited Russia. When the Russian Jewish community brought out a cake decorated with the Israeli flag to celebrate the occasion, the Iranian Jews would only eat from the section of the cake that did not bear the Israeli flag. [43] Even abroad, they feared the possible repression of their government. As Haroon Yashaie states, “supporting Israel is absolutely out of the question.” [44]

The Jewish community, once the most affluent in Iran, now consists mostly of people who are too old or too poor to leave. [45] Given the potential repercussions of speaking out against the Islamic regime, the substance of interviews with Iranian Jews must be viewed skeptically. In recent documentaries, Jews tell journalists of their good life in Iran and their freedom to live as they wish. [46] However, a recent Dateline documentary [47] captured the climate of fear in which they live. The film shows a Jew imploring the Dateline cameraman to stop filming a woman in a Kosher restaurant. When the cameraman puts down the camera, but without stopping the film, the fearful Jewish man says:

“You should stop filming now. That’s enough stop please. You only have a permit from our council…They gave you a permit to film in the synagogue. That’s all. That’s all…Please stop. We have problems. If our members happen to say the wrong thing by mistake… we’ll get in trouble for it.” [48]

Anti-Jewish slogans, cartoons, films, and celebrations, such as that of the one-hundredth anniversary of the publication of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, have permeated Iranian popular culture. Although anti-Semitic violence is rarely reported in Iran, a U.S. State Depart-ment report reveals that Jews, fearing reprisal, are reluctant to speak of mistreatment and that the Jewish community in Iran is closely monitored by the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance and by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. [50]

Iran’s current vehement Holocaust denial is not surprising. Since the establishment of the Islamic Regime, Iran has supported Roger Garaudy, a French author and philosopher who drew much public attention for his conversion to Sunni Islam and anti-Holocaust writ-ings. When the French government fined Garaudy $40,000 for racial defamation and Holocaust denial in his 1995 book Mythes Fondateurs de la Politique Israélienne, Iran helped pay his fine. [51] The link between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in Iran was witnessed at the Jaleh Square Massacre of September 1978, in which the government opened fire on crowds of protesters against the Revolution. When a crowd of 10,000 to 20,000 gathered in the square refused to disperse, govern-ment troops began to shoot into the crowd, killing hundreds and wounding thousands. [52] Mujahedeen and Fedayeen guerillas began chanting “Massacre the Jews” with megaphones and opened fire from surrounding rooftops. The Muslim religious leaders in Tehran claimed that thousands had been massacred by Zionist troops. [53]

The complaints of Iranian Jewry are routinely ignored or censored by the government. Maurice Motamed, Iran’s only Jewish parliamen-tarian, accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of insulting all the Jews in the world by denying the Holocaust, but did so only in media interviews and not in the parliament. [54] Furthermore, the chairman of the Jewish Central Committee of Tehran, Haroun Yeshaya, sent a letter to President Ahmadinejad strongly criticizing him and inform-ing him that his denial of one of the “most obvious and saddening events of 20th-century humanity” produced “anxiety among the small Jewish community of Iran.” The government promptly acted to censor him. [55] Having protected the Jewish community in the face of strong anti-Israel rhetoric in the early days of the Revolution and having long challenged anti-Semitic television shows and books published in Iran, he was asked not to run for reelection as chairman. [56]

Once again, Jews are being ostracized and are unable to socialize much outside of the small Jewish community because of their precarious situation. Gone are the days of Jewish leadership in local politics and professional circles. [57] Synagogues are now the central point of Jewish life. In a Dateline interview, Robert Halduh, a Jew still living in Iran, says that the “[Muslim] religious environment is more conducive to being a religious [than] a non-religious environment.” [58] Synagogue attendance has soared partly due to the religious atmosphere culti-vated by the Islamic Republic, [59] and partly due to the withdrawal of Jews from public life into close-knit communities. For the most part, Jews inhabit their own separate space within the limits of the Islamic Republic, a “protected” but rather uncertain people. [60]

Even in their own communities, however, Iranian Jews are not free from outside interference and suppression. The Iranian mullahs strictly control Jewish education. They forbid Jewish schools from teaching the Torah or other holy scriptures in Hebrew, [61] thereby forcibly separating Hebrew from Judaism and ensuring that Hebrew is only taught as a secular language. The only school that teaches Hebrew lessons is the Orthodox Jewish Otsar Hatorah School, which the Iranian gov-ernment sardonically forces by law to provide lessons on the Jewish Sabbath, the Jewish day of rest. Despite government interference, Ostar Hatorah is still a far friendlier place for Jews than public schools, where many Jewish children complain of unfair grades and physical abuse due to discrimination. [62] The Goharian family, for example, explains that other students will not sit next to their children at school because they are Jewish. [63] In an interview for a Dutch documentary, one student discussed how her teacher told the other students that she was najas and that if they touched her they would never be able to rid themselves of impurity. [64] The situation became so difficult for the young girl that she was forced to switch to the Jewish school. [65]

The situation of Iranian Jews is so tenuous today that it is difficult to believe how deeply woven they are into the fabric of Persian history. Iranian Jews are the preservers of Shiraz wine from the Shiraz region of southwest central Iran, and they were some of the highest advisors to the former Shah. Of course, Persian anti-Semitism long predates Islam, as the Jewish holiday of Purim attests. After all, Purim celebrates the Persian Jewish princess, Esther, who used her influence with the anti-Semitic vizier, Haman, to save the Jews from captivity and murder. Although there is still a small Jewish community in Iran, it has significantly dwindled from its pre-Revolution heyday and is now a vulnerable remnant of what it once was. Unfortunately, it is only outside Iran that Jews can be both Iranian and fully Jewish. The history of the Jewish community of Iran is centuries old; it may soon be coming to a close.


[1] “Iran’s Jews: Shalom Salaam,” Dateline, 16 May 2007.

[2] Elgin Groseclose. Introduction to Iran (New York: Oxford University Press, 1947): 57.

[3] Laurence Loeb. Dhimmi status and Jewish roles in Iranian Society. (Salt Lake City: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers Ltd., 1976): 92.

[4] Ibid. 93.

[5] Ibid. 93.

[6] Ibid. 93.

[7] Ibid. 93.

[8] Peter Avery. Modern Iran. (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1965): 490.

[9] Ibid. 490.

[10] Michael E Bonine (ed.) and Nikki R. Keddie (ed.). Modern Iran: The Dialectics of Continuity and Change. (New York: State University of New York Press, 1981), Contributed by Laurence D. Loeb.

[11] Robin Wright. The Last Great Revolution. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000): 206.

[12] Bonine and Keddie, 306.

[13] Wright, 206.

[14] Bonine and Keddie, 310.

[15] Ibid. 310.

[16] Ibid. 310.

[17] Ibid. p. 310.

[18] Wright. 206.

[19] Peter Avery, 308-311.

[20] Ibid., 308-311.

[21] Bonine and Keddie, 310.

[22] Ibid. 310.

[23] Laurence Loeb. Outcaste: Jewish Life in Southern Iran (New York: Gordon and Breach Publishers Inc: 289.

[24] Boghrat Khorsandi. Personal Interview. 28 September 2000.

[25] Barry Rosen. Iran Since the Revolution. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985): 89.

[26] Ibid. 89.

[27] Boghrat Khorsandi. Personal Interview. 28 September 2000.

[28] Roya Hakakian. Journey from the Land of No (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004): 151.

[29] http://www.sephardicstudies.org/iran.html

[30] Rosen, 90-91.

[31] Amnon Netzer (ed.). Pādyāvand V.II. (Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 1999): 244.

[32] Boghrat Khorsandi. Personal Interview. 28 September 2000.

[33] http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/hriran97.html

[34] http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/2003/March/Jews/

[35] Ibid.

[36] Amnon Netzer (ed.). Pādyāvand V.III. (Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 1999): 225.

[37] Wright, 207.

[38] Netzner, Pādyāvand V.I, 160.

[39] Angus Mcdowall, “Iran’s Jews Struggle in the Shadow of Holocaust Denials,” 22 May 2006 <http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article549814.ece&gt;.

[40] Krichevsky.

[41] Netzner, Pādyāvand V.I, 160.

[42] Ibid. 160.

[43] Krichevsky.

[44] “Iran’s Jews: Shalom Salaam.”

[45] Amnon Netzer (ed.). Pādyāvand V.I. (Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 1999): 145.

[46] Such as: “Life as an Iranian Jew,” Frances Harrison, BBC Newsnight, 21 September 2006.

[47] “Iran’s Jews: Shalom Salaam.”

[48] “Iran’s Jews: Shalom Salaam,” Dateline, 16 May 2007.

[49] http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2005/51599.htm

[50] Marc Perlman. “Letter Fuels Concern Over Fate of Jews in Increasingly Radical Iran,” JTA, 20 February 2006 <http://www.jta.org/cgibin/iowa/news/article/20060220Letterfuelsconcern.html&gt;.

[51] Hooshang Vazerey. “Roger Garaudy, Old Communist, New Muslim, Opportunistic Extremism,” Iran Press Service, 1 October 2007 http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles/vaziri_garaudy.html

[52] http://www.semp.us/publications/biot_reader.php?BiotID=137

[53] Boghrat Khorsandi. Personal Interview. 28 September 2000.

[54] “Life as an Iranian Jew,” Frances Harrison, BBC Newsnight, 21 September 2006.

[55] Perlman.Golnaz Esfandiari. “Iran: Jewish Leader Criticizes President for Holocaust Denial,” 13 February 2006, http://www.rferl.org/features/features_Article.aspx?m=02&y=2006&id=FB25E81F-BCE9-4291-ACDB-CF2C5C69FE92&gt;.

[56] Perlman.

[57] “Iran’s Jews: Shalom Salaam.”

[58] Ibid.

[59] Angus Mcdowall, “Iran’s Jews Struggle in the Shadow of Holocaust Denails,” 22 May 2006, <http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article549814.ece&gt;.

[60] Barbra Demick. “Life of Jews Living in Iran,” Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture, 30 September 1997, <http://www.sephardicstudies.org/iran.html&gt;.

[61] Boghrat Khorsandi. Personal Interview. 28 September 2000.

[62] Jaklin Golshani. Personal Interview. 28 July 2007.

[63] “Life as an Iranian Jew.”

[64] Jews of Iran, dir. Ramin Farahani, NIK Media, the Netherlands, 2005.

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