Sunday, February 16, 2003

And after Iraq…
Before the revolution in Iran in 1979, Israel had very good relations with Iran. A cousin of my mother’s lived there for a few years. I think her husband was a representative of an Israeli company there. I remember sitting in her kitchen, when she got back, listening to her tell about what life was like there. I have often wondered how it could be that all the people in Iran could have had such a complete change of heart about Israel.

Well, it seems they didn’t. It seems many of them had the change of heart thrust upon them.

On my favorite radio program, the International Hour on Reshet Bet, this afternoon, they spoke to someone from Kol Yisrael (Voice of Israel) in Persian. I didn’t catch it all, because I was at work and someone came in for some help with something. What I managed to catch was this guy telling Reshet Bet listeners about a regular call-in program they broadcast in Persian. He said they have many Iranians, living in Iran, calling and speaking on the program, and even giving their real names. He said some of them have expressed the hope that when the USA finishes liberating Iraq they will keep on going and liberate them, as well. He said that when Ilan Ramon went up into space they had warm words of congratulations and when he was killed, with his fellow astronauts in the Columbia disaster, they said they were very sad with the people of Israel. He said that during the days that followed, everyone who called up began the conversation by offering sincere condolences for the people of Israel. He let us listen to one caller and translated him as asking how the people of Iran could show their solidarity with the people of Israel in our time of mourning. And then he offered a way himself. He suggested that every person in Iran who wished to express his or her feelings on this matter should light two candles and place them by their window for all to see. I wonder if anyone dared.