I was privileged recently to witness history in the making a few weeks ago when a small group of Iranian American Jews, Muslims and Christians came together in a show of unity and harmony. My piece this week in the Journal covers the historic evening that unfolded on November 12th at the Washington D.C. home of Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren. Iranian American prominent leaders came together to celebrate the music and message of peace put out by popular Iranian-Israeli singer "Rita". Kudos to the Israeli diplomats here in the U.S. and to Rita for reminding Iranians of various religions living in America of the centuries long friendship between the people of Iran and the Jews people. Oren spoke of the history’s long kindness the first emperor of Iran, Cyrus showed to the Jewish people when he freed them and allowed them to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. Rita gave a short but incredibly powerful performance that had the guests singing and dancing with her-- including Oren who joined the band! The following are brief videos of her performance that night:
Other prominent individuals at the event included CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer and former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Sadly while the regime in Iran has repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction and funded terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah to attack Israel, more the most part, Iranians living in Iran and worldwide have no issues with Israel nor the Jewish people. Jews and Israelis who outreach to the people of Iran and Iranians elsewhere in the world with an outstretched arm of friendship during this difficult time in Iran’s history only disproves the anti-Semitic propaganda put out by the Iranian regime. Perhaps one day both peoples can reunite and prosper together in a climate of peace, instead of the horrid nuclear war desired by the Iranian regime.
(Iranian-Israeli singer Rita performs with her band and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, photo by Israeli Embassy)
(CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer holding up his autographed C.D. of Rita's music...he looks like a happy camper! Photo by Karmel Melamed)