Jewish Journal

Kudos to the Jerusalem Post for covering Iranian Jews

by Karmel Melamed

March 23, 2008 | 6:31 pm

Aside from the L.A. Jewish Journal’s editorial staff which has been tremendously wise and kind to permit my coverage of the influential Iranian Jewish community in Los Angeles in their publication, very few other Jewish publications anywhere in the world have given regular coverage to news relating to Iranian Jewry. The Jerusalem Post based in Israel has been one of the few exceptions and I have noticed over the years that they have given on-going coverage of issues dealing with Iranian Jewry.

This article published by the Jerusalem Post magazine this week done my good friend and colleague Tom Tugend, is just the latest article by the Post covering Iranian Jewry in Los Angeles. Most reporters out there haven’t a single clue about Iranian Jews living outside of Iran when covering the community and fail to give historical background in their articles. However Tom has done an excellent job in this piece giving a very complete picture of Iranian Jews living in Southern California and has even quoted one of my past articles! Photojournalist and my other good friend Shelley Gazin provided some of the incredible photos of local Iranian Jews for this article. Her latest project for the past several years has been photographing Southern California’s Iranian Jewish community.

Here’s another brief news piece in the Post about Israel Radio saving it’s Persian language programming from being cancelled due to limited funds. The program regularly broadcasts news via short wave frequencies to Iran. It is perhaps the most listened to news broadcast in Iran by almost everyone in the country because it is the single most accurate and comprehensive source of information people in Iran have access to. Unfortunately the news broadcasted by Iran’s state-controlled fundamentalist Islamic media outlets is bias, chalk full of propaganda and B.S., rather than real or valuable information people can rely on. So for this reason, Israel Radio’s Persian language program is not only a god sent to all Iranians in Iran, but also a great resource for Israel to reach average Iranians within that country to change their hearts and minds. What more important resource than this program for Israel to make use of in a time when Iran’s leaders have repeatedly been calling for its destruction.

The Post in the past has even published one of my own articles about the only known Iranian Jewish Holocaust Survivor! That amazing story can be found here.

In essence, the Jerusalem Post editors deserve some praise for not forgetting about the very news-worthy Iranian Jewish community living around the world. Coverage of Iranian Jews should be a priority for all Jewish publications worldwide especially nowadays with Iran in the news as well as the numerous contributions of Iranian Jews to society at large.

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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