April 9, 2008
Iranian Jewish author Gina Nahai not afraid to support Democrats in ‘08
In her column recently in the L.A. Jewish Journal, Iranian Jewish author Gina Nahai took a real bold stand by publicly supporting two of the remaining Democratic candidates for the 2008 U.S. Presidential race. This move by Nahai is indeed unique because Iranians and Iranian Jews have typically not been very supportive of certain Democrats over the years due to their hatred of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. While Iranian Jews in the past have supported various members of Congress and even former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Carter is perhaps their least favorite because he is blamed for indirectly supporting the rise of radical Islamic clerics to power in Iran and the fall of the late Shah in 1979. My article about Iranian Jewish dislike for Carter can be found here . In recent years the Iranian Jewish community in Southern California has been more vocal about their support for Republicans and George W. Bush due to the party’s overall strong stance against Iran’s current regime and support for Israel.
While I do not agree with many of the foreign policy views of Sentors Clinton or Obama, I tip my hat to Nahai for having the courage of her convictions to speak out about her support for both candidates and the need for our community to be open to different political alternatives. As a journalist covering Iranian Jewry, I am well aware of the pressure in the local Iranian Jewish community for individuals to conform to one set of political, social, professional or religious beliefs. So for Nahai to set herself apart from the rest takes a lot of guts. Here’s a sample of her published piece:
On a side note it does not surprise me that Gina Nahai is supportive of the Democratic presidential candidates as her husband H. David Nahai has also been a long time supporter of various democratic presidential candidates including Al Gore and John Kerry within the Iranian Jewish community.
In the coming weeks, my own piece regarding the Iranian Jewish views of Senator Obama will be published. This upcoming article will identify the reasons why members of our community are very hesitant to support him because of his stances on diplomacy with Iran.