Jewish Journal


October 2, 2007

Iranian mullahs’ use of Jews for propaganda would make Goebbels proud


During the last three to four months Iran’s fundamentalist Islamic regime has been doing its utmost to counter the negative publicity generated by it’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and called for Israel to be “wiped off the map”. The most effective way they have done their public relations damage control is by marching out Iran’s Jews and showing that the regime “loves the Jews” and is benevolent to them. The hope of the mullahs who hold the true power in Iran is to reverse the bad press they have been getting as anti-Semitic jihadists. (Below I offer an abbreviated list of publicity stunts and propaganda moves that the regime has undertaken to fix their image by using Iran’s Jews).

As a journalist who closely monitors the news concerning Iran’s Jewry, I can’t help but to see the similarities between the propaganda that is being spewed by the Iranian government and Nazi Germany’s propoganda. Both of these brutal dictatorships used the Jews in their propoganda to “improved” their image in the world and sway public support for their side. The constant story spinning by the Iranian regime and putting Iran’s Jews on display to show that the Jews are being “treated well” would make Hitler’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels quite proud! Perhaps the best example of Nazi exploitation of the Jews for their propaganda purposes occurred in June of 1944 at the Nazi concentration camp “Theresienstadt” in the Czech Republic. The Nazis permitted the International Red Cross to visit the camp to dispel rumors about the Final Solution to the Jewish question. The Nazis created fake shops and cafes at the camp to imply that the Jews lived in relative comfort and the Red Cross guests even enjoyed the performance of a children’s opera during their visit. The hoax was so successful that the Nazis produced a propaganda film at Theresienstadt to show how well the Jews lived under the “benevolent” protection of the Third Reich. After shooting the film, most of the cast, and even the filmmaker himself, were deported to Auschwitz and killed. Many of the 80,000 Czech Jews who died in the Holocaust were killed in Theresienstadt.

(the entrance to Theresienstadt concentration camp in the Czech Republic)

The film and the publicity stunt at Theresienstadt fooled the media and the international community into thinking the Nazis were “kind” to the Jews. Similarly today the news media is again being doped by buying into Iran’s propaganda messages that Jews are living under the “benevolent” protection and freedom of Iran’s totalitarian Islamic regime. The truth of the matter is that the Iranian regime and its secret police of thugs have a tight grip on the activities of the Jewish community in Iran. If the Jews step out of line, they face serious dangers. Such was the case in 2000 when 13 Jews from the city of Shiraz were randomly arrested on trumped up charges of being supposed spies for Israel and the U.S. If the Jews and religious minorities live in such supposed “freedom” in Iran, then why does the Iranian Constitution clearly indicate that all non-Muslims have inferior status to Muslims? Why do Iran’s laws require that all non-Muslims be humiliated and confined to prevent them from gaining any advantage over Muslims?

The Iranian government is quick to pull out the Jewish member of Iran’s Parliament to show that Iran’s Jew have “fair representation”. Yet what the mainstream media does not realize are that comments made by any Jewish leaders in Iran to the Western media lack credible since these leaders have been hand picked by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry to parrot what the regime tells them to say. Whenever any journalist goes to Iran to talk to the Jews, they are handed over to hand picked Jews who have been given a script to read from—just as was the case with the Nazi film at Theresienstadt. What is even more outrageous about Iran’s propaganda machine is that the regime does not grant visas to journalists it deems unsympathetic to their government! So the Iranian officials have had pretty much free reign in spewing their one-sided message regarding Iranian Jews that is in no way objective. This is by far not fair and balanced journalism!

As a journalist who exclusively covers Iranian Jewry and has close ties to the community, I am personally baffled at how member of the media in the U.S. and Europe can make any assertions that life is great for Jews in Iran. On a regular basis, I am reminded by countless Iranian American Jewish leaders to watch what I might be writing about the Iranian government for fear that what I may report on may have negative repercussions on the Jews of Iran. So my question is why on earth are Iranian American Jews so concerned about my words and the safety of their brethren in Iran if everything is supposedly so fine and dandy for Jews in Iran?

And for you curious folks who do not believe that Iran’s regime has used the country’s Jews for propaganda purposes, the following is an abbreviated list of their recent P.R. stunts:

Producing and broadcasting “Zero Degree Turn” a television series on Iranian state-run network which accepts the existence of the Holocaust and shows an Iranian-Palestinian man saving a Jewish woman’s life in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Despite the show’s efforts to show that Iran is supposedly tolerant of the Holocaust, it is full of inaccuracies and attacks “Zionists”.

Announcing that the Iranian government supposedly “loves the Jews” by publicizing the Iranian regime’s plans earlier to build a new 73,000 square foot cultural and sports complex for the Jewish community in central Tehran.

Putting out press releases and sending their lackeys in the Western media to say that Ahmadinejad’s comments about Israel being wiped off the map were “incorrectly translated”. What a bunch of horse manure! We all know very well what Ahmadinejad said and what he meant, there’s no way to back track on it.

Sending out press releases that Iran’s Jews condemn Ahmadinejad’s mistreatment at Columbia University last week. Here’s an example of one such press release:

Sending out press releases that Iran’s Jews will be participate in “Quds Day” an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan to voice support for the Palestinian people. Here’s an example of one such press release:

It seems as if the Iranian mullahs have learned well from Goebbels techniques and the Nazi propaganda machine he created—when they’re in trouble, they can just march out the Jews to effectively pull the wool over the world’s eyes!

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