Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Ahmadinejad Discovers He Is a Jew

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Moshe ben YaakovTehran, Islamic Republic of Iran (Reuters) – After two terms leading his country in a staunchly anti-Israel, and, many would say, anti-Semitic direction, former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discovered his own Jewish roots yesterday.

Unpacking from the move away from the Presidential Palace in the capital city, Ahmadinejad came across old photos of his parents holding him. On the back of one photo, marked 4 November 1956, were the words “Mazal Tov Moshe. May you only grow in Torah and love of Israel,” in Farsi. The former President at first thought the photo and inscription were a practical joke, but the age of the writing prompted him to consult an old relative, who broke the news to him.

The discovery is likely to have little or no impact on Iran’s policy toward Israel, as Ahmadinejad holds no more power, and he had fallen out of favor with the ruling elite over the last several years. If anything, says Persian Studies scholar Ima Yenta of Columbia University, “this development is actually more likely to inflame anti-Israel passions further, as it could easily be portrayed as another alleged case of Jews and Israel controlling governments and peoples.”

On a personal level, it is unclear how the revelation will affect Ahmadinejad. Iran has a small Jewish community that officially toes the government line on anti-Zionism, meaning the former President’s Jewishness does not necessarily make him persona non grata in his previous circles. However, the thin line between anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric and behavior often gets blurred when passions flare, which puts Ahmadinejad in a potentially risky position, given his prominence.

Ahmadinejad is not the first world leader to discover his Jewish roots later in life, nor the first anti-Jewish firebrand to face his Hebrew ancestry. According to Tuttle Beeyess, a Stanford University historian, none other than Joseph Stalin whispered a deathbed request that someone say Kaddish for him, referring to a selection from Jewish liturgy recited by the relatives of the deceased for a time after his death. Stalin was notorious for persecution of Jews and other adherents of religion, in keeping with Marxist Communist ideology. After his death it emerged that he was circumcised per Jewish practice at one week old and named Yosef ben BenTzion, but virulent Tsarist persecutions drove the family to hide their Jewish identity.

Obama in skullcapAnother surprising Jew was Abraham Lincoln, who was still struggling with his discovery the night he was assassinated in 1865. Some fragments of letters by his wife Mary attest to the conflicted feelings he harbored upon being informed that his parents had been crypto-Jews, continuing a long line of secretly Jewish Britons going back to the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290.

White House officials refused to comment on when President Obama will announce that he is also Jewish.


Written by Thag

July 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm

3 Responses

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  1. the last sentence makes the whole article seem to be a joke.

    jonathan fialka

    July 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

  2. By few words…we are doomed all of us to be Jews! Such a funny and dangerous… “race”!!!


    July 8, 2013 at 1:18 am

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