Jewish-Iranian author: Don't attack Iran
In a recent op-ed published by the New York Times, Jewish Iranian-American author Roya Hakakian wrote in reference to Iran and Israel that "no two nations have ever been so deeply shaped by each other and yet so unaware of their debt to each other."
Speaking to Ynet, Hakakian says the responses to the article, in which she declared that "by bombing Iran, Israel would be bombing a portion of Jewish history," were mixed. She said the angry responses came from Jews who claimed she was naïve and does not realize a nuclear Iran poses an existential threat to Israel.
Hakakian, who fled with her family to the US following the Islamic revolution of 1979, has visited Israel five times. The writer says she keeps in touch with relatives in Iran via Facebook, which she refers to as a "monster" the regime in Tehran is unable to control. For this reason, Hakakian says, authorities are considering blocking all internet access in the country – just as China had.
Addressing the Israel-Iran conflict, Hakakian says she can't side with only one of the countries, equating her situation to that of a child whose parents divorced. According to Hakakian, both cultures have shaped her character equally.
The author claims an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would go against Jewish values and reasoning. The Jews, she asserts, have always stood up for the weak and the just. Threatening to wage a war contradicts the principles of Jewish morality, she states.
Only Iranian Jews living abroad can understand the sentiments of the Iranian people and how miserable their lives are, the author claimed.
Asked how the nuclear crisis could be resolved, Hakakian suggests that instead of focusing on Iran, the international community should find a solution to the crisis in Syria. According to the author, a peaceful resolution in Syria would constitute a major victory against the regime in Tehran - "without dropping a bomb."
Hakakian claims that the Iranian public is not anti-Israel, noting that during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Iran was the only Mideast country in which there were no demonstrations against Israel. The author says the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not concern the Iranian people, who are not "buying" the regime's propaganda anymore, also with regards to Israel.
Hakakian claims that as far as public opinion is concerned, the conditions in Iran are ripe for a revolution. A recent poll conducted in Tehran showed that two-thirds of Iranians do not pray regularly. The author claims they have not lost their faith in god or religion, but are rather embracing secular values.
In the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, says the author, Jews in the Islamic Republic will be forced to go into hiding. Such an attack, she says, would eventually weaken Israel's position in the region.
Iran can become a great ally to Israel in a hostile region and be the place where the change in attitude towards Israel begins, she says.
The Jewish author described Iran's foreign film Oscar win as a "victory for the opposition."