Tag Archives | Iran

Iran and the Shortcomings of International Human Rights Law

Hadi Ghaemi and Aaron Rhodes of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran urge the United Nations Human Rights Council to take a stand against the blatant repression undertaken by the Iranian government. But they acknowledge that so far the UN has done more to support the Iranian government than its victims:

The new session of the U.N. Human Rights Council began on March 1. A failure of the world’s most influential human rights body to deal with the abuse of human rights in Iran will be interpreted by Tehran as a green light for the government’s brutal policies that could result in more executions of political prisoners….

While atrocities since June have horrified people around the world, leading to demonstrations by more than 50,000 people in 110 cities last summer, Iran seems, astonishingly, to be strengthening its standing in the Human Rights Council.

The 47 member states have shown no willingness to hold a special session, as many international human rights experts have recommended, nor have they supported the idea of a special U.N. envoy to look into the situation, and to press Iran to abide by its commitments….

The failure of the Human Rights Council to take serious action to condemn Iran’s human rights abuses, and the election of Iran to the Human Rights Council itself, will be deeply disillusioning for the reform and human rights movement in Iran. It could destroy their faith in the international human rights system, for which many have sacrificed their freedom and security, and for which many have died. It will give legitimacy to hanging political prisoners, and more will be hanged.

But this issue is not just about Iran. It is about the capacity of the U.N. system to protect human rights. If Iran’s grave abuses are ignored and

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Guardian Debunks Ahmadinejad Story

Not a Jew.

I pointed out previously that persons of Jewish descent in anti-Semitic societies sometimes become openly anti-Semitic themselves to prove their lack of loyalty to the Jewish community.  The flip side is that people with no Jewish descent (e.g., with very high probability, Hitler) are often alleged by their political enemies to really be Jews, an allegation that fits in with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that Jews run the world via stealth.  To take an absurd example, neo-Nazi websites were circulating a phony genealogy last Fall claiming that Sarah Palin’s ancestors were Jews. [...]

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Was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Born Jewish?

This could just be disinformation, but if true it explains a lot.  Note that some of the worst anti-Semites in history, including Torquemada and Karl Marx, were of recent Jewish descent, and used anti-Semitism to ingratiate themselves with their non-Jewish constituencies.

Ha’aretz: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s scathing attacks against Israel and his repeated denials of the Nazi Holocaust could be motivated by a desire to conceal his own Jewish roots, an Iran expert told The Daily Telegraph on Saturday.

The British newspaper examined the Iranian leader’s identity card which he displayed in public during his country’s elections in March 2008.

The ID card bears his family’s original surname, Sabourjian, which is a Jewish name that means cloth weaver, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The Sabourjians have historically been concentrated in the same region of Iran where Ahmadinejad was born, according to the report.

Ahmadinejad’s identity papers indicate that his family changed its name and converted to Islam after he was born, the British newspaper said.

Iranian observers suggested that the president’s constant verbal assault against Israel and Jews may be an attempt to prove his loyalty to Shia Islam while making every effort to hide his Jewish past.

UPDATE: Here’s the original Telegraph story.
FURTHER UPDATE: Admittedly it’s possible that Torquemada, et al., were just sincere anti-Semites, despite their Jewish descent.  But from medieval Spain until twenty-first century America (see War, Iraq), it’s been common for powerful persons of Jewish descent to be accused of using their power to further a secret Jewish agenda, whatever their expressed motives.  One way of trying to preempt such criticism is to get a reputation as a vociferous critic of Jews.

To get into more controversial territory, it’s certainly interesting that many leftists of Jewish descent who have no other connection with [...]

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