May 19, 2006:The Islamic RepublicMajles, or Consultative Counsel, on Tuesday debated a law that wouldrequire Christians and Jews to wear a special badge, reminiscent ofthe yellow star Nazi Germany and Vichy France imposed on Jews duringthe 1930s and 1940s. "Thisis reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi MarvinHier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in LosAngeles. Hier predicted that the law, which must move out ofcommittee to the whole Majles, then be approved by the Supreme Leaderand the Council of Guardians, "will certainly pass unless there'ssome sort of international outcry."
Many Jewish leadersprivately fear that the Islamic Republic intends to take stepssimilar to those of Nazi Germany, first by publicly identifying Jewsthrough distinctive dress or other means, then taking them hostage inthe event of military strikes against Iran.
TheJerusalem Post today reminded its readersof Nazi Germany, when Jews were forced to wear yellow stars.[Photo: AP]
UPIreported from Tehran that the Majlespassed the law this week."This law recalls the Holocaust immediatelyto mind when Jews were forced to wear distinctive yellow Stars ofDavid on their clothes," said American Jewish Congress ExecutiveDirector Neil Goldstein.
TheADL issued a statement today callingreports that IranianJews will be forced to wear a yellow strip of cloth and thatChristians will have to wear red badges,"unconfirmed." ADL noted, however, that "it is factual that theIranian parliament is considering some kind of dress code" todistinguish Muslims from non-Muslims.
Sam Kermanian, of the Iranian JewishFederation in Los Angeles, urged Jewish activists to caution in amass email today. "So far the two reports we managed toobtain from our own independent sources from inside the countrysuggest that the original reports are false," he wrote."Both Mr. Morris Motamed the Jewish member of the IranianParliament and Mr Parviz Yeshaya the former head of the communityhave strongly denied the reports."
Note: Mr. Kermanian hasacknowledged to FDI that he currently does business in Tehran, butsays that he has received a "waiver" from the Treasury Department tosanction his commercial activities.
His denials that such a law hadbeen passed were backed up by HormozGhahremani, a spokesman for the Iranian Embassy inOttawa,who sent an email tothe National Post, calling the news "slanderous accusations:" thatwere "part of a smear campaign against Iran by vested interests,which needs to be denounced at every step.
Kenneth R. Timmerman is Executive Director of the Foundation forDemocracy in Iran.