Tag Archives: Iran

Thoughts On Purim 2019

I’m not particularly religious, but as I get older, I realize that the stories in the Bible can still speak to us many generations after they were written.

Today is the Jewish holiday of Purim. It is the story of Esther. To make a long story short, Esther hides her Jewish identity while entered in a beauty contest to see who will become the next Queen of Shushan (modern-day Iran). When she is chosen to be the next Queen, she is faced with an impossible task: save her people from Haman’s wrath while risking her own life in the process.

Looking at the story of Purim through the lens of 2019, I feel like it still speaks to us. It speaks to us because of the growing intolerance that has become acceptable once more in our world.

It also speaks to us because Esther and her predecessor, Vashti, are also two of the strongest women in the Bible. When the King calls for Vashti to appear for all of his guests wearing only her crown (aka walking into a room full of strange, drunk men in her birthday suit), she says no and is sent away. This opens the door for Esther to become Queen and using what little power she has to stop Haman. Esther knows that her husband could easily send her away, or worse, send her to the executioner. But she is brave and knows that the only way to save herself and her people is to reveal who she really is.

The message I get from Purim is that it is possible to be ourselves and stand up to intolerance and hatred. We only need the guts to do so.

 

 

 

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The Proof Is In The Pudding And The Documents Don’t Lie

The Iranian government has made no secret of their nuclear ambitions. In signing the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in return for the lifting of severe economic sanctions.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced to the world that Iran lied. 55,000 pages and 183 CDs tell the truth.

The Iranians have continued their nuclear program in secret while pretending to go along with the terms of the deal signed 3 years ago.

Nuclear war is one of the biggest threats to the survival of our species and our world. If Iran is not stopped, I fear what may happen.

Israel is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to world politics. Instead of mocking or disregarding the facts that have been revealed, perhaps the world should examine what Israel took the time to research and reveal.

If we don’t, I fear that Iranian nuclear bombs may one way destroy everything we hold near and dear.

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Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card Book Review

Illegal immigration is a hot button topic in America these days. The problem, as I see it, is that while we argue over the big picture, we forget the nuances and the individuals (whose stories often differ) who came to America, albeit illegally, looking for a better life for themselves and their families.

Sara Saedi is one of these individuals. Born in Tehran, Iran during the Islamic Revolution, Sara came to America as a toddler with her family. She was raised as a normal American kid, but there was one thing that separated her from her peers: she was an illegal immigrant.

In her new memoir, Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card, Sara writes about living a dual life. She was an ordinary American kid doing the things that any ordinary American kid does. But she was also an illegal immigrant whose status was secretive and sometimes questionable at best.

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it because the author writes in such a manner that the memoir is enticing. Her writing is down to earth and normal. I found myself thinking in some sections that she sounded like a normal young girl, regardless of her immigration status. But, ultimately, what kept me reading was the idea that when it comes to immigration, especially those who come here by bypassing the legal modes of immigration. While border safety and the safety of everyday Americans is of utmost importance, we  must also take a hard look at our immigration policies and determine if we are going against American tradition by keeping out people who simply want a piece of the American dream.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Germany, 1933 Here We Come

America is supposed to be land of the free, home of the brave. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are one of the corners of our country, both culturally and legally.

One of the news items that has not been on the front page (but should be) is that the Department of Homeland Security is compiling a list of journalists and so-called “media influencers”.

While it is unknown what will be done to the individuals and organizations whose names appear on the list, the thought that this is happening in the United States of America in 2018 sends a chill down my spine.

Suppression of the free press is not something that happens in the United States. Suppression of the free press happens in countries like Iran and North Korea.

If this is not a sign that you know who and his minions are shredding the standards of American democracy to meet their own needs, I don’t know what is.

I only know that we still have the right to vote and we should all be using that right come the fall. If we don’t, the democracy that is the United States of America may soon be no more.

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Tisha B’Av

Today is Tisha B’av.

It is one of the saddest says in the Jewish calendar.

It commemorates the the destruction of the second temple by the Romans.

While I am not particularly religious, I feel drawn to this day of mourning.

Students of history have often correlated this day of mourning not just with the destruction of the second temple by the Romans, but other times of crisis in Jewish history.

I saw this video on my Facebook feed this morning.

We know what happens when we give into hate, destruction and dictators who have no problem advocating the destruction of an entire nation.

Maybe we will learn our lesson this time and finally learn from the past.

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World War III, Here We Come

At the end of the 1930’s, the world was still healing from the wounds created by the first World War. The emotional embers were still burning when world leaders, led by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, hoping to avert a second World War brokered a deal with Nazi Germany.  In that deal, their hope was that peace was the future of the world. It was not, war was.

It is quite obvious to myself and anyone who pays attention to the news that Iran is not to be trusted. But yet, President Obama, Secretary Of State John Kerry and other heads of governments around the world made a “peace accord” with Iran. I’m willing to bet that soon it won’t be worth more than the paper it is printed on.

Looking back at the nearly 8 years of the Obama administration, I wonder what history will say about this time in American history? On one hand, a man of mixed racial heritage in the white house is a huge leap forward. But if one were to examine his record as President a little closely, there are inconsistencies. He may not be Jimmy Carter, but he is coming pretty close.

History will be the judge of the outcome of this deal. But I have a sneaking suspicion that World War III may be the outcome. And if that is the case, Nagasaki and Hiroshima will look like child’s play compared to what may be ahead of us.

Fun stuff, right? Happy Wednesday.

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Is Barack Obama The Neville Chamberlain Of Our Era?

The world of the 1930’s was not an easy one to live in. The Great Depression had caused the economy around the world to collapse. Millions were out of work. The Great War, in which an entire generation of men were killed, was still on minds of those who lived through it.

In Germany, the Nazi Party was in power. The song, Deutschland über alles was heard throughout the country. It would soon be heard throughout Europe.

War was in the air, again.

Hoping to appease the Germans and prevent another war, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain offered the Czechoslovakian area known as the Sudetenland to the Nazis as a peace offering. Instead of appeasing the Germans and preventing war, it opened the floodgates to World War II.

Very recently, President Obama has been insisting that the nuclear deal with Iran is mutually beneficial.

I disagree. Instead of making deals with Iran and hoping that they will keep their end of the bargain, we should be drawing a hard and fast line. That line states that they disarm and hand over all nuclear weapons.

But President Obama knows better or at least, he thinks he does. I just worry if he will finally change his mind when nuclear bombs, courtesy of Iran, hit cities like Tel Aviv, London, Paris, Rome, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and finally, his hometown of Chicago.

Is Barack Obama the Neville Chamberlain of our era? Unequivocally, yes.

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