Happy Sixtieth Birthday Israel
Amil Imani, AT contributor and activist in the cause of freedom for Iran, remembers a time when those who ruled Persia were wise and benevolent:
Israel, your people, as well as people of good will, are celebrating your sixtieth birthday. We, the children of Cyrus the Great, also would like to offer our heartfelt best wishes to you on this occasion. Yet, this, in fact, is your rebirth. Your birth occurred some 4,000 years ago.
Regrettably, your journey from your early beginning to the present has been fraught with great suffering. It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of your people that they persisted in their valiant struggle to re-gather again in the land of their birth.A noble and just Persian king, Cyrus the Great, rescued your people from captivity in a foreign land and empowered them to return home and build their sacred temple. By his action of freeing an entire people from captivity and restoring their rightful dignity, Cyrus the Great, the author of the first code of Human Rights, cemented a bond of friendship between the Jews and the Persians. It was the Just King's way of setting the world on a course of freedom, equality, and justice for all people, irrespective of any and all considerations.
Yet, your people, Israel, were unable to settle down for long in their own homeland, to worship their God as they wished, and to live in peace. They were assaulted once again by the forces of destruction that sent them scurrying for the relative safety of other lands.
Your rebirth, Israel, is in reality a culmination of thousands of years of gestation during which the Jewish people, dispersed through much of the world, endured immense degrees and varieties of suffering. The Nazi murderers and their collaborators capped the crimes committed against your people by brutally slaughtering six million innocent men, women and children.
Now, Israel, you are a sovereign state but hardly safe. You are surrounded by nations and peoples who are bent on your destruction. It is tragic that your neighbors and you have not been able to find an equitable way of living side-by-side with mutual respect and in peace.
Many of us Iranians co-suffer with this tragic state of affairs that harms you as well as your neighbors. We earnestly hope that ways can be found for a peaceful resolution of this destructive impasse.
We appreciate the fact that you, Israel, have welcomed the Iranian Jews who could no longer tolerate the rule of the oppressive venomous mullahs. These mullahs are indeed traitors to the lofty long-standing tradition and values championed by Cyrus the Great and revered by Persians throughout the ages.
We applaud you for affording millions of Israeli Arabs opportunities denied to them in many other lands.
Your fair treatment of the Baha'is, Israel, is a further testimony to your ability and willingness to live in harmony with any and all people. In Iran, the birthplace of the Baha'i faith, Baha'is are ruthlessly subjected to a form of gradual genocide by the savage mullahs. Some Baha'is are executed for their faith, Baha'i children are denied university studies, Baha'i holy places destroyed and even their cemeteries are bulldozed, just to cite a few examples. You, Israel, by contrast, have provided the Baha'is freedom to care for their holy places which were established in the Holy Land during the 19th century, long before your rebirth.
Your perennial prayer, "Next Year in Jerusalem" has finally been answered. We also pray that you succeed in taking the steps necessary for making the New Jerusalem a place of hope and lasting safety for your people as well as people of all religions and those with no religion at all.
Happy Sixtieth Birthday, Israel.