Iranian Jews pressured to postpone Pesach celebration and march against Israel

Fearing reprisals, Iranian Jewish leaders exhort their community to ‘demonstrate against the Zionist regime’.

The Islamic Republic of Iran exerted pressure on the 9000 strong Jewish community to not celebrate the end of Pesach on Friday and instead participate in the annual anti-Israel al-Quds Day demonstration that calls for the destruction of Israel.

Beni Sabti, an expert on Iran from the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, told the Jerusalem Post on Sunday that “there is a silent pressure and everyone knows their role in this regime and the regime won’t hurt you” if you demonstrate in the al-Quds Day march.

 “And if you don’t demonstrate, you will be harmed.” He stressed the Iranian Jewish community has to show support for the al-Quds Day demonstration in order to “survive” in the totalitarian Islamic state. He noted that many Iranian Jews are being harmed and avoid greater danger by participating in the al-Quds demonstration.

The founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, created al-Quds Day in 1979 as a worldwide demonstration to protest the existence of the state of Israel.

Iran’s Jewish community announced on Monday on its social media platform Telegram: “Please do not go for picnics or enjoyable activities on al-Quds Day.”

Iranian Jews traditionally celebrate the end of Pesach with Mimouna, an exuberant festival of eating hametz.

The Jewish community said that Iranian Jews should “care about Muslim sensitivity” and celebrate a week later.

In a second message, the Jewish community wrote “When we are approaching al-Quds Day, the Jewish community of Iran will participate in demonstrations against the Zionist regime and will declare their disgust with the Zionist policies against human beings. The Iranian Jewish community is separated from the Zionists. We are with Iranians and Muslims.”

Photo: A synagogue in Tehran (FOR-USA Fellowship of Reconciliation/Flickr)