June 12th marks the 5th anniversary of 2009 post-presidential election protest movement in Iran.
It was a watershed moment in Iranian history, when millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the fraudulent re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Thousands of people were arrested, tortured or killed, and many disappeared, while thousands of young Iranians were forced to leave the country – and Ahmadinejad was never ousted. Five years later, in the aftermath Hassan Rohani’s election, what, if anything, has changed?
Malihe Razazan spoke with Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
According to Ghaemi, almost a year after Rohani’s election, not much has changed: “It was just a year ago that [Rouhani] created a lot of hope, especially for the young population who voted for him to ease the restrictions and improve the human rights situation. Unfortunately, not much has happened. There is a minority clique who is controlling the security, intelligence and judiciary. And they don’t seem to be wanting to relinquish power. And if anything, they have increased their oppression and human rights violations.”
Later in the show, Khalil Bendib interviews Allan Brownfeld about zionism in Jewish-American communities.
Years before the tide of overwhelming pro-Israel sentiment within the Jewish community started turning in America, Allan Brownfeld had been commenting on the myriad signs of growing disaffection with Israel in the pages of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine. Khalil Bedib spoke with Mr. Brownfeld about a recent article in which he documents several incidents of rebellion against the heavy-handed Zionist hegemony within the organized Jewish-American community, and the increasingly frequent failure to stifle all dissent when it comes to the issue of Israel-Palestine.
In a speech for the National Summit to Reassess the Special Relationship between the U.S. and Israel, he says:
…First, Judaism is a religion, not a nationality, that American Jews are American by nationality and Jews by religion, just as other people are Protestant, Catholic, or Muslim… It is my opinion that what has happened to American Judaism has completely corrupted its religious nature. What we are witnessing today, synagogues flying Israeli flags, programs urging American Jews to immigrate to Israel, their real homeland, is a form of idolatry, making the sovereign state of Israel the object of worship, rather than God.
Allan Brownfeld is a syndicated columnist and a contributing editor to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.