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Iranian Jews reject bribes from wealthy foreign Jews to move to Israel

Iran's Jews spurn cash lure to emigrate to Israel

Iran's Jews have given the country a loyalty pledge in the face of cash offers aimed at encouraging them to move to Israel, the arch-enemy of its Islamic rulers.

The incentives - ranging from 5,000 a person to 30,000 for families - were offered from a special fund established by wealthy expatriate Jews in an effort to prompt a mass migration to Israel among Iran's 25,000-strong Jewish community. The offers were made with Israel's official blessing and were additional to the usual state packages it provides to Jews emigrating from the diaspora.

However, the Society of Iranian Jews dismissed them as "immature political enticements" and said their national identity was not for sale.
"The identity of Iranian Jews is not tradable for any amount of money," the society said in a statement. "Iranian Jews are among the most ancient Iranians. Iran's Jews love their Iranian identity and their culture, so threats and this immature political enticement will not achieve their aim of wiping out the identity of Iranian Jews."

The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv reported that the incentives had been doubled after offers of 2,500 a head failed to attract any Iranian Jews to leave for Israel.

Iran's sole Jewish MP, Morris Motamed, said the offers were insulting and put the country's Jews under pressure to prove their loyalty. "It suggests the Iranian Jew can be encouraged to emigrate by money," he said. "Iran's Jews have always been free to emigrate and three-quarters of them did so after the revolution but 70% of those went to America, not Israel."

Iran's Jewish population has dwindled from about 80,000 at the time of the 1979 Islamic revolution but remains the largest of any country in the Middle East apart from Israel. Jews have lived in Iran since at least 700BC.

Hostility between Iran's government and Israel means Iranian Jews are often subject to official mistrust and scrutiny.


The Guardian, "Iran's Jews spurn cash lure to emigrate to Israel", 13 July 2007.


The mythical state of "Israel" is believed to have been established around 1,000 BC. By circa 930 BCE, the kingdom was split into two halves: Israel in the North, Judah in the South. "Israel" was removed from the map about 300 years later, and ceased to exist when it was destroyed by the Assyrians circa 720 BC and the Hebrew tribes were exiled. Judah was subsequently conquered by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. In 538 BC it became part of the Persian empire (Iran is the modern remnant of that empire).

On 14 May 1948 with the "Declaration of the State of Israel" Jewish militants created an artificial new state called "Israel" basing their right to occupy the land on ancient (Biblical) texts claiming that the land was given to them by their God. These texts claim that the land was given to the decendents of Moses. Arabs are also the decendents of Moses. But the ancient prophecies also say the land could be taken away as a punishment for transgressions.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 13 July 2007.

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Tags: Israel, Iranian, Jews, emigrate, Iran, immigration, move, bribes, money, incentives, prophecy, diaspora, , conspiracy theories.

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