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Iranian Jewish leader: Zionists exploiting Judaism to pursue own goals

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Rabbi Younes Hamami Lalehzar, religious leader of Iranian Jews (Photo by Fars news agency)

The religious leader of Iranian Jews says the Zionists have been taking advantage of Judaism to pursue their own objectives, something that religious Jews have opposed from the onset.

Rabbi Younes Hamami Lalehzar made the remarks in an interview with Fars news agency on Saturday, one day after Muslims marked the International Quds Day in support of the Palestinians' resistance and struggle to liberate their homeland form the Israeli occupation.

Every year, the occasion falls on the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. It has been so named by the late founder of the Islamic Republic in Iran, Imam Khomeini, who obliged Muslims around the world to rise in demonstration on the occasion in support of the Palestinian cause.

“Naming a day as the Quds Day helped the issue of Palestine not drift into oblivion. Imam Khomeini’s move is in fact a kind of initiative that reminds the world of the issue of Palestine every year so as to think about a solution,” Hamami Lalehzar said.

“As we are witnessing, the grandeur of the Quds Day has increased every year. Today, on this occasion, a large number of people from different nations express their disgust at the Zionist regime.”

He said Zionism was formed in the late 19th century amid the formation of nationalist movements in Europe, but it abused Jewish ideals for its own benefits, sparking opposition from the Orthodox and religious Jewish community.

“The Zionists have used Judaism, which is a monotheistic religion, as a pretext to justify within their own political framework any strategy to achieve their goal. This behavior was not accepted at all by the Jews of the world, and from the very beginning of the Zionist regime until today, there has been a lot of opposition to the Zionists’ approach and it still continues,” he added.

“For this reason, the brutal behaviors and crimes of the Zionist regime were not and are not accepted by religious Jews at all.”

The Iranian Jewish leader noted that confronting the Zionists is “a religious and human duty” that should be honored today just as Prophet Moses stood up against the Pharaoh’s oppression and succeeded in saving the Israelites by the grace of God.

"There are various strategies to put pressure on the Zionist regime, including political, economic, etc. An example in the economic field is boycotting goods produced by the Zionist regime,” he said.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations and later turned international. The campaign is meant to initiate “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law” and end its decades-long occupation of Palestinian lands.

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