Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

26 Iyar 5766 - May 24, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Iran Denies Legislation Requiring Jews to Wear Yellow Patches

by G. Lazer

Following a flurry of reactions around the world, Iran was forced to issue an official announcement denying media reports that it planned to legislate a law that would require Jews to wear yellow patches or some other distinctive article of clothing. Earlier the Iranian Ambassador to Canada refused to comment on the report, saying it was not relevant to Canada.

In an official government letter to the editor of the National Post, which carried the report, the media correspondent for the Iranian embassy in Ottawa wrote, "There was no intention to require the Jews or any other minority to wear any identifying item. We firmly deny the report published on the front page of your newspaper regarding discrimination against non-Muslims in Iran."

In Teheran a foreign ministry spokesman said "a Zionist operation" was "active in different countries, including Canada, to foment psychological warfare and spread lies" about Iran.

Maurice Motammed, who represents Iran's 25,000 Jews in the national parliament, said the report dealt a severe blow to the image of Iran's Jews. "I was there when they discussed the law and it was about the attire of Iranian Muslim women. Restrictions for minorities or other religions were not mentioned."

Apparently based on claims by Iranian expatriates living in Canada the National Post reported Muslims would have to wear traditional, non-Western attire, while Jews would wear a yellow strip of cloth, Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would wear blue cloth.

Emad Afroogh, chairman of the parliament's cultural committee, flatly denied the reports and the newspaper later printed a second article expressing reservations about the report's credibility, but only after a flood of harsh reactions had been issued in Israel and around the world.

"This fully uncovers the madness of the Iranian regime and of President Ahmadinejad," commented one senior Israeli official.

"Whoever requires Jews anywhere to wear yellow bands once again puts himself in danger," said Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter.

US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington he had seen the reports on the new legislation in Teheran and if they proved true the measure would be "despicable" and "carry clear echoes of Germany under Hitler."


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