Thursday, October 06, 2022

Things People Blame the Jews For, Volume LXI: Protests in Iran

A recurrent theme in this series is people "blaming the Jews" for activity that is, in all relevant respects, absolutely praiseworthy. Before the series even launched, for instance, I flagged instances where the dictator of Sudan "blamed" Jews for causing the world to pay attention to the Darfur genocide. I'm dubious we were behind that trend, but certainly it'd be nothing to be ashamed of. Jews helping support worthy causes is a good thing!*

But sometimes, we can't take credit even where credit is extended. And so it is in Iran, where Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has finally spoken out about the roiling protests against gender apartheid that have torn through his nation. Does he know what's driving these demonstrations? You bet he does!

“I openly state that the recent riots and unrest in Iran were schemes designed by the U.S.; the usurping, fake Zionist regime; their mercenaries; and some treasonous Iranians abroad who helped them,” Khamenei said Monday in a speech to police cadets in Tehran, remarks which were later posted in English on his official Twitter account.

As much as I might want to tip my cap in thanks, I don't think there's any basis to assume the Zionists or their "mercenaries" are behind these protests. To say otherwise would disserve the brave Iranian women and girls who really have been taking the lead here.

But if we were involved, there'd be nothing but pride to report. All solidarity to the people of Iran demanding freedom from state repression.

* There is a somewhat serious point here, which is that an impact of antisemitic conspiracy theorizing is to constrain Jews from even valid political participation, as any tangible and/or successful intervention into the political sphere can and will be coded as validating the conspiracy. If there were widespread Jewish efforts to extend resources and support to the Iranian protesters, for instance, it probably would not be viewed as positive solidarity but rather would quickly be leveraged as proof that the protests were a Jewish plot and the protesters Zionist stooges. This can quickly become a double-bind: Jews who don't extend themselves politically are faulted for not being sufficiently solidaristic towards others, those who do are indicted for exerting undue political control and influence.

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