Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today is International Tolerance Day

Did you know that such a day existed? It was founded only in 1996 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

This makes it a convenient occasion to point you to an article (http://www.iranian.com/main/2010/nov/run-out-here-and-left-out-there) written by a dear friend of mine, Zoe Ghahremani, who attended a lecture with me at the Jewish Book Fair in San Diego last week. Upon hearing Angella Nazarian talk about her family's flight from Iran, and the assistance provided by the many Jewish organizations that existed to help Jewish refugees, she thought back to the time before she left from Iran, and since then, and noted that the Jews seemed to be the only group that had organized itself to provide so many forms of support for Jews in the United States and in other countries. And my friend, who is not a Muslim, points out in this poignant article that Iranian Muslims, who have also suffered under the current and previous regimes, had no organizations to go to for assistance.

We Jews are fortunate that we have established a history of helping one another, But Zoe's point should be understood and heeded: The not all oppressed minorities have organizations established that are effective in providing assistance to their brethren. I know -- it's easier said than done.

How do you think such a change could be brought about?

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