Hatred of Israel has always been a common denominator between so-called reformist and hard-line Islamists in Iran. And without doubt, not only among the ruling theocrats are anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist sentiments existent in Iranian society.
But their political expression has practically been reduced to those political factions that shared their anti-Israel beliefs already back in 1979: the different Islamist currents and a traditional Stalinist left, waning in influence.
After the Mavi Marmara incident, a group of Iranian leftist and Muslim intellectuals and artists from abroad signed a statement claiming to find “similarities between the violence exhibited by the occupying regime of Israel and the suppressive regime of the Islamic Republic” and supporting the “admirable and brave struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom and democracy.”
In a counter petition, Saeed Ghaseminejad, speaker of the liberal students of Iran and other Iranian intellectuals and activists denounced this equation as an insult to the peaceful protest movement in Iran and as a tragic failure to correct the anti-Semitic past of the Iranian Left.
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