Iran Unveils Monument to Jews Killed Fighting Iraq
In a move that many would not suspect from Iran, they have recently unveiled a monument to Jewish soldiers who fought during the eight-year war with neighboring Iraq during the 1980s.
Many important religious dignitaries were on hand for the unveiling ceremony, where they spoke about the role of these noble martyrs in defending the nation against the aggression of Iraq, and the continuing role they play in society. While much of the ceremony was captured in pictures, two stark words stood out among all others: Peace Forever.
— rblumel (@rblumel) December 28, 2014
Those Who Gave All
The monument that was recently revealed to the public to memorializes those who were lost in the various conflicts with Iraq. There were several million casualties on both sides during the Iran-Iraq war, with no true numbers available. What is clear is that the Jewish military members who gave their lives during the war are being recognized and celebrated for their part in defending their nation with their lives. Both Jewish leaders and Muslim clergy members were present at the unveiling ceremony earlier this month. Many are hoping that this is the first of many steps towards a greater sense of acceptance in the future.
An Unforeseen Situation
For many people outside of Iran, the erection of the monument came as a surprise. After all, the official stance of Iran on the predominantly Jewish nation of Israel has been nothing short of aggressive, especially in the last two decades. However, it is important to consider that Iran has the second largest Jewish population in the world, and has been a haven for them thousands of years. However, the recent change in presidents has been seen as a progressive step for the Jewish community that still resides in the Islam-dominated nation. This sense of progression is facilitated by the new president who is seen as being much more welcoming than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmandinejad.
Looking To The Future
The Jewish leaders within Iran have said that they have found the new administration to be much more open that the ones that have been appointed in recent years. This has given many people hope that they will have the ability to reach out to one another to make life better for everyone. The Vice Speaker of the Iranian government, an attendee of the ceremony, said that the common connectivity between the religions and the mutual respect that they have for one another within the context of the nation will go a long way towards making sure that the two religions are able to coexist better in the future. While time will tell how long this will last, many Jewish and Muslim people are more hopeful while looking to the future.