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Iranian president shocks world's Jews with surprising tweet

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 5th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The new president of Iran shocked many of the world's Jews yesterday when he posted a surprising message on his Twitter account. Iran is home to about 10,000 Jews and the conservative Islamic state is generally considered a sworn enemy of Israel.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As Jews in Iran and around the world prepared to celebrate the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani tweeted "As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah."

The message is a surprise since the Iranian government has at best been hostile to Israel. However, most people would be surprised to know that Jews are permitted to live and worship openly in Iran.

Rouhani's predecessor, Ahmadinejad, referred to the holocaust as a lie and called for the destruction of Israel so the change in tone is surprising.

Despite the friendly words, which mark the opening if a period of religious devotion in anticipation of the Jewish New Year, Iran and Israel remain at odds. The escalating conflict in Syria has Iran pledging alongside Syria, to strike the Jewish state in retaliation for any American strikes.

The kind words are certainly appreciated, but there is no mistake that Iran is not a friend of Israel or the world's Jews.

Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same God, yet do so differently. The Jewish religion is the most ancient of all surviving religions while Christianity was established two millennia ago by Jesus Christ. Islam was founded in the seventh century AD, by the Prophet Mohammed, following his testimony of visions.

Although the three religions worship God and even share some of the same holy texts, they vary greatly from one another. These religious variances, when coupled with social and geopolitical differences, have created violent conflicts that have been fought since the 8th century. Throughout the medieval period, all three factions fought fiercely, with clashes between Christianity and Islam manifested in the crusades.

The most recent source of tension was the resettlement of European Jews in the area formerly known as Palestine and the ancient site of the state of Israel. The region has since seen near-perpetual violence as states and terrorists clash over control of territory each claims should belong to them.

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