JERUSALEM (Jan. 25)
Drinkers of Moslem blood, we warn you to leave our country as soon as you can, for if not we will kill all of you, Jews. This passage, and others like it, appear in a letter recently circulated among Jews of Teheran and other cities in Iran. The letter was read out by Labor Zionist leader Yehiel Leket at a press conference yesterday. He said it had been brought back from Iran by an emissary sent out by the Israel Labor’ Party on a mission to save Jews there.
The letter was signed: “The Popular Front of Islamic Youth in Iran.” It accused Iran’s Jews of extorting money by usury and sending it to the Zionist state illegally. It stated “… every epoch needs its Hitler who must root out the Jewish scourge…
Leket reiterated Labor Party allegations that the government and Jewish Agency had failed in their policies regarding Iranian Jewry. He denied that Labor sought to make “political capital” out of the tragic situation. “After months of soothing statements, to the effect that much was being done that could not be published, it turns out.” Leket said, that go the ground very little is in fact being done.” Leket is secretary general of the World Labor Zionist Movement and a former Knesseter.
ACCUSATIONS ARE REFUTED
His accusations were refuted by Liked Knesseter Moshe Katzav, who has recently visited Iran, is of Iranian origin, and was this week elected as chairman of an umbrella organization of all Iranian immigrant societies in Israel. He spoke of the dearth of Jewish and Zionist education in Iran which had caused the community there to become distant from Israel and eroded their Jewish identify.
Katzav urged other parties not to exploit the titration for party-political ends but to work together to seek ways of saving Iranian Jewry.
Jewish Agency and government sources have said repeatedly in recent weeks that the major obstacles that confront all “saving efforts” is the wide spread indifference to them on the part of Iranian Jews. Many Jews seem to feel that their futures in Iran are not endangered — or else that they will be able to get out, if necessary, or a later stage.
Meanwhile, El Al has suspended flights to Teheran pending clarification the situation there following the announcement by the Iranian government that it was closing all airports to civilian traffic. As a result, El Al had only one flight to Teheran this week and was forced to cancel several scheduled and charter flights. This came at an especially inopportune time in view of efforts being made in Israel to persuade Iranian Jews to come here. (See related story P.3.)