This is a cross-post from Observing Iran
The Jerusalem Post has reported that Caspian Makan, the fiance of Neda Agha Soltan has been to Israel and has spoken with the Israeli President, Shimon Peres. Since then there’s been a lot of complaints, anger and outright disgust at Mr Makan’s actions, sadly most of it from the so-called “reformist” Green Movement.
Mr Makan, having been tortured in Iran after the murder of his fiance, fled and went to Canada. Since then he has done a lot of good work in trying to keep the focus on the situation in Iran and the what’s been going on since June 2009. He arrived in Israel last week and was quoted as saying “I come to Israel as an ambassador of the Iranian people, a messenger from the camp of peace” and “I have no doubt that Neda’s spirit and soul feels the sensitivity and warmth I received in this meeting”. President Peres in turn replied by saying “you can murder a person, but not a spirit. One candle can scatter a lot of darkness. And this candle will not be extinguished. In this struggle, I am sure that the progressive and moral Iran will emerge victorious.”
Every Islamic Republic passport bears the statement, “the bearer of this passport is forbidden from traveling to occupied Palestine” i.e. Israel. By visiting Israel Makan has essentially given two fingers to the regime. But what’s happened since the meeting has been very telling and of great interest to me:
- One “reformist” website has declared that Makan was never even Neda’s fiance
- A group of “Greens” have set up a Facebook group declaring that Makan is not aligned to them
- Neda’s mother has declared that Makan does not represent them
- Makan has been accused of hurting the opposition movement, as visiting Israel could be construed as seeking support from foreign powers for regime change and unrest.
- By far and away however, the award for best toeing the Islamic Republic line comes from the Mullah’s mouthpiece, PressTV, which has reiterated its firm belief that Makan is none other than a suspect in Neda’s murder, visiting his Israeli accomplices.
Now, here’s what I think:
The charge that Makan was not Neda’s fiance is patent nonsense, and Neda’s mother herself has confirmed that they were in a relationship and planning to get married. Then again, it doesn’t surprise me that a website aligned to Mir Hossein Mousavi and his “Green Movement” would be hostile to anyone who has the temerity to visit the Israel, let us not forget that Mousavi himself was Prime Minister of Iran whilst the IRGC was actively helping the Hezbollah Islamic Fundamentalists in their war against Israel and was involved in the bombing of the US Embassy in Lebanon. If that isn’t enough proof for you, there’s also the fact that he called Israel a cancerous tumour, whilst in office. It therefore doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Islamic Republic “reformists”, still loyal to the theocratic system, would attack Makan.
The other charge is that by visiting Israel, Makan is harming the “opposition” movement, and giving ammunition to those that claim that Iran’s protesters are all Americanised lackeys. Given that for quite some time Iranians have been shouting, “Not for Palestine, not for Lebanon, only for Iran do I give my life“, we can see that a lot of Iranians are not the raving anti-Zionists that Ahmadinejad would have you believe. Iranians have a lot of problems to deal with in Iran, hating on Israel is really quite low down on the list of priorities at the moment. In addition, the Islamic Republic already blames the current unrest on foreign powers, so whether or not Makan makes a visit to Israel, the Iranian opposition will still be accused of being foreign stooges. It’s an entirely illogical point for the Green movement’s media to make.
Anyway, if the Iranian opposition movement is so weak and Ahmadinejad-esque that it feels “harmed” by someone going on a goodwill visit to the Middle East’s only democracy, then it’s a rotten, bigoted opposition movement anyway and not one I have any interest in supporting as it’s on the same level as Ahmadinejad and his vile rhetoric. Where is Rahe Sabz’s outrage at the Turkish Prime Minister’s recent visit to Iran, after he denied the Armenian genocide? Rahe Sabz don’t give a fig about the Palestinian people’s rights, they’re just toeing the Islamic Republic’s anti-Semitic line.
At least PressTV maintain a consistent line, they’ve always been thuggish anti-Semites, however when the self proclaimed free thinkers of the Green movement round on a man and assasinate his character simply for going against what the Islamic Republic’s fanatical supporters believe in, I believe that is wrong and just the sort of hypocrisy which makes me view the Green Movement’s leaders and media with distaste.
I myself have no problem with Makan visiting Israel, any message of peace and goodwill is long overdue in my opinion. The Islamic Republic for thirty years has engaged in terrorism and hatred, and much worse has declared that it has done so in the name of Iran’s people, who by and large are not the intolerant fanatics that the regime paints them out to be. Caspian Makan is simply shouting “this is not in my name”. I for one support him.