From The Guardian:
Iranian president tweets Rosh Hashanah blessing to Jews
Hassan Rouhani’s message to mark start of Jewish new year unexpected in Israel, which has identified Iran as security threat
Amid a global exchange of greetings and good wishes to mark Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, which began at sunset on Wednesday, there was one from a particularly surprising quarter.
Iran‘s 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.” A picture of an Iranian Jew praying at a synagogue in Tehran accompanied the tweet.
According to a 2012 census, there are fewer than 9,000 Jews among Iran’s population of about 75 million.
The message from Rouhani was unexpected in Israel, which has identified Iran as a huge threat to its security. It says the regime is developing a nuclear weapons programme that could be used to annihilate the Jewish state.
Rouhani, who was elected in June, has pledged to tone down the “hate rhetoric” used by his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…
[Read the rest of the article here.]
Although such a greeting is a good sign, it’s just that: a sign. Only time will tell if the sign actually leads to real change in the condition of religious minorities inside Iran. After all, Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama sent Ramadan and Eid greetings to the Muslim community as a routine matter, even while they engaged in atrocious campaigns of war and terror in the Muslim world. Greetings of peace are only substantial if they are met with actions of peace. Actions are far more important than words. In places like Iran, where religious minorities (including Jews and Baha’is) are discriminated against, we are in desperate need for more than just platitudes.
Nonetheless, (1) the greeting is a good sign, and (2) we’re sure glad the loon Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is gone.
Note: It should also be pointed out that it was likely a campaign aide, not Hassan Rouhani himself, who tweeted this out.