Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

Iran

Adopted by the CCAR at the 90th Annual Convention of
the Central Conference of American Rabbis
Phoenix, Arizona, March 26-29, 1979

The Central Conference of American Rabbis looks with concern upon the fluid political situation in Iran. This concern focuses on three distinct areas: Iranian-lsraeli relations, the state of human rights in Iran, and the situation of Iranian Jewry.
        
At a moment when the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty represents a real hope for political stability among all the countries of the Middle East, the retreat of Iran from a stance of moderation in its relations with Israel is a source of grave concern. Among the signs of this retreat have been: the cessation of trade with Israel; the halt of oil to Israel; the transfer of the Israeli legation building in Iran to the control of the PLO; and the repeated affirmations of solidarity with Arab hard liners. Zionism is not the enemy of the Iranian people. Poverty, illiteracy, rapid urbanization and religious xenophobia are.
        
The human rights situation in Iran is greatly clouded. Past months have been marked by the secret trials and executions which the government seems to have halted. Concerted efforts by Moslem fundamentalists to restrict the freedoms of Iranian women are of concern to all who cherish human rights. Nor can we forget the strident voices of prominent Iranian Islamic leaders who, prior to the establishment of the current government, verbally attacked religious minorities such as Bahai, Christians and Jews. Yet it must be noted that these voices have been muted under the present government. The government has publicly promised full human rights to all its citizens, including the members of the religious minorities.
        
The world must hold the Iranian government accountable for those promises.
        
Finally, we have a particular concern for the situation of the over 65,000 Jews living in Iran, many of whom hope to remain, seeing signs in the heretofore cautious treatment of religious minorities by the government that they can continue to live full and free lives as Jews in Iran. We understand that hope. Yet that understanding is tempered by the soberness of the lessons of our history, which has seen so many Jewish communities threatened by events of political upheaval similar to those in Iran.
        
In the face of such fears, the CCAR urges its members to:

1) monitor closely the situation in Iran

2) educate congregants about the history and current situation of Iranian Jewry.

3) assist in the integration of any Iranian Jews who may settle in our communities-- specifically in terms of employment. religious involvement, social life--and help them also to locate and be in touch with local and national Jewish and secular organizations as needed.

In the future it may be necessary to write to the President and/or Congressmen, expressing the hope that sympathetic consideration will be given to Jews and other minorities from Iran who may wish to migrate to this country. It is to be hoped that that time will not come. However, the CCAR urges that congregations be prepared to respond quickly and effectively.