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Iran is here

I’ve heard a few Jewish Israelis say “Iran zeh can” (Iran is here) in the past, particularly those who grew up in Jerusalem. But this is the first time I’ve seen the sentiment expressed in street art.

Iran zeh can "Iran is here" (photo: Mya Guarnieri)

I took this photo today in central Jerusalem. The Islamophobia it reflects is troublesome. But there’s more than that going on here–this image also reveals concerns about growing restrictions on women’s rights, the growing influence of the religious right, and fears about the anti-democratic trends that some Israeli academics have called proto-fascist. In yesterday’s edition of Haaretz, Zvi Barel did a nice job of summing up the increasing similarities between Iran and Israel.

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    1. Volodinjev

      So opposing the excessive covering of women is bad if it’s Muslim women (“Islamophobia”) but good if it’s Jewish women (“defending women’s rights in Israel”)? Nice double standard you got there.

      Reply to Comment
    2. mya guarnieri

      Volidinjev: Where did I say anything about covering of women in this post?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ben Israel

      Let’s be honest. All this comparison of Israel with Iran because a couple of bus lines out of the hundreds in the country have separate seating (which I oppose BTW) or a few soldiers don’t want to hear women singers is a completely cynical political propaganda campaign. The whole thing is based on the fact that Netanyahu has the Haredim in his coalition, and it has been proven in the past that harping on the theme “the Likud has sold the country out to the Haredim” has worked in previous election campaigns. Be honest, I challenge any of the secular Israelis out there, particularly Mya to say how their lives have supposedly been constricted by Haredim coercion in the last several years.
      In any event, I believe the campaign will work, the Right will lose its majority and the KADIMAH and LABOR will form a government WITH the Haredim and will give them MORE than the Likud has done (for the sake of the “peace process”, of course).

      Reply to Comment
    4. aristeides

      The comparison between Israel and Saudi Arabia would be more valid, but propaganda has turned “Iran” into a synonym for evil in all respects.

      Reply to Comment
    5. mya guarnieri

      an interesting and excellent point, aristedes.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Volodinjev

      Keep debating among yourselves what the best way is to demonize Israel. That will obviously further the cause of peace in the Middle East (in sarcasm, for the literalist readers here).

      Reply to Comment
    7. Ben Israel

      I try to stay away from personal comments, but Aristeides, your comment about Israel being like Saudi Arabia is truly imbecilic and a flat out lie. You know that.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Ben Israel

      You show us how Israel is like Saudi Arabia. I dare you. If you don’t, you are nothing but a cheap propagandist.

      Reply to Comment
    9. aristeides

      Ben I – I said that Saudi Arabia would be a more fruitful avenue of comparison than Iran. What most Israelis know about Iran is propaganda. What do most Israelis know about Saudi Arabia?

      Reply to Comment
    10. Zvi

      To the best of my knowledge, there are three countries in the world which actively control what their citizens can eat (ie a ban on the import of certain foods): Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. So there you go.

      Personally I do think that there are in fact many parallels between Israel and Iran. Saudi Arabia not so much. The struggle over how best to allocate power within their respective “democratic” systems is quite similar and the role of religious and military authority within those systems is contentious in both countries too.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Ben Israel

      Wrong. Many countries ban the importation of whale meat.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Ruth


      The fact that you agree with Aristeides speaks volume about you ideology. I am sorry to say but you are engaging in cheap propaganda and you are not clever enough to cover it up. Do you actually believe that Aristeidis has a good point? DO you know what kind of gender apartheid exists in Saudi Arabia? Do you know it is codified in law?
      Do women drive in Israel?
      Do Israeli women marry at age 11?
      Do they inherit less than men?
      Is polygamy allowed in Israel?
      Do they have separate entrances for men and women for most public or commmercial buildings?
      Are Israeli women forced to eat in female only secions in restaurants
      Are Israeli women forbidden to rent hotel rooms?
      Can Israeli women travel alone overseas?
      Do you need to be accompanied by a male relative when you go out?
      Are women allowed to vote in Israel?
      Do they run for office?
      Are Israeli women obliged to cover up in an abaya from head to toe?
      I can name more restrictions on women’s mobility in Saudi Arabia but I will stop here.
      So telle me, how is Israel like Saudi Arabia?
      vi is right Iranian women participate in the public life f their country butthey do have restrictions too.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Mitchell Cohen

      Ruth, add to your list: are non-Jews allowed to visit and live in Israel? are Jews allowed to visit, let alone live in Saudi Arabia?

      Reply to Comment
    14. Ruth

      @ Mitchell
      The ridiculous comparison between SA and Israel shows you how intellectually lazy and shallow are most anti-Israel posters on this blog.

      Reply to Comment