Zionism is the ISIS of Judaism: Iranian Rabbi Younes Hamami Lalehzar
As the Israeli army's brutality against civilians in Gaza continues, with attacks on schools, health centres and hospitals, a religious leader from the Iranian Jewish community made a bold comparison between the Israeli government and the extremist group ISIS.
In a recent interview with the Javan Daily, Rabbi Younes Hamami Lalehzar stated, "The phenomenon of Zionism in the Jewish religion is akin to Daesh in Islam." Daesh is the Arabic acronym for ISIS in the Middle East.
He continued, "They, like Daesh, present the most radical and extremist narratives of the religion as the only accurate narrative. The narratives that Zionism introduces about Judaism have no basis in this religion."
Hamami, a prominent Iranian Jewish figure and vocal opponent of the war in Gaza and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, emphasised that many Jews worldwide oppose the ideology of the Zionist regime and the occupation of Palestinian lands.
"This ideology sees Palestine as exclusively the holy land of the Jewish people, and all others must be expelled from there. This school of thought has never recognised any rights for Palestinians and has always sought their expulsion," he stressed.
Reflecting on the history of Judaism and the challenges faced over the past 2,000 years, Hamami explained that since Jewish people were displaced from what is now known as Palestine, they never sought to return by force.
According to him, Jews believe they will return to that land when the redeemer comes to the world, in stark contrast to the actions of Zionists. He added that, for this reason, Jewish people were the first opponents of Zionism globally.
In another part of the interview, Hamami analysed the history of Zionism, stating, "Zionism, since its inception, has always been based on false propaganda."
"One of their lies to deceive the Jewish people is claiming to be the sole force capable of preventing a second Holocaust. They assert that Israel is the only refuge for Jews and that Jews won't be safe anywhere else in the world," he added.
"The Zionist regime is comparable to some Muslim governments that do not adhere to Islamic laws. The Zionist regime claims to be Jewish, but its actions have nothing to do with Judaism," concluded the Iranian Rabbi.