by Roya Hakakian
"As early as the sixth century B.C., Jews, exiled in Babylonia, found a savior in Persia’s Cyrus the Great, who helped them return to Israel. In the early 1940s, Iran became a refuge to Jews, who were this time fleeing Hitler’s army. Thousands owed their lives to the valorous conduct of Abdol-Hossein Sardari, the head of Iran’s diplomatic mission in France, who defied Nazi orders by issuing thousands of passports and travel documents to Jews. Even when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in top Holocaust-denying form, the descendants of the Polish survivors who chose to settle in Iran were laying flowers upon the graves of their loved ones in what’s known as the Polish Cemetery in Tehran.
Would the two nations allow their rulers to begin a war if they were aware of their depth of indebtedness to each other? By bombing Iran, Israel would be bombing a portion of Jewish history. If that happens, which side I would choose will not be a question. I will be twice destroyed by the two imperfect yet beloved cultures that each make up half of the woman I am."