July 30, 2006
By Neil the Ethical Werewolf
Hey, did you know that Iran's Parliament has a seat reserved for Jews? And by "seat" I mean an actual government position, not some kind of chair that blows up. You can read a little about Iranian Jews here. Their situation is better than I would've thought it'd be, though certainly not great.
Stuff like that, and Matt Yglesias' post on the weird structure of the Lebanese government, point out to me how little I know about forms of government worldwide. Lebanon has spaces in its Parliament allocated to each ethnoreligious group, as a result of compromises to prevent civil war.
July 30, 2006 | Permalink
It's not just the Arab world, E.
Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans | Jul 30, 2006 10:06:28 PM
Agree with PiatoR, this stuff isn't that new.
Also, I'm kind of surprised people don't remember Syrian weirdness from when it was the hot topic of conversation a few months ago, after all.
Posted by: Tony V | Jul 30, 2006 11:40:11 PM
I think it was that globetrotting photojournalist over at Yahoo that had another article on Iran's Jews a couple of months back. If anything, it was more positive about the position of Jews in Iran and the popularity of Western culture with all the people.
Posted by: opit | Jul 31, 2006 3:55:43 AM
India has a number of its Parliament's seats reserved for untouchables. And Afgahnistan has a quota of women required in its legislature.
Posted by: Andrew Levine | Jul 31, 2006 5:17:24 AM
But remember: identity politics are baaad.
Posted by: Cyrus | Jul 31, 2006 8:08:33 AM
Uh, well, considering the Iranians forced most of their jews and bahai's out a while ago, stripping them of their possessions and executing or imprisoning them, a "seat" in parliament is, well, nothing much. My old swedish babysitter was married to a fantastic guy, his jewish family had been in Iran for thousands of years, he taught film and architecture there,she taught english, and they were forced to flee--they were *told* to leave. Not because of political issues (they were not pro shah or anything) but because he was jewish. They lost everything.
Posted by: aimai | Jul 31, 2006 8:27:58 AM
To echo aimai, a huge part of Los Angeles is made up of Iranian Jews who fled the country in the 70's. My roommate in college three years ago in New York was Iranian, his family had just escaped to America earlier that year. Things are very bad for Iranian Jews.
I couldn't give a damn if Iran gave us ten seats in Parliament, let alone one. Parliament has little actual power. The true power is in the hands of the Guardian Council, and they're quite happily driving the Jews out.
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