Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

‘A Misguided Majority’

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

As I read Huffington Post’s live blogging of the violent crackdown going on at this hour against freedom-fighters in Tehran, I’m struck by a parallel to this week’s Torah portion.

Here, for instance, is a report from a BBC reporter:

Security forces were everywhere in central Tehran in the late afternoon and early evening.

As I spent a couple of hours driving around in heavy traffic I could see thousands of men, some uniformed members of the military riot squads, some units of revolutionary guard, and everywhere basijis – militiamen who look like street toughs.

The security men were deployed on every street corner, in long lines down the sides of the roads, and in all the main squares.

The basijis wore riot helmets and carried big clubs. It was designed to intimidate, and while I was there, it was working.

And here is a report from one of the blogger’s contacts in Iran:

You couldn’t imagin what I saw tonight, I walked down many streets(Vali asr, keshavars, amir abad, Fatemi, Shademan, Satarkhan, Khosro), and I was injured by tears gas, but the main thing : The big killer group, called “Basij”, weared our special military service group -“Sepah”- dresses and they were all armed , I saw by myself one of them had only around 15 years old!!!! and he had the shot order! I saw a girl injured by gon shot (in Amir abad St.)! and there weren’t enough ambulances . I walked through Shademan St. they start shooting , a young boy in front of my eyes murdered , and 3 other people were injured , there were also a big fight between people and Basij at Tohid Sq. 7 people was murdered there, I walked from my company to my home , It was taken 4 hours and I couldn’t be able to make a video , cause I was in the middle of war!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week’s parsha is Sh’lah L’kha, from the Book of Numbers. It’s the story of the Israeli spies, one from each of the 12 tribes, who go out to scout the Promised Land. Ten return with stories about how the occupants of the land are powerful and numerous, striking fear into the hearts of the Israelites, causing them to doubt God. Only two — Caleb and Joshua — stand against the ten.

“Have no fear then of the people of the country,” Joshua says.

Here’s the midrashic interpretation:

“Joshua and Caleb risk their lives by acting with integrity and standing up to a misguided majority. In the end, it is the majority who will die in the wilderness and the people of integrity and courage who will survive to see their dreams realized.”

Let this ancient story serve as fair warning to Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, and their band of violent thugs.