Persians of Israel: Menashe Amir (Part 1 - Israel's Farsi-speaking Voice to Iran)

July 16, 2021 03:59 PM
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For more than half a century, Israeli broadcast journalist Menashe Amir spoke to the Iranian people through Israeli state broadcaster Voice of Israel’s Farsi radio service, keeping them informed about news from Israel and Iran. In this Persians of Israel episode, Iran-born Amir tells VOA’s Michael Lipin how he made his start in journalism in Iran itself, before a life-changing visit to Israel persuaded him to immigrate to the young, Jewish nation that declared independence in 1948. After decades of phone conversations with Iranian listeners, Amir shares what he learned about their attitudes toward Iran’s Islamist rulers, who severed Tehran’s once-friendly relationship with Israel when they seized power in a 1979 Islamic Revolution. Amir also reflects on the Persian Israeli community’s evolution since Israel’s early decades – a period in which some Persian Israelis achieved social prominence, while others lost proficiency in their mother tongue.