Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might not be who you think he is, said Delia Lloyd in Politics Daily. According to Britain's Daily Telegraph, a photograph of the president holding up his national identity card during the recent Iranian elections suggests that the Holocaust denier's family has Jewish roots. So could it be that he makes a big show of his hatred of Jews out of desperation to "shore up his cred in radical Shia circles"?
The theory that Ahmadinejad is Jewish, said Meir Javedanfar in Britain's Guardian, is mostly based on the fact that his family used to have a different last name—Sabourjian—that was derived from the term for a weaver of the sabour, the name for the Jewish tallit shawl in Persia. The trouble is, Iranian Jews don't really use that word for the Jewish prayer shawl. Besides, Ahmadinejad's parents are devout Muslims—his mother is even believed to be a direct bloodline descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.
Is Ahmedinejad Jewish? "Who cares?" said Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic. Everybody knows "it ain't easy being Jewish," and that "some Jews, the weaker ones, adopt the culture and outlook of their oppressors." Maybe Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has Jewish roots, maybe he's just a garden variety anti-Semite. The result is the same.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
Subscribe to the Week