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My name is Richard and I am an American Mizrahi Jew. My family is Baghdadi and my grandfather fled Iraq in 1939 because of the rampant anti-Semitism that was growing in that country, so he moved with his father to Teheran. In Iran he had some of the best times of his life and still to this day speaks highly of Iranian culture, history, and the general disposition of the people.

It was not long ago that I had the pleasure of reading the Shahname, using the equations pioneered by Al-Khwarizmi, and seeing the wonderful pictures my mom showed me of Isfahan and Shiraz (that she took in 1976 – so a little grainy). The incredible tragedy of Iran, in my opinion, is that the majority of Iranians find themselves as the sane patients at an insane asylum. My sympathy goes out to the Iranian people as they resist and fear resisting a government that seeks what no honest Iranian wants: unmitigated violence. I support and value the Iranian people and the Iranian culture, both of which have been defiled by this regime.

I am an American Mizrahi Jew. I am Zionist who supports not only the State of Israel, but the flourishing of its culture and traditions. But I also love, respect, and sympathize with the people of Iran. I do not want Israel or the United States to declare war on Iran or vice versa; the Iranian people suffer more than enough and my brothers have seen enough war. Peace is a difficult enterprise, inshallah, we will see the day when Israelis, Americans, and Iranians can walk down any street anywhere in the world and not be afraid of any government.