Definitely not something I thought I’d ever read in a serious newspaper: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is Jewish.
Today’s Telegraph reveals that the Iranian President was born a Sabourjian and kept the name until his family converted to Islam.
Sabourjian is a well-known Persian Jewish name meaning cloth weaver. According to the Telegraph, ‘The name is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews compiled by Iran’s Ministry of the Interior’.
Ahmadinejad has always been vague about his ethnic origins, admitting that his family had changed their name but refusing to reveal his birth name and the reasons for the switch.
In fact, earlier this year, an Iranian blogger who had investigated his roots was locked up by the authorities.
The Telegraph uncovered the secret when taking a closer look at a photograph in which Ahmadinejad proudly displays a copy of his national identity card, which records the change of name.
One doesn’t need to be Sigmund Freud to understand what’s going on here.
Clearly, Ahmadinejad’s irrational hatred of Israel and the Jews has nothing to do with the Palestinians or any ‘Zionist conspiracy’. Rather, it is one giant attempt to compensate for his Jewish origins.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Ali Nourizadeh of the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies summed it up very neatly: ‘He feels vulnerable in a radical Shia society… By making anti-Israel statements, he is trying to shed any suspicions about his Jewish connections’.
In other words, even if he ever owes up to being Jewish, don’t expect him to make Aliyah any time soon…