One of the more popular rumors in Iran when I visited last June was that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is Jewish. Now the Telegraph newspaper in London has gone public with the story. Apparently, he comes from a line of weavers–yes, tallit-weavers–who changed their names recently, to prosper in the Islamic Republic. Indeed, Ahmadinejad’s name, Ahmadi-Nejad, literally means son of Ahmad (his father was Ahmad, the blacksmith).
Well, that may explain a few things. A certain amount of overcompensation, for starters. I mean, in the annals of self-hating Jewry, this really makes David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel–so accused by Bibi Netanyahu–look like pikers. In any case, we await Ahmadi-Nejad’s verdict on all this. Perhaps he’ll revise his views about the Holocaust (though I doubt it). But if things get too embarrassing for him in Iran, he now has a backup plan–since his mother was, presumably Jewish too, there’s a place for him in the country he calls the Zionist Entity. Shalom, Mahmoud!