Sunday, September 16, 2007

Iranian State TV -- Pop Quiz

What is the must see TV show on Iranian state run television?

Is it:

A. A "24" like series focused on the "glorious struggles" of a Sadr like figure during one day of fighting the American "occupation."

B. Reruns of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest anti-Semitic speeches. Or

C. A fictionalized mini-series telling the story of an Iranian diplomat in Paris who heroically helps Jews escape the Holocaust--sort of an Iranian version of "Schindler's List."

The answer after the break.

The surprising answer is C. Although the story is fictional, it is based on the heroic efforts of Iranian diplomats who saved some 500 Jews from the Nazis during WWII. According to the AP, as reported in TPM,

the series titled "Zero Degree Turn" is clearly sympathetic to the Jews' plight during World War II. It shows men, women and children with yellow stars on their clothes being taken forcibly out of their homes and loaded into trucks by Nazi soldiers.

"Where are they taking them?" the horrified hero, a young Iranian diplomat who works at the Iranian Embassy in Paris, asks someone in a crowd of onlookers.

"The Fascists are taking the Jews to the concentration camps," the man says. The hero, named Habib Parsa, then begins giving Iranian passports to Jews to allow them to flee occupied France to then-Palestine.
Iranians seem to love the mini-series, which has been brought back by popular demand for a second airing. Because the mini-series appears on Iranian State TV it was clearly approved by the religious elite.

Don't tell Dick Cheney that Iranians are real human beings. He will be so pissed. It is much easier to gin up a war with an "enemy" reduced to cartoon status than it is to start a war with real people who have families, love their children, like good television, and recognize true heroism when they see it.