He’s been at the Jinn and tonic

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT - Tracy-Ann Ober­man

SOR­CERY AND witch­craft and Jews. It’s a cul­tural and re­li­gious ob­ses­sion, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but once my Shabbat chicken is in the oven, I like to take out my caul­dron and con­coct some nox­ious brew wor­thy of the Three Weird Women in Mac­beth. Mr O refers to this as my at­tempt at cholent. But he’s wrong. I’m just your aver­age Jewish sorcerer, like the rest of our kind. Don’t know what I’m on about? Well, lis­ten to the re­cent in­ter­view by Ira­nian “Jew­boy” su­per­fan Vali­ol­lah Naghipour­far. He gave a lengthy trea­tise on Ira­nian state TV this week about Jinns and the Jews.

A Jinn (for the unen­light­ened) is a de­monic evil spirit. And who con­trols these Jinns? Us! The Jews. Ap­par­ently we lead the world in sor­cery and witch­craft. I thought we led the world in ac­coun­tancy, but what do I know?

I’ve heard it said that Jews con­trol the me­dia, have spook­ily cre­ative brains that give them the edge in the fields of arts, tech­nol­ogy, psy­chol­ogy, busi­ness and law. But lead­ers in the field of con­trol­ling de­monic spir­its? Why have we kept this talent un­der our kip­pot for so long?

Dur­ing the in­tense in­ter­view, I learnt: “Those who have con­tact with Jinns are of­ten Jewish. Many sorcer­ers are ac­tu­ally Jews… In the past, many Euro­pean Jewish sorcer­ers were put to death”.

When the in­ter­viewer asked if a whole govern­ment could be “ma­nip­u­lated by Jinns”, Naghipour­far em­phat­i­cally nod­ded and said: “Yes. In Is­rael. Not Iran. In Is­rael, the Devil con­trols the in­fi­dels.”

You learn some­thing new ev­ery day. I thought Jews were put to death in Europe due to ram­pant an­tisemitism and power play be­tween re­li­gious and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers look­ing for a con­ve­nient scape­goat as a means to con­trol the pop­u­la­tion. So I’d love to know Naghipour­far’s sources.

Maybe he is a huge Harry Pot­ter fan and found the re­cent es­say sug­gest­ing that Harry Pot­ter is es­sen­tially a Jewish book. Hog­warts is the an­cient yeshivah. Harry and his fel­low full-blooded wiz­ards are the Cho­sen People. The half-bloods are half-Jewish and the Mug­gles are not Jewish at all. The power and im­por­tance of nam­ing and names is a Jewish/ wizard­ing tra­di­tion and Harry’s spells are tal­mu­dic prayers. Oh, and He Who Shall Not Be Men­tioned is of course (no, not Volde­mort) that charis­matic Jewish car­pen­ter’s son.

Per­haps Naghipour­far has seen Sacha Baron Co­hen’s bril­liant Bo­rat film one too many times and the scene where his par­ody of an an­tisemitic Kaza­khstani spends a night at a guest­house run by an el­derly Jewish cou­ple. On see­ing two cock­roaches in his room at mid­night, he hisses at the cam­era: “It’s those Jews! All Jews are shape-shifters”.

Naghipour­far could be a Bo­rat char­ac­ter, a par­ody of a back­wa­ter, provin­cial Ira­nian farmer hold­ing on to an­tisemitic be­liefs. But it stops be­ing funny when you dis­cover that the in­san­ity comes from a well re­spected iman and top lec­turer at Tehran Univer­sity. Now that’s not magic.

Harry’s spells are re­ally tal­mu­dic prayers…

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