20-year old Jewish man to be executed in Iran on Shabbat

The Jewish man’s family is asking the public for prayers and support for Ervin Netanel Ben Tziona.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

A 20-year-old Iranian Jewish man is scheduled to be executed on Saturday, according to Iranian media reports.

He is charged with killing a non-Jewish Iranian man during an altercation.

According to Iranian law, the family of a murdered person is allowed to accept financial compensation instead of having the accused executed.

However, in this case, the family refuses to accept any compensation and insists the Jewish man must be killed.

Lawyers and influential people within the US Iranian-Jewish community have attempted to persuade the family to spare the man’s life, but their pleas have been rejected.

The Jewish man’s family is asking the public for prayers and support for Ervin Netanel Ben Tziona.

The relatively small Jewish community in Iran often has to buckle under pressure to conform.

In a Telegram post following the Iranian attack on Israel  in mid-April, representatives of Iranian Jewry announced on behalf of the Islamic Republic’s roughly 8,000 remaining Jews their “Appreciation of the hero armed forces of the land of Iran.”

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The announcement went on to praise Iran for “punishing the Zionist enemy” for the targeted killing earlier this month of Mohammed Reza Zahedi, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force in an airstrike on a building used by the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

Experts say Iran’s shrinking Jewish population is “held hostage” by the Iranian government, and issued the statement out of fear local Jews could be targeted for “revenge.”

“The small Jewish community in Iran is held hostage to the whims of the regime,” Alireza Nader, a Middle East affairs analyst for the Rand Corporation, told The Jerusalem Post.

“Any time the regime wants revenge against Israel, it eyes Iranian Jews.”

Iran’s Jewish population, which numbered as much as 150,000 before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, went into decline in the mid-20th century as thousands moved to the newly-established Jewish state and the United States.

Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Jewish population of Iran has fallen sharply, with just 8,000-8,500 Jews estimated to remain in the country.