Daily Israel Report

Rouhani Donates Money to Jewish Hospital

Iranian President donates $170,000 to the country's only Jewish hospital, his second such gesture since taking office.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/7/2014, 3:45 AM

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani
Reuters

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has donated $170,000 to the country's only Jewish hospital.

According to the report, this was Rouhani’s second such gesture since taking office.

The official IRNA news agency said the president has given the same amount from government funds as he did last year to the Dr. Sapir charity hospital. The hospital was established in 1942 in the capital Tehran.

The donation is seen as part of Rouhani's pledge to pay more attention to the country's minorities. It is also in contrast to his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who prompted an international outcry by denying the Holocaust took place while also calling for the destruction of Israel.

Shortly after taking office, Rouhani reached out to the Jewish community by sending it a greeting in honor of Rosh Hashanah.

He later stated in an interview on CNN that the Nazis committed a "reprehensible" crime against the Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Iran subsequently claimed that CNN had misrepresented Rouhani's statements, claiming the network added the words "Holocaust" and "reprehensible" to its translation.

Iran's Jews number about 25,000, making it the largest Jewish community in any country in the Middle East outside of Israel.

Shortly after Rouhani was elected, an Iranian Jewish leader told AFP that Iranian Jews “have an easy life,” and that “the government does not create problems for us.”

However, an expert later expressed doubt over the remarks, telling Arutz Sheva in October that Iranian leaders are doing everything they can to display their country’s Jewish population as satisfied, even if they have to resort to fakery to do so