March 5, 2007, - 2:42 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Today’s Wall Street Journal has a fascinating front-page story about the aftermath of the deposal of the Shah in Iran, the Islamist takeover, and Beverly Hills’ population.
If you’re like me and have frequented the Jewish areas of Bevery Hills, you know that Beverly Hills has a significant Persian Jewish population. That’s because most of Iran’s Jews saw the handwriting on the wall when Jimmy Carter ushered the Shah out and Ayatollah Khomeini and Islamist Shi’ism in. Many of Iran’s Jews re-settled in Israel and New York. But a significant number moved to Beverly Hills.
Now, for the first time ever, Beverly Hills is about to have an Iranian as Mayor–the likely result after tomorrow’s election, there. What’s interesting is that Jimmy Delshad will become the highest-ranking Iranian American, and he’s a Jew. I’m sure that will upset Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a huge bonus. (While Delshad is a Democrat, I’ve found that many Iranian-American Jews are right-wing and Republican, more so than in the general Jewish population.)
But what I found most interesting was the contrast between Iranian Jews in Beverly Hills and Muslims in Dearbornistan and the rest of the U.S. While Muslims here insist on ballots in Arabic, so that illegal aliens and other non-English speaking malefactor co-religionists of theirs can vote. Beverly Hills’ Iranian Jews registered 300 complaints about their new Farsi ballots. They speak English and think of themselves as Americans. They’ve assimilated themselves into America, rather than insisting America bow to them.
Contrast that with Mid-East Muslims, who think of themselves as Muslims and insist we cater to them. Contrary to myths put out by the mainstream media, the Muslims have not assimilated, and expect us to assimilate to them (and, unfortunately, the many spineless have obliged).
Here are a few excerpts from the story, which I found very interesting, even though I’m very familiar with Beverly Hills’ Iranian Jews (and their great kosher restaurants–my fave is “Nessim’s”):
At a time when tension between the U.S. and Iranian governments is on the rise, Mr. Delshad, a 66-year-old Jewish immigrant, is on the brink of becoming one of the highest-ranking Iranian-American elected officials in the U.S. . . .
Roughly 8,000 of the approximately 35,000 residents of Beverly Hills are of Iranian descent — an influx that began in earnest nearly 30 years ago after the fall of the shah of Iran and has fundamentally changed one of America’s most iconic cities. The sensitivity of the situation was underscored recently when the city, for the first time, printed its entire ballot in English and Farsi — a move that prompted an outpouring of complaints, including a number from Iranian-Americans. (See a sample ballot.)
Six candidates in tomorrow’s election will be vying for two seats on the Beverly Hills City Council. Three are Persian. Mr. Delshad — who changed his first name to Jimmy from Jamshid when he became a U.S. citizen — first won election to the City Council in 2003. If re-elected, he would become mayor; council members rotate the job each year, based on seniority. . . .
Because Beverly Hills is so prominent, he’s also keenly interested in securing the city against possible terrorist strikes. He wants to increase video surveillance in public spaces and continue to add license-plate scanners to police vehicles.
At times, he has worried for his own safety. In 2003, during his first City Council campaign, Mr. Delshad hired three bodyguards after he received written death threats in his native Farsi language. He also carried a panic button that could summon local police. He says he never knew who was behind the threats or why he received them, but he kept the bodyguards for a few months even after he was elected. . . .
Mr. Delshad, born in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, came to the U.S. in 1958, following his brother, then a college student, to Mankato, Minn. Their father, a jeweler and goldsmith in Iran, would later join his sons in the U.S.
Mr. Delshad took university-extension courses and worked as a janitor to make ends meet. He and two brothers eventually formed the “Delshad Trio” playing the santur, a Persian string instrument. They moved to Los Angeles’s growing Iranian community, playing music as they put themselves through college.
After graduating with a degree in electrical engineering, Mr. Delshad joined a fledgling computer firm. For about two decades, he ran his own computer-hardware company, which he sold in 1999, when he became president of the temple. Married 38 years, he is the father of two grown children. . . .
City Hall has received about 300 complaints since absentee ballots went to voters at the beginning of last month, says Byron Pope, the city’s clerk, who decided to translate the ballots into Farsi. (A separate Spanish ballot is available, too.) Mr. Pope says he made the move in consultation with an outside election-services firm and was complying with the federal Voting Rights Act, which says that a jurisdiction that has more than 5% of its voting-age population in “a single language group” should have a ballot available in that language. In the 2005 city election, some information was translated into Farsi, but not the entire ballot, he says.
Yes, federal law–inspired by illegal aliens–forces a city to produce ballots in Farsi, even when assimilated Iranian-American Jews don’t want it.
Only in America.
Tags: America, Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills City Council, Bevery Hills, City Council, City Hall, Debbie Schlussel, Delshad Trio, federal law, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamist, Israel, janitor, Jeweler, Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Delshad, language group, Los Angeles, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, mainstream media, Mankato, Mayor, Minnesota, New York, President, president of the temple, Shiraz, United States, Wall Street Journal