Photo Credit: Stephanie Granot

Anyone wandering into the UN Diplomat Dining Room looking for dinner on Monday might have thought they walked into a parallel universe. 

Ambassador Ron Prosor, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was explaining the philosophy behind Israel’s newest postage stamp. “With this stamp, we give our stamp of approval” he said, “to the man who wrote the first known human rights declaration, a king who believed that all people can live side by side in peace, and that everyone is entitled to religious freedom. King of Persia, Cyrus the Great”.


Prosor continued as the new stamp, bearing the iconic Cyrus Declaration, went up on the media screens, “As we celebrate the great achievements of a Persian king here today, we can only regret that there is no king Cyrus sitting in Tehran today, and that the people of this great and ancient civilization known for tolerance and respect live under a ruthless, theocratic and regressive regime.”

The ambassador then introduced three renowned scholars, Dr. Irving Finkel of the Department of Middle East at the British Museum, Professor Faribortz Mokhtari of the Political Science and Economics Department at the University of Vermont, and Dr. David Menashri from the Alliance for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University, who enlightened the audience about the extraordinary man who is an ancestor to the Iranian people and was king of the country that is predecessor to Iran.

Ambassador Prosor summed up, “I hope the people of Iran look to the principles of the Cyrus declaration to inspire them in the present and lead them to a better future, and one day the Iranians will return to the tolerance and freedom promised by the Cyrus Declaration, the most progressive statement of its time.”

The event was co-sponsored by the Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York.



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Stephanie is a freelance journalist and U.N. Correspondent. She contributes regularly to the Jerusalem Post and the Jewish Press, and is a monthly columnist at JPost Style Magazine. Stephanie is mom to Daniel, Adam, Dean and Anna and divides her time between New York and Tel Aviv.


  1. =
    “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has Adonai, the God of heaven, given me; and he has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whosoever there is among you of all his people, his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Adonai, the God of Israel he is God, which is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:2-4; cf. also 6:2-5).

    The Cyrus Decree is archeologically corroborated by the famous Cyrus Cylinder.

  2. =
    The biblical book of Nehemiah is especially worth reading, as it demonstrates the historical eternal bond between the Jews and the land of Israel even back then. Nehemiah is well-off, living happily in Shushan (ancient Persia the city of the events leading to Purim) when he hears that “the wall of Jerusalem is breached, and its gates were burned with fire”. He cries and mourns, and finally springs into action.

    He makes Aliyah and organizes the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. Just as in modern times, when Eurabia, Mohamedans, Hadrians-Israelis (that manipulate US White House & US Dep’t of States) & some local bedouins nomads hear that the Jews are rebuilding Settlements , Jerusalem & maintening ancient walls they react violently (Nehemiah 4): “Now it came to pass when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabs, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the wall of Jerusalem was repaired, that the people who were exposed had commenced to be closed in, that they became very angered. And they all banded together to come to wage war against Jerusalem and to wreak destruction therein”.

  3. Ambassador Prosor says: "“I hope the people of Iran look to the principles of the Cyrus declaration…" so it seems he has no idea what is going on in Iran! because the Persians respect the ideas of Cyrus and they are a pro-peace and pro-freedom nation. The problem is the 'government' of Iran; a reactionary religious system which came to power in 1979. People of Iran many times (1999, 2009,…) have proved that they do not want to have this system in their country.

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