Several old Iranian Jews huddled on a bench near an

arcade in Jerusalem. With their seemingly perpetual display of loathing,

despair, and bitter mockery, they might have been drawn by

an enterprising cartoonist.  No doubt worn out by endless argument,

they sat in silence, chewing tobacco and staring out into

space as if they read the future and fatalistically accepted

what it foretold.  A religious Jew named Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen

Yatom was staging a hunger strike in front of a

brick clock tower. The man was threatening to starve himself

to death unless the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini abdicated his power.

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Paraphrases from the novel A Perfect Peace by Amos Oz.

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