Al-Monitor: A Reminder of Persian Legacy of Tolerance

By Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor:

Thomas Jefferson, the [British] museum director noted, read the biography of Cyrus before drafting the Constitution while King George V referred to Cyrus in approving the Balfour Declaration of 1917 in which the British government said it viewed with “favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” Former US President Harry Truman is said to have exclaimed “I am Cyrus” when he went against the Washington establishment consensus and recognized the state of Israel. Jews were among those freed by Cyrus, who encouraged them to return and rebuild their temple at Jerusalem.

In a room adjacent to the cylinder at the Sackler gallery — where the exhibition will remain through April 28 before traveling to Houston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles — the walls are covered with quotations about Cyrus from Aeschylus to Isaiah to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Shirin Ebadi, a modern Iranian human rights defender, wrote that “the charter of Cyrus the Great is one of the most important documents that should be studied in the history of human rights.”

Read the article: “Cyrus Cylinder” A Reminder of Persian Legacy of Tolerance