Iranian activist Elaaheh Jamali at the Nova Music Festival massacre site

JNS: Activist for Iranian women also champions Israel’s human-rights cause

It was the day after the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre, and British Jewry had organized a small event in support of Israel outside the Israeli embassy in London. Elaaheh Jamali heard about the rally from some of her Iranian Jewish friends and, repulsed by the largest single-day attack against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, came with her mother, sister and brother-in-law expecting to see hundreds of Londoners in the crowd. They were the only four non-Jews in the gathering of dozens of people.

The event was a life pivot for the 37-year-old London-based, Iranian-born human-rights and women’s activist, also known on social media as LilyMoo (“dark beauty” in Persian), who had risen to prominence over the last two years for her active role in the United Kingdom against the Iranian regime and its repression of Iranian women.

“Then and there, I knew this is just the beginning,” Jamali told JNS in an interview in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. “I felt that same sense of isolation and abandonment, and that these people are just as lonely as the Iranians are. It made me die inside a little bit, that people were just walking by looking at the Jews.”

From that day, the Persian fashion entrepreneur turned human rights activist has been speaking out nonstop for Israel despite death threat. A fatwa Islamic religious edict issued against her sent her into hiding for almost a month. This spring, Jamali made her first-ever trip to Israel, as part of a delegation of nine expatriate Iranians, sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The world’s denial of the attack against Israeli women on Oct. 7 gave the Iranian activist an acute sense of déjà vu. “The very same free world through its prestigious establishments that denied Iranian women their humanity is repeating this now with Israeli women being stripped of their dignity and humanity,” Jamali said during her latest trip to Israel this week.

She was back in the country for a conference on gender-based violence sponsored by ELNET—The European Leadership Network, an NGO that promotes Israel-European ties.