Sunday, June 01, 2008

More Progress In Iraq

Jews were once a wealthy and politically active part of the spectrum of Iraq. In a fading red volume of the Iraq Directory of 1936, the “Israelite community,” then numbering about 120,000, is listed along with Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Muslims, Christians, Yazidis and Sabeans. Rescued from a Baghdad library, this book lists Hebrew among the six languages of Iraq and describes a country in which “the mosque stands beside the church and the synagogue.”

However, the directory predates decades of trauma: the 1941 Farhud pogrom in which more than 130 Jews were killed during the Feast of Shavuot, World War II, the Holocaust, the anti-Zionism of Saddam Hussein and the post-2003 rise of Islamic militants.
[more] (Emphasis added.)

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