by Dr. Gerhard Falk
Jews of Iraq
Jewish community in Iraq has lived in that country for 2,700 years, longer than
the Arabs and much longer than any Moslem, since Islam was not founded until
first Jews to come to ancient Mesopotamia (Greek = between the rivers) were
brought there by Assyria after some of the northern tribes of Israel were
defeated by that powerful empire in 722 before the Common Era. Then, in 586 BCE
the Babylonians, living in the area now called Iraq, conquered the southern part
of Israel and enslaved the Jews. Those Jews who then lived in the Babylonian
Exile produced the Babylonian Talmud between 500 and 700 C.E. (Common Era).
and the whole of the Mesopotamian area became part of the Byzantine Empire after
the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to
Byzantium, a small town located in present day Turkey. He called the new capital
Constantinople or The City of Constantine (Greek). Greek was spoken in the
Byzantine Empire and Latin in the Western part of the Empire. That led to the
dissolution of the Roman Empire, with the result that in 1453 Constantinople was
overrun by the Turks who ruled there until the British defeated the Turks during
the First World War. That made the British the overlords of the erstwhile
British therefore ruled Iraq from 1918 until 1932, when Iraq was given its
independence. The new king was appointed by the British but did not last long.
He was deposed by a military “coup” which finally seized all power under
the second World War, the British returned to Iraq. Then, during 1941, some
Iraqi officers sided with the Nazi Germans and forced the British to temporarily
withdraw. At once anti-Jewish riots led to the murder of 180 Jews. The British
returned shortly and stayed until the end of World War II.
the Jewish community continued in Iraq until 1948, when almost all Jews were
dispossessed and forced to flee their most ancient home because the Arabs,
defeated in their effort to destroy Israel, vented their disappointment on their
local Jewish neighbors. Terrible persecutions of the Iraqi Jews ensued after May
1948 when Israel became an independent country. 113 thousand Jews fled Iraq that
year. Thereafter Iraq would no longer allow Jews to emigrate, although many Jews
escaped from there just the same.
Constant surveillance was then used to “keep the Jews from leaving.” However
in 1950 the policy was changed and Jews were permitted to leave. These Jews then
migrated to Israel, the United States and Australia. Between 1949 and 1951,
104,000 Jews emigrated from Baghdad as Zionism i.e. Judaism became a
capital crime. The property of these refugee Jews was stolen by the Iraqi
population just as it was stolen from all the Jews forced to leave other Arab
Jews remained in Iraq even after 1951. These Jews were forced to carry yellow
identity cards (as in Nazi Germany). Jews were placed under house arrest, their
telephones were disconnected, and eleven Jews were hanged in public to the
enjoyment of screaming crowds of barbarians who shouted “death to the Jews.”
lead to the smuggling of more Jews out of Iraq into Israel, so that today only
38 Jews are left in Baghdad.
Israel bombed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq, which would have been used in
the production of atomic bombs by that Nazi country. The whole world condemned
Israel, of course. The so-called U.N. condemned Israel and the anti-Jewish hate
mongers in our State Department wanted to use this bombardment to deprive Israel
of American support. President Reagan vetoed both of these efforts and stood by
what would have been our situation if the Iraqis had the nuclear bomb in 1991
and now. We were the beneficiaries of the bombing of the Osirak reactor and did
not have to face an atomic power in Iraq then or now. All those who screamed
their head off because Israel destroyed that reactor ought to apologize to
Israel for their stupidity at that time. They should also let Jonathan Pollard
out of prison because it was Pollard who alerted Israel to that danger and it
was Pollard who has saved many American lives by giving Israel that information.
we have a President who understands the danger that Iraq and Syria and Iran pose
for this country and anyone else who values freedom and democracy. The
anti-Jewish hate mongers who demonstrate in the streets for Hussein and his
bloody dictatorship are the only crowd still in love with that Nazi. These
demonstrators were born too late. Had they been born seventy years ago they
could have demonstrated for Hitler, as did so many of their grandfathers.
Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications,
A New Look at the Supporting Generation (with Dr. Ursula A., Falk, 2002),
Ascent to Reason (2003).