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Commentary :: Human Rights : International : Race : Social Welfare
Remembering the Farhud (Ethnic Cleansing of Jews from Iraq)
01 Jun 2006
The forgotten pogrom that destroyed Iraq’s Jewish community.
Today marks the 65th anniversary of the Farhud. Arabic for “violent dispossession,“ this is the word used to describe the infamous pogrom of June 1, 1941, against the Jews of Baghdad. In its wake, the Farhud left some 200 dead, 2000 injured, and 900 Jewish homes destroyed. It was the beginning of the end of the Jewish community of Iraq, a community that had existed for twenty-six centuries, preceded Islam by a thousand years, and once numbered over 125,000 souls.

Today, not a single Jew is left in Iraq. Arab apologists trace the dismantling of the Jewish communities of the Arab world (Mizrachim) and of North Africa (Sephardim) to anti-Jewish sentiment growing out of the creation of Israel. Implicit in this is the imposition of collective responsibility, as if the Jews of the Arab world and North Africa were directly responsible for whatever Israeli Jews did or did not do.

Although the Arab and Muslim communities in America and the West publicly cry foul when the terrorist attacks of September 11 are linked to them or their religion, they do not hesitate to ascribe collective responsibility to Jews. For instance, writing in the interfaith newsletter in Contra Costa County, California, Dr. Amir Araim, the Imam of Concord, California, and an Iraqi who once represented Saddam Hussein’s regime to the United Nations, links the dismantling of the Jewish community of Iraq directly to the controversial events at Deir Yassin, the Arab village that was captured by Israel during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 and where pro-Arab propagandists have long claimed a “massacre” took place.

Even leaving aside that highly contestable claim, Araim’s allegation that there is a direct line running from Deir Yassin to the Farhud in Baghdad is woefully ahistorical: the pogrom occurred long before there was an Israel or even a single Palestinian refugee. The Farud began at 3 PM on June 1, 1941, the Jewish holy day of Shavout. The violence erupted when a pro-Nazi mob attacked representatives of the Jewish community as they crossed Baghdad’s Al Khurr Bridge to greet the returning Iraqi Regent Abdul-al Ilah. The mob then murdered, burned and raped its way through the Jewish community. Jewish infants were special targets, killed as helpless parents looked on. The superintendent of police refused to stop the riots. He was not about to kill or injure Muslims to save Jews.

The Farhud is doubly embarrassing for Arab apologists. First, it resurrects the problem of the nearly one million Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. In contrast to Palestinian Arab refugees, they received no recognition from the United Nations and no assistance outside of the Jewish community and the State of Israel. Instead of languishing for four generations in refugee camps, like the Palestinian refugees, within a few years they became both contributing members and citizens of Israel and Western societies.

Second, the Farhud was a Nazi riot. The Farhud was the result of the work of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin el Husseini. The Mufti cut a deal with the Nazis to overthrow the British-sponsored government of Iraq and provide Hitler with Iraqi oil vital to Germany’s war efforts. In return, the Nazis would eliminate the “Jewish problem” in Mandate Palestine. In October of 1939, the Mufti came to Iraq to precipitate a coup that was to be led by Iraqi officers who embraced Nazism and were known as the “Golden Square.” As a unifying inspiration for the coup, the Mufti invoked Nazi propaganda themes of anti-Semitism focusing on the Jews as “enemies of the state.”

The coup failed. The Mufti fled Iraq to Berlin and the hospitality of SS Chief Henrich Himmler and later Hitler himself. Although the Nazis held the Arabs in only slightly higher esteem than they held Jews, the Nazis saw the Mufti as a useful ally against the British, and his anti-Semitic propaganda broadcasts in Arabic from Berlin further served mutual purposes. The Mufti’s legacy of anti-Semitism became part of Iraqi culture.

This is embarrassing because while Arab propagandists routinely use “Jew” and “Nazi” in the same breath, Nazism is historically very much a part of Arab political culture. In 1947, when the United Nations took up the question of the Palestine Mandate, Iraqis organized new pogroms and used Nazi confiscation techniques to seize Jewish property. Similarly, the Ba’ath socialists of Iraq and Syria draw their inspiration from Nazism. This further belies the Arab claim that anti-Semitism is exclusively a Western and not a Middle Eastern phenomenon.

The aftermath of the Farhud spelled the end of Iraq’s Jewish community. On September 23, 1948, Safiq Ades, Iraq’s wealthiest Jew was publicly hanged on phony charges and his property seized. His body swung in the public square in Basara where Iraqi celebrants mutilated it. A month later, all of Iraq’s Jews employed in the civil service were summarily fired. Iraq then set about systematically seizing Jewish assets and impoverishing its Jews. With a degree of almost unmatched cynicism, the Iraqi political oligarchy profited by requiring expelled Iraqi Jews to use Iraqi travel agents in order to flee to Israel. All the while, Iraq saw the imposition of 15,000 penniless Jews a month on the newly created Jewish state as a mechanism to defeat Israel by precipitating a major economic crisis. Indeed, Israel accepted these Jews at a time when there were not even enough tents or refugee camps to house them.

Iraqi Jews went to Israel and lived in refugee camps. So little is known about the plight of the Mizrachi and Sephardic Jewish refugees that even informed Jews are dumbfounded upon learning this. Yet, within the space of a few years, these refugees were absorbed into Israeli society. Unlike the Palestinian Arabs, they were not abandoned to languish without hope for generation after generation in impoverished camps.

Slowly but inevitably the truth about the one million Jewish refugees from Arab lands is coming to light. Remembering the Farhud is part of restoring the history of an oppressed and forgotten people, whose suffering and persecution have too long been ignored. Arabs and Muslims must ultimately take responsibility for the anti-Semitism of their world, a racism that resulted in Arab Jews becoming the largest ethnic group in Israel.

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Re: Remembering the Farhud (Ethnic Cleansing of Jews from Iraq)
01 Jun 2006

Come on, Abe--everyone knows Zionists bombed the synagogue in Iraq and blamed it on Arabs... You are a liar. And Arabs don't have any collective guilt for 9-11 because Arabs weren't involved, though more than a few Jews were! How did building 7 fall, Abe?
Re: Remembering the Farhud (Ethnic Cleansing of Jews from Iraq)
01 Jun 2006
In 1950, a wave of anti Semitism and terrorism in Iraq made Naeim Giladi, 21, join the Zionist underground.

Giladi was imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to death by Iraqi authorities. He escaped and fled to Israel only to discover that the anti Semitism and bombings had been engineered by his fellow Zionists to dupe Iraqi Jews into going to Israel.

Giladi's family was part of a Jewish community that settled and prospered in Babylon 2600 years ago, 600 years before Christianity, 1200 years before Islam.

Then in the late 1940's, the Prime Minister Nouri-el-Said fired Jewish government employees, denied permits to Jewish merchants, and finally, in March 1950, deprived Jews of their citizenship. Still they did not leave.

A month later, a series of terrorist bombings started the wave of emigration. By January 1951 when a bomb was thrown at a synagogue killed three and wounded 30, the exodus of frightened Jews jumped to 600-700 per day.

When Giladi's father discovered his son had joined the Zionists, he was sceptical. You'll come home with your tail between your legs, he said.

But Giladi was young and idealistic. Jews were being killed and Zionism represented a chance to build a national home. I was a true believer, he writes.

In an essay The Jews of Iraq, which is on line, Giladi describes his bitter realization that Zionists were behind the anti Semitism and bombings.

Unknown to Giladi, two members of the Zionist Underground had been arrested and confessed that they had carried out the terrorist attacks.

A book, Venom of the Zionist Viper, by an Iraqi investigator names Zionist emissary Mordecai Ben-Porat as the organizer. The book was banned in Israel.

Iraqi Prime Minister Said was a British pawn. He met Israeli PM David Ben Gurion in Vienna in 1948 and agreed to transfer the Iraqi Jews to Israel as part of the elite geopolitical program.

This and other Zionist crimes against Jews are documented in Giladi's book, Ben Gurion's Scandals: How the Mossad and the Haganah Eliminated Jews,(1992) which will be republished by Dandelion Books this spring.

By January 1952, all but 6,000 of 125,000 Iraqi Jews had fled to Israel where as Arab Jews, they were treated as second-class citizens. Israel wanted them to perform the menial jobs vacated by the Palestinians. Between the Iraqi and Israeli governments, the Iraqi Jews lost much of their wealth.

Of his people, Giladi concludes: An ancient, cultured prosperous community had been uprooted and its people transplanted to a land dominated by East European Jews, whose culture was not only foreign but entirely hateful to them.

Their fate was typical of all 500,000 Jews from Arab countries. This belies the Zionist argument that these Jews were expelled from Muslim countries and make up for displaced Palestinians.

Giladi discovered that Israel had spurned many sincere Arab peace overtures because of its expansionist plans. He met Prime Minister Ben Gurion and asked him why Israel didn't have a constitution.

'If we had a constitution, we'd have to have a border, and this is not our border, Ben Gurion told him. Where the army conquers, that will be our border.'

Giladi became an activist and fought in the 1967 and 1973 wars. But after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, he renounced his Israeli citizenship and moved to New York City.
Arabs long history of Lies learned from Germans
01 Jun 2006
the Giladi story has been mentioned before. Funny thing is that no one has ever been able to claim that they met the individual.

Giladi only exists on the internet and its many often repeated postings.

in other words its just the same arab lies told over and over again just like the claim of thousands dead in the Jenin slum.
Disgusting racist post above
01 Jun 2006
I highly recommend the lecture by Rabbi Goldstein to anyone who thinks it's impossible to decide who's telling the truth here. That's the one linked to by honest Abe. If you feel these issues are important, and are not predisposed to hate either Jews or Arabs, it will change your life. It did mine. The truth is liberation itself--drink it deep.
Re: Remembering the Farhud (Ethnic Cleansing of Jews from Iraq)
01 Jun 2006
This furhud also seems to take place over 3 years after Brittish occupiers of Palestine put down the pre-world war 2 intifada which saw Brittish and Zionists kill Palestinians at a rate of nearly 8 to 1.

Brittish helped Zionists invade Palestine like Nazis help thier Hungarians allies invade Slovakia. And when palestinians tried to put an end to the Zionist invasion under the Brittish guns, britts and Zionists Killed thousands of Palestinians.

It is not hard to understand why Palestinians would try to escape brittish occupied Palestine and try to fight Britts anywhere they could. Slovakians too escaped Nazi/Hungarian occupied Slovakia to fight them both where ever the allies could use them.
who is benjamin freedman?
01 Jun 2006