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October 22, 2004 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-10-22

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OTHER VIEWS

VOTE NOVEMBER 2

Right for:

DAVID

LAW

for State Representative







Fiscal Responsibility
Quality Schools
Protecting Our Environment
Michigan's Economy
And for Oakland County's Future!

"David Law will make an outstanding state
representative for us. I'm impressed with
his professional experience, good
judgment and strong commitment to all
the people of West Bloomfield. Combine
these qualities with his deep roots in the
community and I know he will serve us
well in Lansing."

Iraqi Jewish Compensation

S

—Joe Knollenberg
U.S. Congressman

Contact David at
248 855-8788 or

DavidLaw04@sbcglobal.net

ENDORSED BY

Michigan State Medical Society
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
West Bloomfield Police Officers Association
Michigan Townships Association
U.S. Congressman Joe Knollenberg
Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson
Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard
State Senator Nancy Cassis
State Representative Shelley Goodman Taub

Join us in
support of David!

Jeff Leib
Larry Leib
Sheldon and Beverly Scharg
Allen & Penny Adelberg
Amy Peterman
Judith Wiser
Herman Frankel

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New York City
On April 1, 1941, just
uddenly, the phones
months before the long-
went dead in Baghdad.
anticipated Nazi invasion of
The day was March
Russia, the Mufti and a fas-
10, 1951. By the time the
cist cabal of pro-Nazi Iraqi
dial tone came back, within
officers, known as the
about 24 hours, some
Golden Square, staged a
120,000 middle class and
coup. Within two months,
affluent Jews in Iraq, nearly
the British had ousted the
EDWIN
the whole of Iraqi Jewry,
Golden Square, whose lead-
BLACK
would discover they were
ers escaped to Iran.
Special
paupers. Penniless, Iraq's
But on June 1, in the last
Commentary
2,600-year-old Jewish com-
hours of the revolt, a fren-
munity would then be
zied Arab mob unleashed a
expelled en masse to Israel.
two-day Kristallnacht-style pogrom
They left behind property current-
against the Jews of Baghdad. Women
ly valued at $1 billion by some, and
were raped and infants crushed in
many billions by others. Today, as
front of their terrified families.
attorneys, Jewish organizations and
Jewish shops were looted and
individual claimants prepare to
torched. A synagogue was burned
launch a massive claim against Iraqi
and its Torahs ceremoniously
assets held in Washington, the sear-
destroyed.
ing question remains: how did it
Eventually, British forces broke
happen and why?
through, shot dozens of rioters and
For 2,600 years, the Jews of Iraq
restored order. A government com-
had dwelled successfully in the land
mission later reported that at least
of Babylon, achieving as much
180 Jews had been killed and 240
acceptance and financial success as
wounded, 586 Jewish businesses _pH-
any non-Muslim group could in an
laged and 99 Jewish homes burned.
Islamic society that despised infidels.
Iraqi Jews were well entrenched at all
Jewish Anguish
levels of farming, banking, com-
merce and the government bureau-
The carnage of those 48 hours would
cracy.
be forever seared upon the collective
But with the outbreak of World
Iraqi Jewish consciousness as the
War II, it all began to change. On
Farhud, best translated as "violent
Oct. 13, 1939, just six weeks after
dispossession." From that moment,
the war began, the Mufti of
Iraq's approximately 125,000 Jews
Jerusalem slipped into Baghdad to
would be systematically targeted for
make Iraq his new base. From
violence, persecution, commercial
Baghdad, the Mufti repeated his
boycott and confiscation.
Palestine incitements, now launching
Everything escalated fiercely in
a venomous and unrelenting cam-
February 1947, when the United
paign against Iraq's Jewish communi- Nations agreed to vote on the ques-
ty, accusing them of a Zionist plot to tion of partitioning Palestine. The
dominate Iraq and the wider Middle
Arab regimes, including the Baghdad
East.
government, officially threatened
At the same time, the Mufti sealed
that if the U.N. dared vote "yes" to
an alliance directly with Adolf Hitler
partition, the Arabs would exact
personally, trading Iraqi oil for
reprisals against the 700,000 Jews
Germany's help in destroying the
who had dwelled in countries
Jews of Palestine and in Eastern
throughout the Middle East.
Europe, from where the stream of
The day Israel declared its inde-
emigrants were escaping. In return,
pendence, the Arab League, includ-
the Mufti promised Iraq's fabulous
ing major units of the Iraqi army,
oil reserves, the fuel Hitler needed to
invaded from all sides. The Arabs
conquer Russia and the entire East.
vowed an "extermination and a
momentous massacre of the Jews." It
Edwin Black is the New York Times
didn't happen. Only Iraq refused to
best-selling and award-winning author
sign the armistice. Instead, it became
of "IBM and the Holocaust." This article very convenient to once again blame
is adapted from his just-released book,
Iraq's Jews and "Zionist gangs" for
"Banking on Baghdad" (Wiley), which
this latest Iraqi military disaster.
chronicles 7,000 years of Iraqi history.

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