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Monday, April 16, 2012

Arabic book: "Zionists conspired with Iraqi government to expel Jews"

A new Arabic book attempts to prove that Iraqi Jews were forced out of the country by Israel working together with the Iraqi government.

Written by Egyptian Mohamed Ahmed Saleh Hussein, the book claims that Jews in Iraq lived a wonderful existence. It bases most of its conclusions based on an autobiography by Israel Prize winner Sasson Somekh, a secular Jew who lived in Iraq and whose family immigrated to Israel in 1951. He quotes Somekh, who was eighteen at the time, as saying that he felt not that he was immigrating to Israel but that he was being uprooted from his country, Iraq. This proves, according to Hussein, that Jews in Arab countries were unwilling to move to Israel.

Of course, if there hadn't been rampant anti-semitism and governmental discrimination against Jews in Iraq, the Jewish community would not have been entirely uprooted to begin with.

Hussein rehashes the old discredited claims that it was a Zionist campaign of terror that forced the Jews to leave. Beyond that, he says that Iraqi authorities colluded with "Zionists" to expel the Jews from the country. As the book reviewer summarizes it:

The authorities of that era conspired with Zionism, and began to put pressure on Iraqi Jews, forcing them to leave. Thus, they were forced to drop their Iraqi nationality, and [Iraqi authorities] showed deliberate discrimination against them is in the "sacking of dozens of Jewish civil servants, and limiting the number of students admitted to schools and universities, and forcing Jews to show trials that would usually end with their execution.". This gave the Zionist media rich material to serve their interests... This pushed the Jews of Iraq to immigration, especially after the Farhood [pogrom in Baghdad] that led to the process called "Ezra and Nehemia" [airlift to Israel.] From here, it is clear that the Iraqi Jewish community was the victim of a big conspiracy involving states and many systems, forcing themm to leave their country.

Hussein seems to admit that there was state-sponsored discrimination against Jews - but he bizarrely blames "Zionists" for it. Not only that, he mentions the Farhud massacre, but seems to imply that this was no big deal and not a factor.

The author also notes that Iraqis Jews started an "Anti-Zionist" committee in 1945, which he uses as proof that they were not interested in moving to Israel. The fact that this committee was meant to distance the Jews from the coming anti-semitism that they could anticipate coming down the pike doesn't seem to occur to Hussein.

Based on this review, it appears that the book ends up proving what it is meant to disprove. Of course most people will not willingly uproot their homes and communities where they lived for millennia - it takes a big push to get people to want to do that. Iraq provided that push with its increased anti-semitism of the 1940s and 1950s, official state-sanctioned Jew hatred that Hussein seems to admit. But he is forced to create a convoluted conspiracy theory - based, as always, on the evil Zionist entity - to explain the rampant anti-semitism that is well-documented throughout the entire Arab world in those days.