Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Arab media suddenly nostalgic for when Jews lived in their midst

The ripples from the UAE/Israel accords continue to spread in unmistakable yet unpredictable ways.

The latest example comes from Arab news site Akhbar Alaan, with an article and news report about how nice things were in Iraq before they expelled their Jews.

Despite the passage of 72 years since the expulsion of the Jews from Iraq, the neighborhoods they used to live in are still present, and the residents there still remember them and yearn for periods of coexistence.
The Jews in Iraq were not only living side by side with the Muslims, but they also shared with them all aspects of life. Even in the agricultural field, there was a partnership between the Jews and Muslims of Iraq.

Iraqi citizen Nour Shaker Lilo Jaber al-Abidi al-Baghdadi, who witnessed the presence of Jews in the city of Sulaymaniyah, said that the families in the city had very strong ties with the Jewish community, due to the work of these families in agriculture, since since the entry of the Jews to the Diwaniyah, they were proficient in trade, describing their dealings with the community as "Very good."

Iraqis say the Jewish community was peaceful, well-behaved and kind, and Iraqis still remember it.

For his part, Ghaleb Ibrahim Al-Kaabi, head of the Central Council for Heritage, Culture and Arts, said that the peaceful coexistence that existed between families in Diwaniyah and the Jewish community created very good industry, agriculture and trade, indicating that the Jews used to participate with the city’s residents in social and economic events.

The Jews considered themselves part of the social fabric, as they shared their joys and sorrows with Iraqis from other sects

When the Jews were deported, some wanted to sell their homes to the Muslims, but they refused because of the strong social ties between them as the people of one country, as the homes of the Jews remained open by Muslims who refused to accept the displacement of the Jews

Iraqis are pained today when they see the remaining evidence of the lives of Jews, even though the bulk of it was destroyed or robbed by the pro-Iranian militias.

The Jews of Iraq were subjected to forced displacement in 1948, while their Iraqi nationality was revoked after years, and today they are trying to obtain the nationality of their country, which was revoked from them, but they were not welcomed by the Iraqi governments
I don't know how well the Jews in Iraq were accepted by the 1940s - the Farhud was pretty horrific and couldn't have happened if there wasn't a serious strain of antisemitism. The important thing is that Arab media is suddenly interested in normal relations with Jews, and conditioning their readership to accept normalization with Israel. 

I've seen articles like this in Egyptian media over the years, but I have never seen one like this about Iraq.

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