Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, December 17, 2007

Iraqi Jews beginning to return to Kurdistan

The Arab-Israeli conflict that has divided the Middle East for the past half-century has forced most Iraqi Jews out of their ancient communities. However, since the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003 some members of the group have begun returning to their homeland, according to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”

According to the program: “Most of the ancient Jewish community in Iraq emigrated en masse in 1951. But unlike their Arab counterparts, Iraqi Kurds tend to be less suspicious of their former Jewish neighbors. And some Jewish Kurds have begun making discreet return visits to Kurdistan.”

“Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, a small number of Kurdish Jews has been making discreet return visits from Israel to the land of their birth,” the program notes. “Kak Ziad Aga, 71, says a Jewish classmate from his childhood recently got a warm welcome during a return visit to the Kurdish town of Koya Sinjak. It had been 50 years since he’d seen his classmate.

Ziad Aga says he doesn’t see any problem in allowing Kurdish Jews to come back to Kurdistan, but the subject is extremely sensitive for the Kurdish authorities, who are frequently accused by Arab media and Iraqi insurgent groups of collaborating with Israel. The Kurdish leadership denies the charges.”

For the full story, click here.


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