Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 02, 2008

Iraq’s Jewish community close to extinction

Iraq’s Jewish population, which numbered over 130,000 just over fifty years ago, today stands at less than ten, not even enough to perform certain sacred rituals, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Their ties to Iraq date back thousands of years, but, as the article notes, this once “wealthy and politically active” group has, in more recent times, suffered through extreme trauma: “the 1941 Farhud pogrom in which more than 130 Jews were killed during the Feast of Shavuot, World War II, the Holocaust, the anti-Zionism of Saddam Hussein and the post-2003 rise of Islamic militants.”

The few Jews that remain today are at risk of being targeted for their beliefs, as evidenced by the fact that Baghdad’s last synagogue closed in 2003 after it became too dangerous to gather there.

An Iraqi Jew interviewed for the article wrote of the current circumstances: “I have no future her, I can’t marry, there is no girl. I can’t put my kova on my head out of the house. If I’m out of Iraq, I’ll share with people in all our feasts and do my prayer in the synagogue and will be with my family.”

For the full article, click here.


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