More revisionism at the Guardian

Update to the Update: CifWatch quotes Point of No Return extensively in its rebuttalto Ramadani’s claims that communal infighting in Iraq was unknown.

Update: The following letter signed by Yiftah Curiel  appeared in the Guardian on  19 June :

The sectarian myth of Iraq,
( 17 June) blames “Zionists” for the 1950-51 synagogue bombings in
Baghdad, further claiming that this was carried out in order to prompt
immigration to Israel by Jews “following their refusal to do so”. This
allegation is baseless. There are theories and counter-theories
regarding who carried out the bombings, and this is an open matter of
ongoing historical debate. It is wrong for Ramadani to simply assert
Zionists carried out the bombing, when no proof of this allegation
exists. Ramadani also highlights the 1941 “violent lootings” of Jewish
neighborhoods; a description that underplays the scope of the farhud
tragedy. The 1941 farhud saw thousands brandish weapons and slaughter
hundreds of Jews, thus these were not simply violent lootings but
murderous riots.

Yiftah Curiel, Spokesperson, Embassy of Israel


If you want enlightened comment on the dreadful state of Iraq’s politics, the London sociology lecturer Sami Ramadani (pictured) is, most probably, not your man. His piece for The Guardian’s Comment is Free is replete with denial and mythology. His argument can be summed up as “we coexisted perfectly before foreigners meddled in Iraq’s affairs; communal in-fighting was the work not of the people but of repressive dictators such as Saddam.”  

Here’s a choice paragraph:

Neither side, though, has yet produced historical evidence of significant communal fighting between Iraq’s religions, sects, ethnicities or nationalities. Prior to the 2003 US-led occupation, the only incident was the 1941 violent looting of Jewish neighbourhoods – which is still shrouded in mystery as to who planned it. Documents relating to that criminal incident are still kept secret at the Public Records Office by orders of successive British governments. The bombing of synagogues in Baghdad in 1950-51 turned out to be the work of Zionists to frighten Iraq’s Jews – one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world – into emigrating to Israel following their refusal to do so.

There are so many myths and half-truths in that short paragraph that many commenters could not resist putting Mr Ramadani to rights. But before you could say ” facts not fiction”, the Guardian moderator woke up from his nap and set about decimating them.   The thread is littered with “this comment has been removed because it does not abide by our community standards.”

Here are two comments as they relate to Mr Ramadani’s mentions of the Jews of Iraq:

Leftofright comments:

“The bombing of synagogues in Baghdad in 1950-51 by Zionists
you say… well, that is NOT proven and in a climate of anti-semitism
and a rush to get out of Iraq, it was unneccesary for ‘Zionists’ to
hurry along something that was moving quickly under its own steam.

rise of pan-Arab nationalism coincided with the second King Faisal’s (sic – Ghazi)
admiration of Nazism. In 1941 after the government of pro-Nazi Rashid
Ali was defeated, his soldiers and policemen, aided by the Arab mob,
started the Farhud (“violent dispossession”).[3] A government commission
later reported that at least 180 Jews had been killed and 240 wounded,
586 Jewish businesses pillaged, and 99 Jewish homes burned.[4] Jewish
sources claimed much higher casualties.

In the summer of 1948, the Iraqi government declared Zionism a capital offense and fired Jews in government positions.[

somehow, you forgot this…”

I managed to save this comment by Wakkamazzalem before it was removed:

“What a monumental, gobsmacking lie. No communal fighting involving Kurds, Sunnis, Shias, Marsh Arabs, Yazidis, Assyrians, Mandaeans and Jews? Yes, Iraq has always been a multicultural paradise.

Nothing to see re. the anti-Jewish Farhud pogrom – it was only a matter of violent looting.  No murders, no rapes, no mutilated babies.

That Iraqis planned itwas never in doubt: The British were guilty of not intervening soon enough.

The 1951 bombings were never proven conclusively as the work of the Zionists. Most Jews had registered to leave by then anyway. And what of the 6,000 Jews who did not leave? Treated as hostages, then executed in 1969, arrested and tortured? This was their reward for not having left for Israel in 1950 -1.”

Rebuttal by Elder of Ziyon

Baghdad review gets it wrong


  • Sylvia, according to Ben-Porat,s book, the date of the Messouda Shemtob synagogue bombing was 14 January 1951.

  • the same masalha scum we rightly criticized last week had something actually intelligent to say in Haarets. He writes that the original crime of the Sunnis against the Shia is still ongoing, according to al-Maliki.
    Here, quoting Nuri al-Maliki:

    “those who murdered al-Hussein [the son of Ali Ibn Ali Talib, the Mohammad’s fourth caliph, on whom the Shi’ite stream was founded] did not disappear. They are still here. Followers of al-Hussein and followers of Yazid [son of the founder of the Sunni Umayyad dynasty] face one another time and again in uncompromising, cruel conflict. This teaches us that crime against al-Hussein is still ongoing.”
    – – – – – – – –

    My comment:
    If Shiites still remember the original crime of the Sunnis against them as an ongoing action, whereas Hussein, grandson of Muhammad, was slaughtered and beheaded in the seventh century [680 CE], then Muslims can still hold Jews guilty for several serious offenses against Muhammad himself, including the alleged attempt to poison him by a Jewess whose husband had been killed by Muslims at the al-Khaybar oasis. On the grounds of this alleged poisoning of Muhammad, some Muslims today accuse the Jews of being killers of prophets [both Jesus & Muhammad]. I am all in favor of understanding how the Arabs really think, not, of course, hearing all their pretexts which they feed to a sympathetic Western press.

  • Yes Bataween, 14 January 1951 (5 killed, 14 injured) according to Martin Gilbert book.

    14 June 1950 according to Trigano's "La Fin du judaisme en terre d'Islam".

    It could be two separate events and both may be right. If not, then Gilbert's could be the correct one.

    In any case, "une fiche" to be developed.

  • When the pogroms come to Britain they will say more or less the same thing, even gentler perhaps.

  • I have never read such crap!!!
    Shame on them; Of course if Mr/ R is funded by Arab maney it is understandable tat such lies appear in an antisemitic newspaper. PS I do believe that Slvua us trying to take over your blog!

  • A powerful statement of Iraq's creeping victimisation of its Jewish citizens. However, I dispute your date for the fatal synagogue bombing – I think it is January 1951.

  • Iraq

    1920s: Prohibition to teach Jewish history and Hebrew in Jewish schools

    1930s: Jews excluded from administrative and teaching professions

    1932: Jewish school programs censored

    1941, June 1 and 2: Farhoud. Anti-Jewish pogrom (189 dead, some 600 wounded)

    1948: Anti-Jewish persecution led by the Iraqi authorities: arrests, heavy fines

    1948, July: Jews forbidden from leaqving the country

    1948, July: Heavy fines imposed to rich Jews

    1948, September: Execution of Shafik Hadass, a rich Jew

    1949: Anti-Zionist witch-hunt

    1950, January: Banking control law adversely affected Jews

    Law of May 9, 1950: Jews leaving Iraq to any country deprived of their nationality

    1950, June: Anti-Jewish persecution in Iraqi Kurdistan, Jews forced to give away their assets and their homes

    1950, June 14: Bombing of a Bagdad synagogue: 3 dead 20 wounded

    Law of March 10 1951 depriving Jews of their property


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