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
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:
“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”). 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. 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.”