Mazin Latif: displacement of Jews a crime against all Iraqis

Since the Arab Spring, Iraqis have been rediscovering their lost Jewish community. Here is a fascinating interview in Al-Alam newspaper with Mazin Latif, an Iraqi writer who is somewhat obsessed with Jews. But what is more remarkable, perhaps, is that the interviewer is the Israeli researcher Ronen Zaidel. (With thanks: Linda) Imperfect translation by Google Translate. 

Iraqi Jews enjoying themselves before their mass exodus

Iraqi publisher and writer, Mazen Latif, is active in documenting the
lives of the oppressed, oppressed and oppressed Iraqi minorities and sects. While Iraq was in the early 20th century a country full of
diversity, it is at the dawn of the new century free of the diversity on
which its civilization, culture and history were based.
there is a pleasant attempt to restore the good spirit that has
inhabited Iraq for centuries and since its first civilizations, and
continued its citizenship until it was brutally uprooted from its
motherland and abandoned for political reasons related to racial
understanding and chauvinism against good Iraqi citizens like Jews.
A gentle effort is focused on documenting the tremendous services
provided by Iraqi Jews to their countries, documenting the lives of
their media and intellectuals, as well as the tragedies they have
experienced. In addition, he is active in introducing the other
authentic Iraqi sects, which also faced no less
horrendous persecution.

He published and wrote more than 14 books about Jewish citizens and
their national role, as well as the rest of the other groups facing
deportation and expulsion from Iraq.

Why is your  interest in the subject of the Jews of Iraq so paramount?

always ask this question. What raised my interest in the subject of the
Jews of Iraq is that my grandmother (my mother’s mother) told me
stories, and I was a child aged  seven. She talked about their
importance and role and how they were peaceful and honest. 
I kept these tales in my memory. When I reached an early stage of consciousness, I began looking for books and sources on the history of the Jews of Iraq. I look for any information even  oral history,  as I search and write. I promised to write and publish about the Jews of Iraq after the subject was banned for more than half a century.

How do you explain the growing interest in Jews? What is its relation to the current situation in Iraq? Who is interested?

still have many memories of Iraq’s Jews, whose existence has ebbed, and
they studied many of their physical features, posing a historic
responsibility for the need to record their oral heritage.
If the oral histories defined by historians include a set
of traditions of legends, facts, knowledge, doctrines, opinions, customs
and practices, when we write the history of an ethnic or religious
group, we mean the history of all Iraq because the communities of Iraq
and its people are bound by history, geography and a common life.

What is the position of the Iraqi street on this issue? Have you changed? Is there a nostalgia for the Jews?

position of the Iraqi street fluctuates, in a sense it is sympathetic to the
Jews of Iraq and knows their achievements and their role in building
Iraq in that period, but at the same time it accuses as Zionists those who
defend them and write about them.
It is a paradox that reflects the dual personality of the Iraqi man.

Are there difficulties in writing about Jews? 

There are those who accuse anyone who cares about writing about the Jews of Iraq to be a Zionist and other typical charges. I was initially subjected to a lot of harassment, when I wrote about the Jews of Iraq. The
reason is we were raised the culture of the Baath party: Anyone who deals with a
subject about the Jews is considered a Zionist or an Israeli, but the
situation now in Iraq is that there is a lot of freedom and democracy that allow one to
address this issue.
When I write about the Jews of Iraq, I write about an Iraqi community that has an important role in the history of modern Iraq.

the issue of the Jews of Iraq has some difficulties, because the Iraqi
consciousness is still suffering from some backwardness, because the
majority view the subject of the Jews of Iraq from a racist point of view,
express any issue as Israeli or Zionist, and tie it to the subject of
Frankly I encountered and still find many difficulties, because of my obsession with the subject. Many try to distort my reputation, and accuse me of being a Zionist, working for Mossad, Israeli and other typical charges.

How do you see the status of Jews in Iraq before deportation? 

Jews of Iraq produced culture, journalism, art and economy, which is
the highest in the history of Iraq centuries ago.
status of the Jews of Iraq was very important in building the Iraqi
state, many excelled economically, in newspapers, in the media
and in other fields.
how we regret the rising generations of ignorance of their contributions and integration within the Iraqi state.
The public discourse on Iraqi culture continues to be rife with them: Iraqis have been enraged by a nationalistic past, sectarian and
arrogant sectarianism, preoccupied with the erosion of Iraq’s cultural
and self-identity, and the marginalization of the other ancient
minorities that once formed Iraq’s genius.

How do you explain the exodus? 

displacement of the Jews of Iraq left the curse and sorrow in the
hearts of those close to them and who loved them sincerely.
has been an oppressor to Iraqi elements and minorities. The Jews of
Iraq have been forcibly displaced, the Kurds have been abandoned, the
Christians have been abandoned, the Sunnis have been abandoned, the
Shiites have been abandoned, and so have I: the displacement of the
Jews of Iraq was a crime against Iraqi citizens who served Iraq with
all their possessions.
the same time, the Iraqi government provided for the displacement of
the Jews of Iraq and did the best favour to Israel, after they
expelled people with high-level skills that were running the country.
displacement of the Jews of Iraq at the time created a gap in the
economics of the country, as they were in control of the economy
of Iraq, and  many
Iraqis so far are waiting for the Jews of Iraq, and considerthem real
Iraqis, Iraq list a lot.
The truth is that these people were planted in the Iraqi land more
than 2,600 years ago. They were not occupiers, but they were
exiled Sephardim. They loved Babylon and the two rivers and saved them,
and they witnessed the crucifixion of Iraq while occupiers or oppressors had free rein.

decision to strip Iraqi nationality from the Jews of Iraq during the
period of the Tawfiq al-Suwaidi government in 1950 and the freezing of
their funds and arbitrary arrest on numerous trumped-up charges,
including Zionism and communism, and then expelling them from their
ancient Mesopotamia, came in the context of a well-known global
From then on, Iraq began to bleed.

Read article in full (Arabic)


  • Although the contents of comment entries are rightly put and well taken, I am not sure why an anonymous entry always tells readers to Please Google a name.
    Sorry, can someone tells me if it a marketing ploy or to quasi-protection of anonymity.

  • Feb.17,201

    Does anybody with any sense of historical realism, believe for a moment that WE,as Jews of all different countries,languages, races & religious positions, are just going to sit back
    and accept this kind of wind-bag taquiya as the "Kiss & make-up" ending for what Muslims of all kinds have done to US ? And what THEY will still do if THEY get the smallest window of opportunity any where on the globe ? If any thing the Muslims of the former "Iraq" are second to none in their lack of intent for even the most elementary levels of civilized governance or capability for the arts of peaceful, productive economic activity. In the eyes of most Muslims, whether Mesopotamian Arabs, Persians of Iran, Egyptians who still lust for the blood of their Coptic Christian neighbors, or nuke-wielding Pakistani mass murderers,there was nothing so terrible about Saddam Hussein. He was a completely typical example of Muslim leadership "quality". Nothing to apologize for at all, among his own kind.And no different from the communal "leaders" who dominate the tens of millions of Muslims who have hunkered down among their hapless host societies in Europe and the Americas. It is THEY who labor under the delusion that they will escape any association or culpability for the atrocities of Islam down through the ages. No matter how THEY identify themselves. We, the Jews of Europe & the Americas, know who & what & where you are: And how close YOU are to us. And what you will try to get away with if WE don't act A.S.A.P.

    Please GOOGLE: Norman L. Roth

  • This is so very climax posting having this topic when The former "Iraq" like virtually every other Muslim entity knows full-well that if the Israelis had lost the War of Independence{1947-1949}, and He published and wrote more than 14 books about Jewish citizens and their national role, as well as the rest of the other groups facing deportation and expulsion from Iraq. wow, very interesting, Thanks for sharing this it stack on my mind, more post of it.

  • Feb. 16, 201

    What shameless,crocodile tears M. Latif is shedding.To paraphrase Sir Walter Scott,to YOU{{plural},being sorry 2/3 of a century later,is only another unit of taqiyya untold. The former "Iraq" like virtually every other Muslim entity knows full-well that if the Israelis
    had lost the War of Independence{1947-1949}the Arabs/Muslims of Mesopotamia, just like all their other 'habibis' from Casablanca to Kabul and points North to South in Africa & Western Asia,would have totally exterminated our brothers & sisters: Without any remorse whatsoever. Even during their typically Islamic & loudly proclaimed war of extermination launched by Eretz Yisroel's Muslim 'neighbors, THEY {as in "the other"}had already begun to squabble bloodily with each-other,about who got which spoils of their anticipated "victory". From the content of M. Latif's hand-wringing & hypocritical evasion, THEY haven't learned a thing since.Nor are THEY ever going to. It's bred right into THEM. And their well-understood & ineradicable behavioral patterns,especially in Europe & the Americas, now reinforce OUR future strategies & actions.
    "YOU have been weighed in the balance & are found wanting".The denizens of the Muslim Orient, regardless of where they live, what languages they speak, or what they look like,embody in themselves,a dark night of the soul, for which no dawn will come.

    Please GOOGLE:{1}Norman L. Roth (2)Norman L. Roth, JEWISH ISSUES WATCHDOG


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