BBC Radio breaks its silence about the Farhud

Eighty years on,  the BBC has marked the Farhud with a short segment on the Sunday religious programme. Previous BBC coverage of Iraqi Jews studiously avoided any mention of this cataclysmic pogrom, which sounded the death knell of the Iraqi Jewish community. The emphasis of this programme, however, is on recalling the ‘coexistence’ between Jews and Arabs,  rebuilding the relationship, and preserving Judeo-Arabic customs. Report in the Jewish News (with thanks: Sandy, Lily):

Memorial to the Farhud in Ramat Gan, Israel

The 80th anniversary of a pogrom against Iraq’s Jewish community in 1941, was marked by BBC Radio 4 on Sunday. (11 minutes in)

In a news package, the broadcaster recalled the history of the antisemitic attack against the Baghdadi community over the festival of Shavuot from 1-2 June 1941. It led to the deaths of at least 180 Jews, 1,000 people who were injured and the looting of 900 homes.

Interviewee Edwin Shuker, who fled Iraq in the 1970s, said his mother remembered the pogrom.

“She simply can’t speak of the atrocities she saw,” said Mr Shuker, who acknowledged that there was a time when Jews were at the forefront of Iraqi “music, literature, political scenes”.

Despite its 2,500-year-old history, there are now only three Jews believed to be living in Iraq.

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