Iraq

Fleeing Iraq was a dream come true, but then reality hit home

By Naomi Firsht, December 4, 2015

Edwin Shuker was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1955 and grew up in a small, close-knit Jewish community where everybody knew each other.

When the government started to place restrictions on Jewish life in the country, his family escaped - Mr Shuker was 16 when he, his parents, two younger sisters and grandmother arrived in Britain in 1971.

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They killed his two sons because he visited Israel

By Sandy Rashty, November 14, 2015

The day started like any other.

It was February 2005, and Iraqi parliamentarian Mithal al-Alusi had just enjoyed a morning coffee at home with his sons Ayman, 29, and Jamal, 24.

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Kurdish parliament creates department for Jews

By Naomi Firsht, October 22, 2015

Iraqi Kurdistan has a new Jewish affairs representative, who wants to rebuild synagogues and reconnect Jews in the region to their roots.

In May, a law passed by the Kurdish parliament in the semi-autonomous region established seven new departments for various religious minorities within the government’s Ministry for Religious Affairs.

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We thought the end was near, says Farhud survivor

By Sandy Rashty, June 2, 2015

A British Jewish group has called on David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission to include the Farhud in its memorial project.

On 1-2 June 1941 – 74 years ago today - a Nazi-inspired mob rose up and attacked Iraq's Jewish community, which numbered 140,000 at the time.

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Royal snub signals US disarray on Iran

May 14, 2015

Last Saturday, White House officials were boasting about the significance of Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud's presence at a summit of Gulf leaders at Camp David, Maryland.

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Review: The Audience (starring Kristin Scott Thomas)

By John Nathan, May 8, 2015

Is it me or is the decision by director Stephen Daldry to cast Kristin Scott Thomas as the Queen in this revival of Peter Morgan's play an odd one? Facially, they couldn't be more different. Yet Scott Thomas makes up for being more beautiful than our monarch with a panoply of mannerisms and gestures that are spot-on.

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Naomi Wolf questions authenticity of Islamic State beheadings

October 5, 2014

American journalist Naomi Wolf has questioned whether videos of executions carried out by Islamic State terrorists in Iraq are genuine.

The Jewish writer, a former political consultant and best-selling feminist author, posted a message on Facebook apparently suggesting aid organisations had not reported any workers as having been taken hostage.

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Iraq jihad is Zionist plot, say Sunnis

By John R Bradley, September 11, 2014

If all other arguments fail, blame the Jews. That was the message this week from Egypt's top religious figure, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar.

Declaring the Islamic State "criminals", he justified attacks against them because they are part of a "Zionist plot" to undermine "Arab unity".

The Western media conveniently chose to ignore this idiocy.

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We must not ignore the plight of the Yazidis

By Eylon Aslan-Levy, August 22, 2014

On Tisha B’Av, Jews worldwide heard the Prophet Jeremiah lamenting the devastation of Jerusalem by the Babylonians: “Young and old lie together in the dust of the streets… Now they are blacker than soot; they are not recognised in the streets. Their skin has shrivelled on their bones; it has become as dry as a stick.”

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A day at the races? No, we’re filming a BBC thriller about the Middle East

By Sandy Rashty, June 30, 2014

I’m on set with the stars of the BBC’s latest political thriller, The Honourable Woman, which deals with the Israel-Palestinian conflict through the lives of the Stein family. As the story goes, the Steins once ran a lucrative Zionist arms procurement company under the watch of patriarch Eli Stein, who came to Britain as a Holocaust refugee in 1939.

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