Iraq

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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With Kurdish oil comes the tantalising possibility of a new Middle Eastern axis

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 26, 2014

It would be premature to herald the offloading in Israel of a million barrels of oil from Kurdish Iraq last weekend as the start of a grand new alliance in the Middle East.

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Israel watches in horror as jihadis carve up Mid East

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 19, 2014

The remarkable advance of the terror group Islamist State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) though north-eastern Iraq over the past two weeks has sparked Israeli fears over instability in neighbouring Jordan and the prospect of closer ties between the West and Iran.

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UK and US close diplomatic gap with Iran over Iraq crisis

By Charlotte Oliver, June 17, 2014

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he has spoken to Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, in an attempt to co-ordinate a response to the jihadi surge in the north of Iraq.

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New deal keeps Iraqi-Jewish archive in US

By Sandy Rashty, May 16, 2014

Jewish groups have welcomed a deal between the American and Iraqi governments, which will allow the Iraqi Jewish Archive to remain in the United States for an unspecified period.

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Norman Geras - the man who changed the way I think

By Martin Bright, October 24, 2013

Following the news of the untimely death at the age of 70 of thinker, teacher, writer and pioneering blogger Norman Geras, I have been re-reading his essay, The Contract of Mutual Indifference, first published in 1998.

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Sending back Iraqi archive is simply rewarding larceny

By Lyn Julius, October 18, 2013

One day in 1984, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein sent his henchmen to a Baghdad synagogue to seize what became known as “the Jewish archive”. The trove, retrieved from Jewish homes, schools and libraries, had been deposited for safe-keeping in the ladies’ gallery.

The few remaining Jews were aghast to see trucks full of documents and books driven away from under their noses.

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Iraq, a dusty tomb of Sephardi memories

By Gil Shefler, October 11, 2013

The former Jewish neighbourhood in the city of Sulaymaniah, in Kurdish Iraq, is not a happy place. The area is a slum where poor families are crammed into houses whose past grandeur is well concealed under a thick layer of grit and neglect.

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‘Do not send treasures back to Iraq’

By Sandy Rashty, September 1, 2013

Senior Jewish figures are backing an international campaign to prevent the return of religious artefacts to Iraq.

A collection of sermons from the 17th-century, a 1902 Haggada, a 400-year-old Bible, and Torah scrolls were among thousands of artefacts discovered by United States officials after raiding Saddam Hussain’s intelligence office in May 2003.

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