Iraq

Iraqi paper claims Jews kidnap Christians to convert

By Jennifer Lipman, July 21, 2011

An Iraqi newspaper is understood to have published an article alleging that "Jewish groups" are routinely kidnapping Christian citizens for forcible conversion to Judaism.

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On this day: Iraqi army overthrows the monarchy

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2011

The events of that day in July changed the face of the Middle East, as the Hashemite monarchy was overthrown after 26 years of rule.

The coup, led by Major-General Abdul Karim el Qasim and a group of army officers, was greeted in Baghdad by many as liberation from the forces of imperialism. But as Iraq lost its Western-backed leadership and became a republic,

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On this day: The Osirak Nuclear Reactor strike

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2011

It was late on Sunday afternoon when 16 Israeli fighter jets swept into Iraq to make a covert strike on a nuclear facility 18 miles outside of Baghdad.

The Osirak reactor, which was being constructed by French workers, was destroyed in the hit and the Israeli planes flew home unharmed. It came after diplomatic efforts to prevail on France to stop supporting the project failed.

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On this day: the Farhud pogrom

By Jennifer Lipman, May 27, 2011

At the same time as European Jews were being marched off to the concentration camps, the historic community of Baghdad was suffering at the hands of a pro-Hitler regime.

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Dishing up flavour of an Iraqi childhood

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

Linda Dangoor's family left Baghdad when she was just 10. But she took the tastes of her childhood with her.

More than a half-century after going into exile, the London-based ceramicist has published Flavours of Babylon, a cookbook fondly recording the culinary traditions of one of the world's oldest Jewish communities.

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On this day: The United Arab Republic

By Jennifer Lipman, February 22, 2011

The pan-Arab dream, which saw old rivals Egypt and Syria join forces, only lasted three years. It collapsed in 1961 when Syria abandoned it, although Egypt retained the title for another decade.

The United Arab Republic (UAR) partnership came about for many reasons, not least to limit the influence of communist-leaning politicians in Syria.

With support from North Yemen and elsewhere, for a time it appeared the union could be the start of a new Middle East.

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Sacha Baron Cohen to play Saddam Hussein

By Jennifer Lipman, January 21, 2011

Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is to take on perhaps his most controversial role yet.

Having played the fast-talking Ali G, the Kazakhstani businessman Borat and the fashionista Bruno, he will now play Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Mr Baron Cohen, who was just eight years old when Saddam took control of Iraq, will be the star of a Hollywood love story about an Iraqi leader’s illicit affair with a poor subject trapped in an unhappy marriage.

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On this day: Iraq attacks Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, January 18, 2011

After the US-lead forces launched Operation Desert Storm, Iraq aimed Scud missiles at the bustling Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.

The move was not unexpected; when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait the previous summer he did so alongside vocal threats to "burn half of Israel". And after Desert Storm began, an Iraqi radio broadcast recorded Hussein proclaiming: “The great duel, the mother of all battles has begun. The dawn of victory nears as this great showdown begins."

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On this day: Saddam Hussein is captured

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

On March 20 2003 the US-led invasion of Iraq began and within three weeks the Iraqi government had fallen. But while the statue of Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein was famously toppled on April 9, the army’s attempts to hit him with air strikes failed twice and when Baghdad fell his whereabouts were unknown.

In the months after the invasion, rumours of sightings abounded, but it was not until December that he was found in an isolated farmhouse in ad-Dawr near Tikrit.

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Jewish Iraq casualty remembered with Kombatika kippah

By Jennifer Lipman, November 12, 2010

The sister of a Jewish soldier from Florida killed in action three years ago has launched a project to provide special kippot to all Jewish American servicemen.

Danny Agami, who was nicknamed “GI Jew”, died after being struck by a roadside bomb during a tour of duty in Iraq in 2007.

The 25-year-old, from Florida, had named his US-Army issued yarmulke the “Kombatika”.

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