Iraq

The chill in the Chilcot inquiry

By Melanie Phillips, February 4, 2010

In all the stürm und drang over the Chilcot inquiry into the war in Iraq, one feature has so far escaped attention. That is the emphasis placed on Israel’s role in the crisis, not least by the inquiry panel member Sir Roderic Lyne.

To those of us of a nervous disposition, the way Lyne, formerly Our Man in Moscow, has been dragging Israel into the story of what happened in 2003 is more than a little grating.

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Tony Blair: Middle East was my priority

By Jessica Elgot, January 29, 2010

Tony Blair has told the Iraq war inquiry that the Middle East process had been his priority for dealing with Islamic extremism, and that he was “frustrated” that the US had not done more.

Mr Blair said he kept pushing the Israel-Palestine issue: “You could describe me as a broken record through this period.”

But he stressed that he did not trade peace in the Middle East for the war in Iraq. He said: “It would not have been right to make [the Middle East] a pre-condition.

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Ex-envoy was 'antisemitic' on Iraq

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2009

Comments made by the former British ambassador to Libya, Sir Oliver Miles, have been called “unacceptable” and “antisemitic” after he criticised the appointment of two leading Jews to the Iraq inquiry.

Sir Oliver drew attention to the appointment of Holocaust historian and Winston Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, and the war historian and “Blair doctrine” architect Sir Lawrence Freedman, who advocated humanitarian intervention in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The two men have been made privy counsellors in order to sit on the inquiry committee, which opened this week.

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Ex- ambassador criticises Jews on Iraq inquiry

By Jessica Elgot, November 23, 2009

The former British ambassador to Libya, Sir Oliver Miles, has criticised the appointment of two leading Jews to the Iraq inquiry.

Sir Oliver drew attention to the appointment of Holocaust historian and Winston Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, and the war historian and ‘Blair doctrine’ architect Sir Lawrence Freedman, who advocated humanitarian intervention in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The two men will be made privy counsellors in order to sit on the inquiry committee.

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Sir Martin Gilbert on Iraq panel

By Simon Rocker, July 16, 2009

Two of British Jewry’s most eminent academics, Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir Lawrence Freedman, have been appointed to the government’s committee of inquiry into the Iraq War.

Sir Lawrence, vice-principal and professor of war studies at King’s College, London, and Sir Martin, whose books include histories of the world wars, are being made privy counsellors.

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The man unlocking the real Abu Ghraib story

By Stephen Applebaum, July 18, 2008

Oscar-winning film director Errol Morris explains why he is trying to uncover the real perpetrators of one of the most shameful episodes of the Iraqi war.

Some time ago, the Oscar-winning documentary-maker Errol Morris came across a series of photographs taken by the SS of the selections of Hungarian Jews for the gas chambers at Birkenau in 1944. “They are among some of the most extraordinary pictures in the history of photography, and they deeply fascinate me,” Morris says.

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Review: By The Rivers Of Babylon

By Miriam Halahmy, June 20, 2008

By Khalid Kishtainy
Quartet Books, £15

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Review: Memories Of Eden

By Miriam Halahmy, June 20, 2008

By Violette Shamash (edited by Mira and Tony Rocca)
Forum Books, £14.99

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Review: Last Days Of Babylon

By Miriam Halahmy, June 20, 2008

By Marina Benjamin
Bloomsbury, £9.99

In the 1941 Farhud (pogrom), my husband’s mother lost a relative. Ten years later, along with most of the Iraqi Jewish community, the entire family left for Israel (300 of them filled a plane). As they locked the door of their house, Muslim neighbours stood in the street crying and begging them to stay. This is a complex story, very different to the Ashkenazi Jewish experience.

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US soldier killed in Baghdad

April 18, 2008

Tributes have been paid to US army major Stuart Adam Wolfer, who has been killed in Baghdad. The 36-year-old father-of-three, a lawyer in civilian life, was an intelligence officer in the reserves.

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