Saturday, December 12, 2015

FARHUD POGROM in Iraq During Holidays-Hanukkah -Jews Without Weapons

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                          

Jews remember that horrid night in Germany where rioting went on from November 9th to the 10th in 1938 which was later called "the Night of Broken Glass", Krystallnacht.
Almost all the synagogues in Germany were attacked and destroyed.  Jews where arrested in wholesale numbers, and then the government took the imposition on the Jewish community of a confiscatory levy, which ended pretty much the hope of maintaining an organized Jewish life there.  Even emigration was limited by the outbreak of WWII in September 1939.                                                                                  
 By September 1941, Jews had to wear the "Jewish Badge" which was highly enforced.
Haj Amin al-Husseini with top Nazis in Germany 1941
Two days on Shavuot on June 1 and June 2 1941, the Jewish festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai which occurs seven weeks after Passover, Nazi sympathizers in Iraq had their own form of a Krystallnacht upon their Jewish population, for the Arabs had become brothers to the Nazis in philosophy.  It was called the Farhud, which means a breakdown of law and order so that life and property are in peril..  
Farhud rioters with knives 
Ibraham Youssef Shaleh, Jewish leader,
 injured during Farhud
Jews had lived in Iraq (Babylonia) and mainly in the city of Baghdad for over 2,400 years since the time of the first Temple of Solomon's destruction  in 597 and 586 BCE when Nebuchadnezzar attacked and took prisoners.   By the time Islam was created, the Muslims had treated the Jews with more tolerance than the Christians had treated Jews who migrated to Europe.  From time to time there had been occurrences, but nothing like what happened to the Baghdadi Jews who bore the brunt of the Farhud. in 1941.  Active in Muslim groups responsible for the Farhud was Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini, who was the instigator for riots on Jews in Jerusalem.  

"During the Farhud, the Arabs came with a lot of weapons and destroyed a synagogue.
                                          Jews did not have any weapons

 The Arabs came and killed everyone, making mass graves.  The graveside was the size of a house.  The Arabs cut open the stomachs of pregnant women and raped en masse.  If a woman left her house without an abaya (Islamic face covering) they would not be shy and would rape her.  They killed an entire family, a woman, her fiance and his brother.  The information came from a witness who was the neighbor   to all this.  Then the Arabs  cut off the leg of a child and played with the amputated leg."1

Slaughter was not the only commandment they broke during the Farhud.  They stole food such as cheese and jams.  They took clothing from women's closets.  Every bit of belongings they found they took.  Then they burned down the houses and filled up homes with water from the sewers so that they couldn't even live in the burned remains.  The witness had a neighbor who prevented her house from being burned.  Arabs broke the sewers and caused flooding in her home, anyway.  Finally the British came who closed off the sewers and helped to clear out water.  

Is Islam really the religion of peace?  The behavior of these Iraqi Arabs topped the evil from the Nazis during Kristalnacht!  Maybe to Muslims, they think they are peaceful, but riled up in a riot, and they lose all humane control!!  Why did they suddenly become unglued and attack Jews?  Only because their new friends, the Nazis had done this.  

                                                        Hanukkah in Iraq
  Hanukkah was celebrated in a big way in Iraq, it being a prominent holiday, more so than in Israel or the USA.  People knew how to party.  After the Farhud, Jews still, but with great trepidation, celebrated their favorite holiday.  It was still a time when parents gave children presents, though.                                                                    
They started by lighting their big silver community menorah, 
and then their own, for everyone had a menorah.  Then great food came out.  They served zimgula, something like baklava, lefet which is something like beets but white, not red, which was cooked in wine; potato cooba, a fried dish with potatoes on the outside and meat on the inside; sambusak which is made with potatoes inside that is similar to the Indian dish, Samosa.

Everything served was something sweet and arranged on a large table.

For the 1st night, 50 people came to Salima Shachouda's home.  They did the blessings together and sang songs.  People liked to marry during Hanukkah and of course there were special parties just for the brides where sweets, oranges and other delicacies were served.  The celebrating big-time ended when this Mizrachi community made aliyah to Israel, unfortunately.  I hope they bring it back.  It sounded wonderful.  In the meantime, they should go to the Temple Mount where they light a huge Menorah and have lots of Chanukah treats there.

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