Writes Ms Julius, inter alia:
‘.... Until the late 1940s. Bashkin views Iraqi Jews as ‘patriots’ building the new independent state of Iraq – or seeking a universalist solution in Communism – until Zionism tore their relationships with their Muslim partners asunder.
After the vast majority of Iraqi Jews had voted with their feet, joining the airlift to Israel, how does Orit Bashkin explain why Iraq continued its ‘misguided policies’ against the few thousand Jews ..., who remained behind? From the mid-1960s, these Jews were forced to carry special ID papers, were not allowed to travel or leave the country, had their bank accounts frozen and their telephones cut off. Such was the anti-Jewish campaign of terror unleashed by Saddam Hussein and his thugs, that the Jews were compelled to risk arrest by escaping the country....
By pegging the start of the Jews’ troubles to the late 1940s and early 1950s, Bashkin downplays the deleterious effects of the 1941 Farhud [see here]. The rising influence of Nazism in 1930s, resulting in the sacking of hundreds of Jewish public servants, quotas and restrictions and a deadly antisemitic cocktail of propaganda and incitement culminating in the 1941 pogrom, hardly feature in Ms Bashkin’s book. For her, the Farhud was most notable for the numbers of Muslims who saved the lives of Jews from the raging mob, demonstrating age-old friendship and shared coexistence.
In reality, the Jews of Iraq had a sense of foreboding about their place in an independent Iraq as soon as the British had marched into Iraq after the defeat of the Ottomans in World War l. Between 1918 and 1921 a delegation of Baghdad Jewish notables visited Sir Percy Cox, the British High Commissioner, on three occasions. They requested British nationality, fearful of what Arab rule might bring. This significant episode barely rates a mention in Bashkin’s book....
....As evidenced by a recent conference at the Yale Center for the Study of Antisemitism, Ms Bashkin is ... but one of a new crop of rising young stars in the field of Middle Eastern Studies. These scholars emphasise the points of connection between Arab and Jews, while erasing from the historical record, or glossing over, politically-incorrect human rights abuses. Some are eagerly redefining the identity of Jews in Arab countries as ‘hyphenated’ Arab-Jews, conflicted by the Arab-Israeli dispute, itself an aberration after centuries of peaceful coexistence. So desperate are post-modern academics to believe in the pre-Zionist ‘dominant mood of coexistence and friendship’ between Jews and Arabs, that they are willing to give ideological, Nazi-inspired, Arab Muslim antisemitism a free pass...."My eye fell on Ms Julius's article just after I learned of the forthcoming publication of a new book co-authored by renowned Middle East specialists Professor Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, that's scheduled to appear in February. Here's the blurb:
"During the 1930s and 1940s, a unique and lasting political alliance was forged among Third Reich leaders, Arab nationalists, and Muslim religious authorities. From this relationship sprang a series of dramatic events that, despite their profound impact on the course of World War II, remained secret until now. In this groundbreaking book, esteemed Middle East scholars Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz uncover for the first time the complete story of this dangerous alliance and explore its continuing impact on Arab politics in the twenty-first century.
Rubin and Schwanitz reveal, for example, the full scope of Palestinian leader Amin al-Husaini’s support of Hitler’s genocidal plans against European and Middle Eastern Jews. In addition, they expose the extent of Germany’s long-term promotion of Islamism and jihad. Drawing on unprecedented research in European, American, and Middle East archives, many recently opened and never before written about, the authors offer new insight on the intertwined development of Nazism and Islamism and its impact on the modern Middle East."
Professor Rubin adds that the book contains a wealth of material never before published, much of it having only recently become available to researchers. It includes items from Himmler's diary, the Mufti's SS speeches, reveals the money paid by Germany to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and sheds light on the refuge given to ex-Nazis by Muslim countries...
I for one shall place an order forthwith!