Misinformation about how and why the Jews of Iraq were forced to leave abounds on the Internet. A favoured myth is that Jews and Arabs lived in harmony until the creation of Israel. Another is that 'the Zionists' set off bombs to scare the Jews into leaving in 1950. This timeline extracted from The Jews of Iraq: a forgotten case of ethnic cleansing by Carole Basri clearly shows, however, that persecution and insecurity dogged the Jews as early as the 1930s.
1918,19 and 20: Fearful of local Muslim rule, Jews petition the Civil Commissioner for Baghdad for British citizenship, but are refused it.
1932: Iraq declares minority rights would be protected, but declines to appoint observer to supervise minority guarantees. Some 600 Assyrians massacred in 1933.
1948: Jews receiving letters from Palestine accused of Zionism.
September 1948: Shafik Ades, Iraq's richest Jew, hanged.
Jewish community 'donates' 113,000 dinars to war effort against Israel. Fines collected from Iraqi Jews: $80 million. Travel ban on Jews and on buying and selling property. Retroactive tax on Jews. Property of all Jews who had emigrated since 1933 confiscated. Government ceases to service Jewish areas. Property of Jewish prisoners impounded. Jewish newspapers shut down
Feb and March 1949: 100 Jews tried for connections to Zionism.
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