December 28th, 2012

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The Redacted Jews of Iraq

The effort to erase all evidence of a Jewish presence in the Arab world has been profoundly impressive. Of note, the country that had until relatively recently embraced its Jewish population and the important role of Jews in its history was Iran. Ayatollah Khomeini and the traditional religious establishment of Iran distinguished between the traditional Jewish population of Iran (with allocated seats in Parliament as a protected religious minority) from the "Zionist entity" which was regarded as a political enemy. It is one of Ahmedinijad's folk-religion innovations to embrace the more virulent form of anti-Semitism which is popular in the Arab world which seeks to re-write Jewish history as situated primarily in Europe and thus a colonial invasion. That some significant portion of the Jewish population of Israel arrived as refugees from the Arab world (or existed in "Palestine" before the first aliyah) has become an inconvenient truth.