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The articles in this issue have been divided up into the following categories







Letter from a reader

I am appalled by the insensitivity of the editorial comments at page 30 of the last issue.

For the first time in the history of Christianity, a pope tells his people "We thank the Jewish people for giving Jesus to the world." Yet, all your editor sees fit to say is "Don't mention it, Mr Pope. Just stop murdering us by the sword, by the pen and from the pulpit." How utterly ungracious.

Even more offensive is the next comment: 'CHRISTIANITY son of God? yes you can fool some of the people.... etc..." In my sixty-three years in this country I have never come across a diparaging comment on Jewish beliefs in any responsible journal here. Yet an immigrant who, like you and me and the rest of the Iraqi community, has been welcomed here, thinks it good fun to mock the fundamental beliefs of his hosts. He is lucky to live in a tolerant society - would he have dared to mock Islam when he lived in Iraq?

What a pity it all is. A pity, because the owner/editor is doing invaluable work bringing one community together. We all owe him a debt for this labour of love. I for one enjoy reading the Scribe, even including the occasional crack-pot opinions - that on Einstein's theory of relativity is a gem in the art of obfuscation!


Edward Raby


Scribe :

Although you have been receiving our journal for many years, we never heard from you before, either in support of what was written, or at least to contribute your own views. Your letter suddenly comes out of the woodwork because you thought you didn't like some views. We do not find your criticism to be constructive, but rather short-sighted and narrow minded.

The Jewish people do not expect any credit for "giving Jesus to the world" (meaning of course the Christian world). What we wish to be recognised for, is giving God to mankind including Christians and Moslems. The Pope's conciliatory remarks are prompted by the Vatican's desire to square the books before the new Millennium. The Pope's words do not match his deeds. He recently planted a 10 foot cross in the middle of Auchwitz and asked his followers to add more crosses. Considering the strong anti-Semitism in Poland, it will not be surprising if one day Christian Pilgrims will be taken to the cross planted by Pope John Paul and told, "this is the spot where the murderers of God received their just punishment." Before feeling any gratitude for the words of the Pope, consider what the Church did for the Jews for the past 2,000 years.

As regards of son of God syndrome, I quote Chaim Bermant in one of his inimitable essays, where he tells a Christian clergyman that he would like to return in the next life as a Parson. "Why wait Mr Bermant," retorted the clergyman, "you can do it right now in this life." "I am afraid," said Mr Bermant, "but I do not believe the doctrine that Jesus was the son of God." "Don't let that worry you, who does." Such doctrine is blasphemy and is utterly rejected by Jews and Moslems alike. Many Christian Churches are giving it up. So don't shed any tears for it.

We thank God for being able to have come to a free and tolerant society, but Britain's doors were not specifically opened for the Jews. In the fifties the Home Office refused to extend my visa, and I, my wife and children had to sell our flat and return to Baghdad. Since the war, Britain received millions of Commonwealth people and more recently, 200,000 Arabs came to Britain from the Middle East, many of them receiving generous allowances and accommodation. Moslems are now claiming for autonomy, whereas Jews have been loyal and law-abiding relatively free of crime, contributing to their adopted home in all fields of endeavour.

The fact that we came from an intolerant and repressive country, does it really mean that we have to continue living here as slaves or as second class citizens? Britain and other countries in the West believe in and encourage freedom of speech and freedom of opinion. Do you really believe that these freedoms are not opened to us Iraqi Jews?


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