JOURNAL OF BABYLONIAN JEWRY


Issue 73 - July 2000

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This is an overview of a selection of articles from this issue of The Scribe. The full selection are available through the menu bar on the left.

Correspondence in Clay

by: Barbara Ross

"I am going to have a house-warming", read the invitation. "Come yourself to eat and drink with me. Twenty-five women and 25 men shall be in attendance." The party favour promised was "10 wooden chariots and 10 teams of horses" - a lavish gift by ordinary standards, but this invitation was from royalty. It was sent some 3500 years ago by Kadasman-Enlil, king of Babylonia, to Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), pharaoh of Egypt. The message was inscribed on a pillow-shaped clay tablet, small enough to be carried easily in one hand or slipped into a satchel. More

 

PALESTINIAN REFUGEES

Last November, Prime Minister Ehud Barak came to London on an official visit. Some 15 community leaders were invited to his hotel to an 'around the table' briefing by Mr Barak and his numerous advisors.

Mr Barak touched on the question of Palestinian refugees by stating categorically the official view of his government that there was 50 years ago an exchange of refugees - the near million Palestinian Arabs who left Israel mainly at the instigation of the Arab governments and the near million Jewish refugees who were driven out from Arab countries by persecution and harassment. This is a fact of life that cannot be assailed. There is no question that Jews can safely return en masse to their ancient homes, and, likewise, there is no case to require that Israel should allow Palestinian Arabs to return to Israel and upset the precarious demographic balance of the country. More

Above - Prime Minister Ehud Barak greeting Mr Naim Dangoor who had forcibly stated the strong case of territorial and financial Jewish claims on Iraq.

Reflections on the Holocaust

The murder of the six million Jews by Germany during World War II was not just an anti-semitic and racist genocide. Hitler was under the delusion that it was the Jews who were the enemies of Germany and who made Germany to lose World War I. In his attempt to re-kindle the flame of German aggression, he saw the Jews standing in his way. So, in 1939, as the signs of war were looming in the horizon, Hitler made the clear threat that if World Jewry and in particular American Jewry, shall embroil Germany in another World War, then Germany would exterminate all the Jews of Europe.

It is clear therefore that European Jewry were held hostages for the free world and, as often happens, hostage takings end up in tragedy. This is the significance of the Holocaust to the free world and this is the basis on which all people should commemorate and observe the massacre of 6 million innocent Jews by Germany.

Letter sent to The Rt Hon The Lord Janner, Chairman of The Holocaust Educational Trust:

Dear Greville,

When a Holocaust memorial was created in Hyde Park, I asked myself, "Why should Britain be involved in that crime, since Hitler's genocide never reached these shores?" More

Interest Free Monitory System

Dear Dr Soros

My wife and I and our son were very fortunate to attend the dinner at Park Lane Hotel, London on May 4th given by the Board of Deputies in your honour, and to listen to the most interesting answers to the various questions which were put to you. Allow me to put to you my own question, kindly requesting your opinion on this important issue.

In view of the recent final demise of the gold standard, the gradual phasing out of gold reserves by central banks, and of the gradual transition to paper money, firstly by the issuing of gold certificates, then by promissory money (I promise to pay the bearer TEN POUNDS)....... do you think that the time has come for mankind to achieve the biblical dream of Moses and work out an interest-free monitory system? More

Marriage of Robert Khalastchy to Fiona Rule

Last February, the wedding took place in London of Robert, younger son of David and Eileen Khalastchy to Fiona, daughter of Desmond and Anne Rule. More

Why are the poor, poor ?

Letter sent to: The Rt Reverend Dr Richard Harries Bishop of Oxford

Dear Bishop,

Why are the poor, poor?

I was interested in your "Thought for the Day", this morning, especially as that question has been on my mind for 70 years. Since the late twenties I have been thinking over the problem of poverty and its possible solutions.

Communism succeeds in making everyone poor, and this cannot be the answer. Capitalism fails to make everyone rich, and it too cannot be the answer. Helping the poor, while a virtue in itself, the need for it is a loud condemnation of our economic system. More

BOOK REVIEW : To Baghdad And Back

by Mordechai Ben Porat

Reviewed by: Anna Dangoor

"To Baghdad And Back" by Mordechai Ben Porat is the remarkable true story of the mass immigration of many Iraqi Jews to Israel between 1949-52. The book portrays both moments of courage, and loyalty, as well as some of the worst traits of human nature. It is an extremely moving account of the difficulties faced by the Jewish community in Iraq, and those trying to facilitate the Aliyah of almost 130,000 Jewish men, women and children, a number which represented over 80% of the Jews in Iraq at that time.

Sent to Iraq as an emissary by The Mossad in 1949, Ben Porat writes first-hand, describing the way in which he was smuggled into Iraq assuming a false identity. Ben Porat's family had left Iraq themselves in 1944, and his Iraqi appearance, and fluent Arabic helped him spend nearly two years there with his true identity remaining undiscovered.

The book begins almost as a spy novel, with descriptions of the activities of the underground Zionist movement in Iraq, "The Halutz", and the methods of smuggling many people illegally across the borders. More

ASSETS LEFT BEHIND BY JEWS AND PALESTINIANS

by Naim Dangoor

As a major potential claimant for my assets in Iraq and on behalf of thousands of Iraqi readers of my Journal, The Scribe, I wish to make the following statement:

In 1951, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharet stated in the Knesset that when the time comes to settle Palestinian claims for property they left behind, account will be taken of Jewish assets left in Iraq.

Q.1 Since Israel admits holding substantial Palestinian assets, the Israeli Government should be able to pay Iraqi immigrants something on account. Repeated approaches elicited the reply that no payment can be made to the Iraqi immigrants since billions were spent on resettling them in Israel.

Q.2 Is Israel justified in charging Iraqi immigrants for three years of squalor in tents and transit camps, while later immigrants from other countries were given the red carpet treatment?

Q.3 The above position can only apply to Iraqi immigrants who came to Israel. What about the thousands who went to Europe and America, whose potential claims are more substantial? How can their confiscated assets be cancelled against the Palestinian assets?

If Israel succeeds in setting-off Palestinian assets on the strength of Jewish assets left in Iraq and other Arab countries, the net result would be that Israel will have confiscated Jewish assets, and makes a present to Saddam and others of Palestinian assets in Israel. More

Niazi Sion Dangoor

THE BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS

by Abdulla S Dangoor

Niazi Sion Dangoor who died recently in Tel Aviv at the age of 90, was born in Baghdad in 1910 when Iraq was a province of the Ottoman Empire and was named after Niazi Pasha the leader of the young Turks who staged a revolt against the Sultan. Niazi showed his skill in languages and at an early age mastered four languages: Arabic, Hebrew, English and French and latterly German. He was a brilliant entrepreneur and with the help of his brother-in-law, Jacob Mashaal, a racing man and a member of the Racing Board, he secured a concession for a betting office in town. More

 

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