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The articles in this issue have been divided upinto the following categories







Cut throat competition

A feature of the Iraqi Jewish merchant was his competitiveness. He would cut prices to its rock bottom. Very often an importer of textiles would be content to make the price of the wooden box or the gunny bag of the goods as his profit, or earn a little interest by paying a month or two after receiving the goods and hoping to sell for cash.
Telegrams were costly and everyone had a telegraphic address. (On festivals, instead of sending a long greeting, everyone used to make do with 4 words such as:
Meaning: David Sasson and sons London
Tizku Leshanim Rabboth ve Neimoth
(Wishing you many and pleasant years)
Abraham, Rosa, Haron, Mazli
One exporter in Japan wired his brother in Baghdad asking the state of the market. The reply came- Vests up Pants down.
In the thirties, when Japan came on stream as a major exporter of cotton goods, Iraqi Jewish merchants switched overnight to Japanese suppliers of cheap cotton goods. The British Embassy used to complain about the Jewish merchants' lack of loyalty to their British suppliers, not realising that they would not survive if their supplier was charging even 1% more than the competitor,
In contrast, Babylonian Jewry has shown staunch and undying loyalty to our religion and traditions through thick and thin, whatever the price.


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