|Part of Anglo–Iraqi War|
Mass grave for the victims of the Farhud, 1946
|Date||June 1–2, 1941|
|Deaths||175 –780 Jews killed|
|Perpetrators||Rashid Ali, Yunis al-Sabawi, al-Futuwa youth.|
Farhud (Arabic : الفرهود) was the pogrom or "violent dispossession" carried out against the Jewish population of Baghdad, Iraq, on June 1–2, 1941, immediately following the British victory in the Anglo-Iraqi War. The riots occurred in a power vacuum following the collapse of the pro-Nazi government of Rashid Ali while the city was in a state of instability. The violence came immediately after the rapid defeat of Rashid Ali by British forces, whose earlier coup had generated a short period of national euphoria, and was fueled by allegations that Iraqi Jews had aided the British. Over 180 Jews were killed and 1,000 injured, and up to 300–400 non-Jewish rioters were killed in the attempt to quell the violence. Looting of Jewish property took place and 900 Jewish homes were destroyed.
The Farhud took place during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. It has been referred to as a pogrom which was part of the Holocaust, although such comparison has been disputed.It has also been called "the beginning of the end of the Jewish community of Iraq", propagating the migration of Iraqi Jews out of the country, although a direct connection to the 1951–2 Jewish exodus from Iraq is also disputed, as many Jews who left Iraq immediately following the Farhud returned to the country and permanent emigration did not accelerate significantly until 1950–51. According to Hayyim Cohen, the Farhud "was the only [such event] known to the Jews of Iraq, at least during their last hundred years of life there". Historian Edy Cohen writes that up until the Farhud, Jews had enjoyed relatively favorable conditions and coexistence with Muslims in Iraq.
There were many instances of violence against Jews during their long history in Iraq,as well as numerous enacted decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues in Iraq, and some forced conversion to Islam.
After the Ottoman Empire was defeated in the First World War, the League of Nations granted the mandate of Iraq to Britain. After King Ghazi who inherited the throne of Faisal I, died in a 1939 car accident, Britain installed 'Abd al-Ilah as Iraq's governing regent.
By 1941, the approximately 150,000 Iraqi Jews played active roles in many aspects of Iraqi life, including farming, banking, commerce and the government bureaucracy.
Iraqi nationalist Rashid Ali al-Gaylani was appointed Prime Minister again in 1940, and attempted to ally with the Axis powers in order to remove the remaining British influence in the country.
Much of the population had retained significant anti-British sentiments since the 1920 Iraqi revolt, although the Jewish population was viewed as pro-British during World War II, contributing to the separation of the Muslim and Jewish communities.
In addition, between 1932 and 1941, the German embassy in Iraq, headed by Dr. Fritz Grobba, significantly supported antisemitic and fascist movements. Intellectuals and army officers were invited to Germany as guests of the Nazi party, and antisemitic material was published in the newspapers. The German embassy purchased the newspaper Al-alam Al-arabi ("The Arab world") which published, in addition to antisemitic propaganda, a translation of Mein Kampf in Arabic. The German embassy also supported the establishment of Al-Fatwa, a youth organization based upon the model of the Hitler Youth.
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In 1941, a group of pro-Nazi Iraqi officers, known as the "Golden Square" and led by General Rashid Ali, overthrew Regent Abdul Ilah on April 1 after staging a successful coup. The coup had significant popular support, particularly in Baghdad. Bashkin writes that "All, apparently, yearned for the departure of the British after two long decades of interference in Iraqi affairs".
Iraq's new government then was quickly involved in confrontation with the British over the terms of the military treaty forced on Iraq at independence. The treaty gave the British unlimited rights to base troops in Iraq and transit troops through Iraq. The British arranged to land large numbers of soldiers from India in Iraq to force the country to show its intentions. Iraq refused to let them land and confrontations afterward occurred both near Basra in the south and to the west of Baghdad near the British base complex and airfield. The Germans dispatched a group of 26 heavy fighters to aid in a futile air attack on the British airbase at Habbaniya which accomplished nothing.
Winston Churchill sent a telegram to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, warning him that if the Middle East fell to Germany, victory against the Nazis would be a "hard, long and bleak proposition" given that Hitler would have access to the oil reserves there. The telegram dealt with the larger issues of war in the Middle East rather than Iraq exclusively.
On May 25, Hitler issued his Order 30, stepping up German offensive operations: "The Arab Freedom Movement in the Middle East is our natural ally against England. In this connection special importance is attached to the liberation of Iraq... I have therefore decided to move forward in the Middle East by supporting Iraq."
On May 30, the British-organized force called Kingcol led by Brigadier J.J. Kingstone reached Baghdad, causing the "Golden Square" and their supporters to escape via Iran to Germany. Kingcol included some elements of the Arab Legion led by Major John Bagot Glubb known as Glubb Pasha.
On May 31, Regent Abdul Illah prepared to fly back into Baghdad to reclaim his leadership. To avoid the reality of a British-organized countercoup, the regent entered Baghdad without a British escort.
Michael Eppel, in his book "The Palestinian Conflict in Modern Iraq" blames the Farhud on the influence of German ideology on the Iraqi people, as well as extreme nationalism, both of which were heightened by the Golden Square coup.
Naiem Giladi, a Jewish anti-Zionist, accused the British of "being responsible for organizing the riots, or they were indirectly behind them."
Sami Michael, a witness to the Farhud, testified: "Antisemite propaganda was broadcast routinely by the local radio and Radio Berlin in Arabic. Various anti-Jewish slogans were written on walls on the way to school, such as "Hitler was killing the Jewish germs". Shops owned by Muslims had 'Muslim' written on them, so they would not be damaged in the case of anti-Jewish riots."
Shalom Darwish, the secretary of the Jewish community in Baghdad, testified that several days before the Farhud, the homes of Jews were marked with a red palm print ("Hamsa"), by al-Futuwa youth.
Two days before the Farhud, Yunis al-Sabawi, a government minister who proclaimed himself the governor of Baghdad, summoned Rabbi Sasson Khaduri, the community leader, and recommended to him that Jews stay in their homes for the next three days as a protective measure. This may have been due to an intention to harm the Jews in their homes, or he may have been expressing his fear for the safety of the community in light of the prevalent atmosphere in Baghdad.
During the fall of the Rashid Ali government, false rumors were circulated that Jews used radios to signal the Royal Air Force and distributed British propaganda.
According to Iraqi government and British historical sources violence started when a delegation of Jewish Iraqis arrived at the Palace of Flowers (Qasr al Zuhur) to meet with the Regent Abdullah, and were attacked en route by an Iraqi Arab mob as they crossed Al Khurr Bridge. Iraqi Arab civil disorder and violence then swiftly spread to the Al Rusafa and Abu Sifyan districts, and got worse the next day when elements of the Iraqi police began joining in with the attacks upon the Jewish population, involving shops belonging to it being set on fire and a synagogue being destroyed.
However, Prof. Zvi Yehuda has suggested that the event that set off the rioting was anti-Jewish preaching in the Jami-Al-Gaylani mosque, and that the violence was premeditated rather than a spontaneous outburst.
Mordechai Ben-Porat, who later became the leader of the Iraqi Zionists, described his experience as follows:
We were mostly cut off from the center of the Jewish community and our Muslim neighbors became our friends. It was because of one Muslim neighbor, in fact, that we survived the Farhoud. We had no weapons to defend ourselves and were utterly helpless. We put furniture up against the doors and windows to prevent the rioters from breaking in. Then, Colonel Arif's wife came rushing out of her house with a grenade and a pistol and shouted at the rioters, ‘If you don’t leave, I will explode this grenade right here!’ Her husband was apparently not home and she had either been instructed by him to defend us or decided on her own to help. They dispersed, and that was that – she saved our lives.
The dean of Midrash Bet Zilkha Yaakov Mutzafi raced to open up the gates of the yeshiva to shelter the victims of the Farhud who were displaced from their homes, and secured money for their upkeep from philanthropists in the community.
Civil order was restored after two days of violence in the afternoon of June 2, when British troops imposed a curfew and shot violators on sight. An investigation conducted by the journalist Tony Rocca of the Sunday Times attributes the delay to a personal decision by Kinahan Cornwallis, the British Ambassador to Iraq, who failed to immediately carry out orders he received from the Foreign Office in the matter, and initially denied requests from British Imperial military and civil officers on the scene for permission to act against the attacking Arab mobs.Other testimonies suggest the possibility that the British delayed their entry into Baghdad for 48 hours because they had an ulterior motive in allowing a clash between the sectarian populations within the capital city.
The exact number of victims is uncertain. With respect to Jewish victims, some sources say that about 180 Jewish Iraqis were killed and about 240 were wounded, 586 Jewish-owned businesses were looted and 99 Jewish houses were destroyed.Other accounts state that nearly 200 were killed and over 2 000 injured, while 900 Jewish homes and hundreds of Jewish-owned shops destroyed and looted. The Israeli-based Babylonian Heritage Museum maintains that in addition to 180 identified victims, around another 600 unidentified ones were buried in a mass grave. An estimate published in Haaretz newspaper cites 180 killed and 700 wounded. Bashkin writes that "a constant element that appears in most accounts of the Farhud is a narrative relating to a good neighbour… Judging by the lists of the Jewish dead, it seems that Jews in mixed neighbourhoods stood a better chance of surviving the riots than those in uniformly Jewish areas."
When the forces loyal to the regent entered to restore order, many rioters were killed.The Iraqi Commission Report noted that: "After some delay the Regent… arranged for the dispatch of troops to take control… There was no more aimless firing into the air; their machine guns swept the streets clear of people and quickly put a stop to looting and rioting." The British Ambassador noted that second day was more violent than the first, and that "Iraqi troops killed as many rioters as the rioters killed Jews." The Iraqi Commission Report estimated the total number of Jews and Muslims killed at 130. Eliahu Eilat, a Jewish Agency agent estimated 1 000 as the total number of Jews and Muslims who died, with other similar accounts estimating 300–400 rioters killed by the Regent's army.
Within a week of the riots, on 7 June, the reinstated Monarchist Iraqi government set up a Committee of Enquiry to investigate the events.According to Peter Wien, the regime "made every effort to present the followers of the Rashid 'Ali movement as proxies of Nazism".
The monarchist government acted quickly to suppress supporters of Rashid Ali. Many Iraqis were exiled as a result, and hundreds were jailed. Eight men, included amongst them Iraqi Army officers and policemen, were legally sentenced to death in consequence of the violence by the newly established pro-British Iraqi government.
| Jewish exodus from|
Arab and Muslim
In some accounts the Farhud marked the turning point for Iraq's Jews.Other historians, however, see the pivotal moment for the Iraqi Jewish community much later, between 1948–51, since Jewish communities prospered along with the rest of the country throughout most of the 1940s, and many Jews who left Iraq following the Farhud returned to the country shortly thereafter and permanent emigration did not accelerate significantly until 1950–51. Bashkin writes that "In the context of Jewish-Iraqi history, moreover, a distinction should be made between an analysis of the Farhud and the Farhudization of Jewish Iraqi history—viewing the Farhud as typifying the history of the relationship between Jews and greater Iraqi society. The Jewish community strived for integration in Iraq before and after the Farhud. In fact, the attachment of the community to Iraq was so tenacious that even after such a horrible event, most Jews continued to believe that Iraq was their homeland."
Either way, the Farhud is broadly understood to mark the start of a process of politicization of the Iraqi Jews in the 1940s, primarily amongst the younger population, especially as a result of the impact it had on hopes of long term integration into Iraqi society. In the direct aftermath of the Farhud, many joined the Iraqi Communist Party in order to protect the Jews of Baghdad, yet they did not want to leave the country and rather sought to fight for better conditions in Iraq itself.At the same time the Iraqi government which had taken over after the Farhud reassured the Iraqi Jewish community, and normal life soon returned to Baghdad, which saw a marked betterment of its economic situation during World War II.
It was only after the Iraqi government initiated a policy shift towards the Iraqi Jews in 1948, curtailing their civil rights and firing many Jewish state employees, that the Farhud began to be regarded as more than just an outburst of violence instigated by foreign influences, namely Nazi propaganda.
On October 23, 1948, Shafiq Ades, a respected Jewish businessman, was publicly hanged in Basra on charges of selling weapons to Israel and the Iraqi Communist Party, despite the fact he was an outspoken anti-Zionist. The event increased the sense of insecurity among Jews.The Jewish community general sentiment was that if a man as well connected and powerful as Shafiq Ades could he eliminated by the state, other Jews would not be protected any longer, and the Farhud was no longer seen as an isolated incident. During this period, the Iraqi Jewish community became increasingly fearful.
A monument, called "Prayer", located in Ramat Gan, is in memory of the Jews who were killed in Iraq during the Farhud and in the 1960s.
June 1, 2015, was the first International Farhud Day at the United Nations.
Antisemitism in the Arab world increased greatly in the 20th century, for several reasons: the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and traditional Islamic society; European influence, brought about by Western imperialism and Arab Christians; Nazi propaganda; resentment over Jewish nationalism ; and the rise of Arab nationalism.
A pogrom is a violent riot aimed at the massacre or expulsion of an ethnic or religious group, particularly one aimed at Jews. The Slavic-languages term originally entered the English language to describe 19th- and 20th-century attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire. Similar attacks against Jews at other times and places also became retrospectively known as pogroms. The word is now also sometimes used to describe publicly sanctioned purgative attacks against non-Jewish ethnic or religious groups. The characteristics of a pogrom vary widely, depending on the specific incidents, at times leading to, or culminating in, massacres.
The Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries, or Jewish exodus from Arab countries, was the departure, flight, expulsion, evacuation and migration of 850,000 Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab countries and the Muslim world, mainly from 1948 to the early 1970s. The last major migration wave took place from Iran in 1979–80, as a consequence of the Iranian Revolution.
Rashid Ali al-Gaylani was an Iraqi politician who served as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Iraq on three occasions: from March to November 1933, from March 1940 to February 1941 and from April to May 1941. He is chiefly remembered as an ardent Arab nationalist who attempted to remove the British influence from Iraq by starting a coup against the government in 1941. During his brief tenures as Prime Minister in 1940 and 1941, he attempted to negotiate settlements with the Axis powers during World War II in order to counter British influence in Iraq.
The 1920 Nebi Musa riots or 1920 Jerusalem riots took place in British-controlled part of Occupied Enemy Territory Administration between Sunday, 4 and Wednesday, 7 April 1920 in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. Five Jews and four Arabs were killed, and several hundred were injured. The riots coincided with and are named after the Nebi Musa festival, which took place every year on Easter Sunday, and followed rising tensions in Arab-Jewish relations. The events came shortly after the Battle of Tel Hai and the increasing pressure on Arab nationalists in Syria in the course of the Franco-Syrian War.
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From 1951 to 1952, Operation Ezra and Nehemiah airlifted between 120,000 and 130,000 Iraqi Jews to Israel via Iran and Cyprus. The massive emigration of Iraqi Jews was among the most climactic events of the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries.
This is a list of countries where antisemitic sentiment has been experienced.
Naeim Giladi (18 March 1926 – 6 March 2010) was an anti-Zionist Iraqi Jew, and author of an autobiographical article and historical analysis titled "The Jews of Iraq". The article later formed the basis for his originally self-published book Ben-Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah and the Mossad Eliminated Jews.
The history of the Jews in Kuwait is connected to the history of the Jews in Iraq.
Shafiq Ades was a wealthy Iraqi-Jewish businessman of Syrian origins. After a short show trial in 1948, he was executed by hanging on charges of selling weapons to Israel and supporting the Iraqi Communist Party.
The Al-Muthanna Club was an influential pan-Arab fascist society established in Baghdad ca. 1935 to 1937 which remained active until May 1941, when the coup d'état of pro-Nazi Rashid Ali al-Gaylani failed. It was named after Al-Muthanna ibn Haritha, an Iraqi Muslim Arab general who led forces that helped to defeat the Persian Sassanids at the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah. Later known as the National Democratic Party, Nadi al-Muthanna was influenced by European fascism and controlled by radical Arab nationalists who, according to 2005's Memories of State, "formed the core of new radicals" for a combined Pan-Arab civilian and military coalition.
The relationship between Nazi Germany (1933–1945) and the leadership of the Arab world encompassed contempt, propaganda, collaboration and in some instances emulation. Cooperative political and military relationships were founded on shared hostilities toward common enemies, such as the United Kingdom and the French Third Republic, along with communism, and Zionism. Another key foundation of this collaboration was the anti-semitism of the Nazis, which was admired by some Arab and Muslim leaders, most notably Hajj Amin al-Husayni. In public and private, Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler made warm statements about Islam as a religion and political ideology, describing it as a more disciplined, militaristic, political, and practical form of religion than Christianity, and commending what they perceived to be Muhammad's skill in politics and military leadership. However, the official Nazi racial ideology also considered Arabs and North Africans to be racially inferior to Germans, a sentiment echoed by Hitler and other Nazi leaders to deprecate them. Hitler left no doubt about his disdain for the Arab world, writing in Mein Kampf, "As a völkish man, who appraises the value of men on a racial basis, I am prevented by mere knowledge of the racial inferiority of these so-called 'oppressed nations' from linking the destiny of my own people with theirs".
The 1945 Anti-Jewish riots in Tripolitania was the most violent rioting against Jews in North Africa in modern times. From November 5 to November 7, 1945, more than 140 Jews were killed and many more injured in a pogrom in British-military-controlled Tripolitania. 38 Jews were killed in Tripoli from where the riots spread. 40 were killed in Amrus, 34 in Zanzur, 7 in Tajura, 13 in Zawia and 3 in Qusabat.
The 1947 Aden riots were three days of violence in which the Jewish community of Aden was attacked by members of the Yemeni-Arab community in early December, following the approval of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine on 29 November 1947. It was one of the most violent pogroms in modern times against Mizrahi-Jewish communities in the Middle East, resulting in the deaths of 76–82 Jews, 33 Arabs, 4 Muslim Indians, and one Somali, as well as wide-scale devastation of the local Jewish community of Aden.
The Balfour Day riots, took place between 2 and 3 November 1945. The riots began as anti-Jewish demonstrations on the 28th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Rallies were organised by the right-wing Young Egypt Party and Hassan al-Banna's Muslim Brotherhood.
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The 1950–1951 Baghdad bombings were a series of bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad, Iraq, between April 1950 and June 1951.
Iraqi Jews in Israel, also known as the Bavlim, are immigrants and descendants of the immigrants of the Iraqi Jewish communities, who now reside within the state of Israel. They number around 450,000.
the general sentiment was chat if a man as well connected and powerful as Adas could he eliminated by the state, other Jews would not be protected any longer.
During this time, the Iraqi Jewish community became increasingly fearful