Bagdad (Jun. 25)
The wave of anti-Semitism that is engulfing Germany has reached Iraq. Secret societies with anti-Semitism as the basis of their program are known to have been formed and these groups are held responsible for posters put up in the streets and in houses which read: “Stain your hands with the blood of all those who differ in religion and adopt towards them the same policy as Hitler.”
In the past two months lives of Jews in Iraq have been exposed to danger. Thanks to the vigilance of the government only a few score of sporadic attacks have been made on Jews. The following incident is a typical example. After prayers at a mosque in Basrah, a mob of Mohammedans attacked the house of the Jew Abdullah Ruphael, near the mosque, and severely beat people on the grounds. The police intervened after most of the mischief had been done. Ironically enough, the Jews were accused of attacking the worshippers. A few of the Mohammedans were arrested by the police, but were almost immediately released.
Here in Bagdad, the teachers are openly instigating Mohammedan students against Jewish students who are being harassed, even during hours of study, on the charge that the Jews are disloyal to Iraq. The Jewish students appealed to their elders, who made a special representation to King Feisal, in regard to this matter. The King promised the Jewish representatives that they would look into the matter and take whatever action was necessary.
The anti-Semites accuse the Jews of lacking patriotism and of being disloyal to Iraq. All this despite the fact that the Jews of Iraq have always kept themselves aloof from all Jewish movements and in particular from any Zionist activity. At the time of the riots in Palestine in 1929, they not only did not show any sympathy towards the victims, but even disassociated themselves from the Palestinian Jews, whom they declared they only recognized as religious brethre#. Like the German Jews, the Jews of Iraq have publicly stated that they have adopted the policy of “Iraq First and Iraq Last.” But even this fails to satisfy the anti-Semites.