Jewish Holidays Legal in Iraq

Iraq has decided to grant Jewish religious holidays the status of official national holidays. Radio Baghdad announced yesterday. The Iraqi national radio, monitored here, said that all business will be suspended in State administrations as well as in the private sector on Jewish holidays. The decision was made by the Revolutionary Command Council, the announcement said, and the president of the Iraqi Jewish community addressed it a message of thanks.

Iraq’s present Jewish population totals about 1000 as compared with 250,000 before World War II. The Baghdad government discreetly authorized the departure of Jews wishing to leave the country. The Iraqi official journal of Sept. 15 lists the dates and duration of national holidays for the Christian, Jewish and other religious communities. One day has been provided for Yom Kippur, two for Succoth and two for Passover.

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