NEW YORK (Jul. 2)
The widow of an Iraqi Jew hanged in Baghdad four years ago, charged here today that Jews in Iraq continue to be murdered, kidnapped and tortured by the Iraqi government. Mrs. Adile Dalal, 38, who said she managed to escape from Iraq a few months ago, appeared at a private press conference arranged by the Committee of Concern for Jews in Arab Countries, an organization headed by Gen Lucius Clay, U.S. Army, Ret.
Appearing with Mrs. Dalal was an Iraqi Jewish youth in his 20s who said. he was spirited out of Iraq recently by a professional smuggler who charged him $500. The young man identified himself as David Abraham, a pseudonym he assumed to protect members of his family still in Iraq. He and Mrs. Dalal said they were here to “tell the world about the worsening condition” of the remaining 350 Jews in Baghdad.
Mrs. Dalal, speaking fluent English, described her personal ordeal She said the harassment of Iraqi Jews started immediately after the Baa’th regime took power in July, 1968. She said her husband, Yitzhak Dalal, was arrested on Jan. 4, 1969 by “four people with tommy-guns who knocked on our door in the evening of that day.” She said she had no word from her husband from that time until Aug. 24, 1969 when she heard on the radio that he was about to be hanged. Dalal was 43 at the time of his death.
“I was not allowed to see him before he was executed. No rabbi was called to the death scene. He did not get a proper burial,” Mrs. Dalal said. She said that when she visited the supposed site of his grave two days later, she found it vandalized.
URGE CONTINUING PRESSURE ON IRAQI REGIME
Mrs. Dalal and her two sons and David Abraham arrived in the U.S from London June 21. Abraham said that a few months ago 18 members of his family disappeared in Baghdad and the rest of his family has had no news of their fate since then.
According to the two refugees, the only way to aid Jews in Iraq is by the pressure of world opinion on the Iraqi government. They said the harassment of Jews is a tactic of the Baghdad regime “to divert the attention of the public from the conflict within the. Baa’th regime.”
A story in the JTA Daily News Bulletin of June 29 stated erroneously that the United Jewish Appeal Executive, at the annual retreat which ended June 24, had decided to increase its contribution to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The story should have stated that the UJA Executive responded to the needs of the JDC and world Jewry by increasing their gifts for the UJA’s 1974 campaign.