The Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs marked on Monday the 75th anniversary of the ”Farhud” – the pogroms carried out against the Jewish population of Baghdad, Iraq during the Shavuot holiday in 1941. Some 200 Jews were killed and thousands more were injured in the violence. In addition, the property of more than 50,000 Jews was looted by their Arab neighbors.
Committee Chairman Avraham Neguise (Likud) said the pogroms ”implanted the Zionist idea in Iraq`s Jews, and they eventually immigrated to Israel in `Operation Ezra and Nehemiah.` There is no official memorial day for these events, and they are hardly taught in the education system. It is important to dedicate a place of honor for this important community and its history.”
(Mass grave of victims of the Farhud)
Neguise called on Education Minister Naftali Bennett to include the Farhud pogroms in school history studies and urged ”Yad Vashem” to recognize Muslims who saved Jews as Righteous Among the Nations.
MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Camp) said marking the Farhud ”is important to all Israelis, not only those of Iraqi descent.” She added: ”We must remember and tell our children what happened to the Jews of Iraq, alongside what happened to Jews in other places around the world.”
MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Camp) said ”there is something very distorted about the fact that the Kishinev pogroms are an inseparable part of our studies while the [history] of Arab Judaism is not.”
Dina Drori of the Education Ministry said a conference of all the history teachers in Israel will be held next week to discuss ”Farhud.” She said that the curriculum must be changed so that it will include the pogroms against Iraq`s Jews.