Jewish Journal


August 3, 2007

Eight Jews left in Baghdad


Baghdad was once one of the great cradles of Jewish culture and wisdom, but now, according to the Christian priest who has been looking after them, there are only eight Jews left in the Iraqi capital, and their situation is “more than desperate.” The Rev. Canon Andrew White, the Anglican chaplain to Iraq, says that the small group is in considerable danger.

That is the opening of an uncharacteristically boring and uninspiring story in Time magazine.

Honestly, I’m surprised any Jews remain in Baghdad considering the sectarian violence that has riven the city. The Iraqi government doesn’t acknowledge them because of fears that it might incite violence and Jewish aid has remained out of the area. Israel’s not a far journey from Iraq, but the article says the entire group has not agreed to emigrate, and that they’re sticking together.

“I don’t want them to leave at all because the Jewish presence here is very important,” White says. “But unless we care for them, I dread for what is going to happen to them. I do not want them to leave, but I think that is the only way.”

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