43 thoughts on “Jeffrey Goldberg Tweets Iranian Jews are “Animals” in “Petting Zoo” Because They Voted in Elections – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Goldberg is for using democracy as a bargaining chip, ultimately, for US/Israeli power. That is what a fear “extremists might take over the state” means, a permanent state of attempted coup d’etat on the surrounding hostile peoples. This is basically the Netanyahu line. Goldberg has articulated it himself, and now simply has to instill the fear.

    I’m not sold on the idea Jeffrey Goldberg is the leader he once was. His tweets generate a handful of retweets, and generally people are becoming more educated about Palestine. As soon as it came out Israel was trolling Wikipedia and Common Dreams I think at least the younger generation could see that they weren’t out to play fair.

    The Democratic Party seems to have learned its lesson to avoid war with Iran, although Clinton is pushing sanctions.

    One can only hope Israeli politicians are getting out their last hurrahs now that their bluff is called. That was indeed what Edward Said’s sentiment was when Netanyahu first came into power.

    What’s dangerous, and Goldberg knows this, is that there is there’s a creeping suicidal nature involved in US politics this time around that feels different than before. Goldberg doesn’t handle fear well, and an insurgency on the US right is something he could be covering well instead of this drivel. I mean, we have ex-CIA talking on Bill Maher about a coup to block Trump.

  2. ” They vote like everyone else. ”

    Meaning that they get to choose between a select few candidates that the ‘Council of the Wise’ allowed them to vote on.

    The mullahs know best.

    1. If Goldberg has comments on Iranian democracy he should voice them, but he is only bothered by voting Jews. Only the Jews are part of a ‘petting zoo’.
      Special standards for Jews: That does not bother you? Or you just don’t notice, clever boy.
      Funny, as you are one of those tedious hasbarists who constantly whine that Jews are put to a different standard…

    2. @Babar:

      Here we see the typical pro-israel whining in the form of non-sequitur.

      No one claims here that Iran is some kind of “perfect” nation with a “perfect” government. The point of the article is to push back against the insidious lies spewed by the pro-israel and the hasbara camps when it comes to the status of Jews and other minority groups in Iran.

      Entertaining your non-sequitur for a minute– people like you seem to think that isolating Iran as a whole and actions up to and including war with Iran– on the part of other nations, for Israel– is somehow preferable to a detente with that state and a warming of relations with the Iranian people in general.

      The second route actually provides an avenue when it comes to actually addressing the outstanding issues in Iran in a calm, sane fashion. How does the loopy, malicious “solution” that your ideological confederates espouse solve any existing issues, whatsoever?

  3. Iran has actually taken great steps to protect the Jewish community. Also the Syrian regime (pre-revolution (and in the revolution – trouble is mostly from non-regime), from the late 50’s onward.). I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily because the Iranian regime is tolerant (it is not in many other respects) and not for propoganda purposes – but the end result is that Jews can live almost (or entirely) as freely as the local Muslims in these countries.

    Communities have been migrating (from late 80’s onward – new wave – just about no Jews left in Syria (except a handful of elderly people)) outward – but mainly not due to -specific- circumstances related to Jewishness but rather because of the ability to migrate + greater economic (and personal freedom) opportunities elsewhere.

    In Yemen I believe there was/is some persecution (not necessarily gvmt, and the Yemeni governance has been in quite some flux going way back). In Syria/Iran – I believe there is actually regime security arrangements specifically oriented towards protecting the local Jewish community.

    In short – there is no reason to claim anti-Jewish (as opposed to anti-Zionist – and the two aren’t always the same) actions when this is not the case. There is enough anti-Jewish activity out there – no need to fabricate false claims in this regard.

    The ability of Jews to participate in the elections is the same as any other citizen, and the regime often makes a point of ensuring token Jewish representation (despite this being a very tiny community). This isn’t to say the elections are fair or democratic (certainly not ever in Syria. In Iran – it is very complex, but the appointed for life “supreme leader” + candidate screening (many candidates aren’t permitted to run) are poignant points)) – but however democratic (or not) the elections are this is not directed towards Jewish people.

    1. @Jack: Are you the only one dumb enough not to see that it’s a mash-up, akin to a cartoon? You’re not meant to think it’s really Goldberg in the original pic. Why is it the hasbara crowd has no sense of humor??

    2. How could you be the only one who noticed that? It looks like his cutout head was pasted on a cardboard paper collage.

  4. Goldberg would do better to divert his gaze from a country he doesn’t know to one he should know:

    “Power elites, blinded by hubris, intoxicated by absolute power, unable to set limits on their exploitation of the underclass, propelled to expand empire beyond its capacity to sustain itself, addicted to hedonism, spectacle and wealth, surrounded by half-witted courtiers—Alan Greenspan, Thomas Friedman, David Brooks and others—who tell them what they want to hear, and enveloped by a false sense of security because of their ability to employ massive state violence, are the last to know their privileged world is imploding.

    “History,” the Italian sociologist Vilfredo Pareto wrote, “is the graveyard of aristocracies.”

    The carnival of the presidential election is a public display of the deep morbidity and artifice that have gripped American society. Political discourse has been reduced by design to trite patriotic and religious clichés, sentimentality, sanctimonious paeans to the American character, a sacralization of militarism, and acerbic, adolescent taunts. Reality has been left behind.”

    Thus Chris Hedges – but wait, didn’t Goldberg call Hedges “so excitable”. Well if he is upset it is because there are so many things there to be upset about – and that feeling is not limited to Americans. Poor Australia is placed between the devil and the deep blue sea. – between a declining Empire, showing increasingly more signs of political degeneration, and an ever more assertive totalitarian upcoming one.

  5. @Richard– Your moral indignation aside, we are still confronted with the undeniable fact that the overwhelming majority of Persian Jews left Iran. What other ethnic group has done this?. While I can buy the claim that some Iranians leave for purely economic reasons, the fact that the Jews as a group have left dispropotionately says something very powerful. Rational people do not pick up and leave their native country unless there is a good reason. Evidently most of them do not share your rosy image of love and freedom in Iran, and feared for their future.
    It would be interesting to study the differences between Iranian Jews who have stayed and those who left. What is their socioeconomic status? What about their ages? Their family connections?

    1. the fact that the Jews as a group have left dispropotionately says something very powerful.

      No it doesn’t necessarily.

      Christians and Jews in the Middle East are mostly town dwelling tradespeople, with more education and more international contacts and job possibilities than the masses in the countryside. They are much more mobile in times of uncertainty. You will see that educated people in Iran left disproportionally in general, not just Jews.

      In the Netherlands for instance Iranians are the most higly educated group of people in the country, showing that it was the elite that left, as opposed to the ‘guest workers’ from Morocco and Turkey who were generally poor and uneducated.

    2. @ yehuda: Nonsense. Almost all Jews left Arab countries. More Jews remain in Iran than any other Arab-Muslim state in the ME.

      Christians as a group are being driven from Iraq, Pakistan, etc. Other ethnic or religious groups would leave other countries if they could, but are restrained.

      Also, let’s not forget that Israel engaged in deliberate false flag attacks in places like Iraq which stampeded Jews into exile.

        1. This is simply BS ! You clearly are a hasbarista (paid or on a voluntary basis ?).
          A whole ring of Iraqi Jews who had migrated to the State of Israel were caught in Baghdad in 1951, Yehudah Tajjar, the leader spent 10 years in prison and was released. In an interview with Uri Avnery’s magazine Haolam Hazeh (1966), he admitted that they planted bombs in front of synagogues and other Jewish institutions on behalf of Mossad to ‘encourage’ the Iraqi Jews to leave.
          If you read French, read the memoirs of the late French journalist (Le Monde) and diplomat Eric Rouleau (born Elie Raffoul in Egypt to Jewish parents) “Dans les coulisses du Proche-Orient: Mémoires d’un journaliste diplomate (1952-2012)”, he gives many further informations about the case.
          The irony of the story: Tajjar was recognized in a store in Baghdad by a shop vendor, a Palestinian refugee who before the Nakba worked in a coffee shop in Akka where Tajjar used to come.
          And this is not the only case.

          1. @Deir Yassin

            You are way off base. Way off base.

            The preeminent authority on this question is the historian, Moshe Gat.
            In his ‘The Jewish Exodus From Iraq’ , Gat argued that there was little direct connection between the bombings and exodus.
            Gat demonstrates that the frantic and massive Jewish registration for denaturalisation and departure was driven by knowledge that the denaturalisation law was due to expire in March 1951. He also notes the influence of further pressures including the property-freezing law, and continued anti-Jewish disturbances which raised the fear of large-scale pogroms.
            It is highly unlikely the Israelis would have taken such measures to accelerate the Jewish evacuation given that they were already struggling to cope with the existing level of Jewish immigration.

            Gat also raises serious doubts about the guilt of the alleged Jewish bomb throwers.
            http://www.amazon.com/Jewish-Exodus-Iraq-1948-1951-ebook/dp/B00DSLXIYS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1456926136&sr=8-4&keywords=moshe+gat

            Firstly, a Christian officer in the Iraqi army known for his anti-Jewish views, was arrested, but apparently not charged, with the offenses. A number of explosive devices similar to those used in the attack on the Jewish synagogue were found in his home. In addition, there was a long history of anti-Jewish bomb-throwing incidents in Iraq. See Jewish Exodus From Iraq, Gat, Moshe, p. 187.

            Secondly, the prosecution was not able to produce even one eyewitness who had seen the bombs thrown.

            Thirdly, the Jewish defendant Shalom Salah indicated in court that he had been severely tortured in order to procure a confession. It therefore remains an open question as to who was responsible for the bombings, although Gat suggests that the most likely perpetrators were members of the anti-Jewish Istiqlal Party.

            Many years later, the Zionist emissary Yehuda Tager stated that the main bombings were carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood. Later, smaller attacks were staged by Yosef Beit-Halahmi, on his own initiative, in an attempt to make it seem as if the activists on trial were not the perpetrators. See, Tom Segev, Now it can be told, Haaretz, April 6, 2006.

            Deir. Don’t say ‘Basta!’, and storm out of the room.
            Read Gat. Actually take the time to read his book, or at least the relevant chapters, and tell me where and how Gat gets it wrong.

          2. “You are way off base. Way off base.”

            Barbar, you make it sound as if you read Gat, but I randomly copied part of what you wrote (“Gat demonstrates that the frantic and massive Jewish registration for denaturalisation and departure was driven by knowledge that the denaturalisation law was due to expire in March 1951. He also notes the influence of further pressures including the property-freezing law, and continued anti-Jewish disturbances which raised the fear of large-scale pogroms”)
            and it was just a copy from Wikipedia.

            You keep misrepresenting and lying here, as you did from the start. Hasbara-central should pull you back as you have Z-E-R-O (heh, heh) credibility here.

          3. @Elizabeth

            “You keep misrepresenting and lying here ”

            Elizabeth. What have I misrepresented? Please tell us.

            *crickets*

            Elizabeth. What have I lied about? Please tell us.

            *crickets*

            Elizabeth. What have you to add to the discussion of the Jewish exodus from Iraq.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V3CfD8TPac

          4. @ Barbar: This comment lacks any substance or argument whatsoever. Comments must have real substance & advance a genuine argument. Do not publish such comments in future.

          5. You must be about highschool age (‘crickets’). If you get any more immature we will have to provide you with diapers.

          6. @ Barbaric Hasbara
            Why don’t you look up informations about Yehudah Tajjar, and search for the interview in Haolam Hazeh ?

        2. @ Barbar:

          There is zero proof Mossad stampeded the Jews from Iraq.
          Z-E-R-O.

          Guess not one but several commenters have proven that this claim has “zero proof, Z-E-R-O.”

          As for the Lavon Affair, you even acknowledge it was named for a senior Israeli minister who ended up resigning his job & took responsibility for its failure or exposure. That, by definition, proves it was not a “rogue operation.” You simply can’t have it both ways.

          BTW, does Hasbara Central have a Feedback page we can rate your skill at your job? If there is, be very careful. Many of us would give you exceedingly bad marks. They might send you back to school for remedial work.

  6. @Elizabeth– Point taken. I am aware of the “brain drain”. However, its an matter of magnitude. For example, in the Middle Eastern countries (other than Israel) the Christian population has declined substantially, but gradually, over time. One could attribute this to a combination of mobility, economic opportunities (as in Lebanon), and perhaps persecution (such as in Egypt or Iraq). However, the Jewish populations declined massively and in a short period of time, including in Iran. This only happens when people are running away from something, or are being forced out.

    1. I think the Christian population in Israel declined significantly when large numbers of Christians were driven out or fled in 1948 and were NEVER ALLOWED TO RETURN.

      Apart from that, you wrote earlier that rational people do not pick up and leave their native country unless there is a good reason. Such reasons are not always oppression or danger but can be bad economic circumstances and the pull of a country that welcomes them with new opportunities. The Mennonite communities in Siberia were finally given religious freedom in the 1990’s and what did they do? All the young people left for Germany because of the German law that allows descendants of Germans to settle in Germany.
      To the grief of many of the elders, who had looked at the changes in Russia as new opportunities for their community, almost the entire communitiy with a unique language and culture ceased to exist.

      The creation of Israel decimated Jewish communities in many countries, and the reasons behind this are numerous and complex, but it is hard not to feel this as a loss.
      I saw a documentary once on the last 2 Jews in Kabul. It was very sad to watch. They told a similar story as the elder Mennonites: Young people left for greener pastures in Israel, not because of oppression ( they claimed at least…).

      1. I saw that documentary too. But what I took away from it was that young Jews left Afghanistan for Israel because there were no longer marriage prospects for them at home. Without marriage prospects, there will be no more generations. And by the way, I met one of the last Jews from Afghanistan prior to the two gentlemen who remained (one passed away, by the way). My friend goes there regularly to help maintain the last synagogue. It’s a bit of a losing battle for him at this point, but here’s his website. I love his block-print domestics and own several. Enjoy! http://www.shlomohagar.com/

        1. Laurel,
          would that not simply be the last stage of the process, when too many young people have already left? I think I read about a similar problem for Jerusalem Christians, where the community is so small that they have to look for marriage partners in the West Bank. But as they are not allowed to live with their West Bank partner in Jerusalem whe they marry, many have no other option than to leave Jerusalem themselves, accellerating the problem.

  7. I posted this here some six years ago but it seems of relevance again:

    As far as Iraq is concerned:
    Let me start with a quote from an erstwhile Iraqi Jew:
    “I write this article for the same reason I wrote my book: to tell the American people, and especially American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews; and that, to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors. I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called “cruel Zionism.” I write about it because I was part of it.” Naeim Giladi

    When I first encountered this article from which this quote is taken, on the internet, I took some trouble to get some more information regarding his claim that the Jewish community in Iraq was around 1950 driven out by a bombing campaign inspired by Israel. This is what I found. If anybody has more information on this I would be pleased to hear about it.
    Giladi himself referred to the late Wilbur Crane Eveland, erstwhile CIA operative, whose book “Ropes of Sand: America’s Failure in the Middle East”, N.Y. Norton 1980, was quite unwelcome to the foreign policy establishment.
    Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht, who wrote an equally unwelcome book that was suppressed after the first print run of 7,000 copies (The fate of the Jews: a people torn between Israeli power and Jewish ethics, New York Times Books 1983) quotes extensively from Eveland:

    “Just after I arrived in Baghdad an Israeli citizen had been recognized in the city’s largest department store: his interrogation led to the discovery of fifteen arms caches brought into Iraq by an underground Zionist movement. In attempts to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the U.S. Information Service Library and in synagogues. Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel. Although the Iraqi police later provided our embassy with evidence to show that the synagogue and library bombings, as well as the anti Jewish and anti-American leaflet campaigns, had been the work of an underground Zionist organization, most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had ‘rescued’…”
    Indeed, the habitual assertion is that the two Jews who were hung for the affair after a trial had been ‘falsely accused’. I don’t know of any evidence that can lead to that assertion. And in case any one sniffs at the idea that the Iraqi police of around 1950 could come up with such a thing as reliable evidence s/he should consult the book of David Hirst, Middle East correspondent for the Guardian and contributor to such publications as the Christian Science Monitor, The Nation and others.

    Hirst is in “The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East” 1977, 1st ed., reissued 2003, quite emphatic about these Zionist bombings and he provides some further evidence for them.
    As Eveland mentioned above, the whole affair started rolling when an Israeli citizen was recognized in a Baghdad department store by a Palestinian refugee.

    This Israeli, Yehudah Tajjar, was in the first instance sentenced to life imprisonment, but released after ten years. He broke Jewish silence on this Zionist conspiracy when he was back in Israel. This led, in 1966, to a publication in the weekly magazine Ha’olam Hazeh. The full story was published, in 1972, in the organ of militant Sephardim Jews “The Black Panther”, which also drew on the testimony of two Israeli citizens who were in Baghdad at the time, a certain Kaduri Salim and an Iraqi lawyer, then living in Tel Aviv.

    The Black Panther article is apparently very bitter about the fact that Iraqi Jews were ‘induced’ in this way to move to Israel. David Hirst quotes its statement that a community that “ruled over most of the resources of Iraq … was turned into a ruled group, discriminated against and oppressed in every aspect”. This transformation took place in Israel.
    One of those erstwhile Iraqi Jews is Ella Shohat, Professor of media and cultural studies at the City University of New York (CUNY). In her article “Rupture and Return : A Mizrahi Perspective on the Zionist Discourse” she is quite categorical on the Zionist bombings. She writes:

    “The displacement of Iraqi Jews for example was not, simply, a choice of the Arab Jews themselves. Even if some Arab-Jews expressed a desire to go to Israel, or to “Zion”, the question is why, suddenly, after millennia of not doing so, would they leave overnight? I would argue that Arab-Jewish displacement was the product of complex circumstances in which panic rather than desire for Aliya was the key factor. The ‘in-gathering’ seems less natural when one takes into account the circumstances forcing their departure: the efforts of the Zionist underground in Iraq to undermine the authority of the community leaders such as that of Hassam Sasson Khturi, Zionist attempts to place a ‘wedge’between the Jewish and Muslim communities, for example by placing bombs in synagogues to generate anti-Arab panic on the part of Jews…”
    Who smuggled the weapons, for the Zionist organization called “The Movement”, into Iraq. Hirst quotes a letter from Yigal Allon, then chief of the Palmach commandos and later Foreign Minister of Israel, which seems to reveal that his group was responsible for this ( below I will quote Ben Cohen regarding a telling statement by Allon on this).

    In his article Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam, Israel, published in the School for Peace Annual Review, January 2001, Yehudah Shenhav also refers to the bombing as if it is a matter that is commonly known. He writes:
    “Around this time, working undercover as representatives of Solel Boneh, Israeli Mossad agents began underground activities in Iraq. All of a sudden there was an explosion in the Mas’uda Shem Tov synagogue and immediately afterwards 24,000 Jews registered to leave the country. Abbas Shiblak describes in his book how each time there was a fall in registration, another bomb went off followed by another mass exodus. Five of these bombs did the job”.
    Shenhav also makes short shrift with the ‘argument’ that Israel did not even want these Iraqi Jews because they were deemed to be inferior to its own Ashkenaze elite. He writes:

    “The Zionist movement began to pay attention to Mizrahi Jewry in the years 1941 – 1942. It was then that Ben Gurion introduced his ‘one million plan’ Anticipating that many Jews will be annihilated by Nazi persecution causing problems for the Zionist movement, Ben Gurion decided that a plan must be introduced based on Jews from Arab lands. In 1950 an agreement was reached with Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri Sa’id, as a result of which a law was passed allowing Jews to forfeit their Iraqi citizenship and leave the country without their property.”

    Is there any scholarly weight now to the publications that have denied that there was a Zionist conspiracy here? The most authoritative of these seems to me the book by the Israel historian Moshe Gat, entitled “The Jewish Exodus from Iraq, 1948 -1951″ London: Frank Cass, 1997.
    Daniel Pipes, the auctor intellectualis of ‘campus watch’, says, in his review of this book, inter alia:
    “The author puts to rest the notion that Israeli agents used terrorism to get Iraqi Jews to make aliyah; ‘there was no connection between the bomb-throwing incidents and the departure of the Jews’”.

    The scholar who reviewed the book for the Journal of Palestine Studies (in Vol.27, No.4, Summer 1998), Ben Cohen, was considerably less complacent on this point.
    He wrote:
    “Gat lists a number of writers who have concluded that Israel was behind these attacks to terrorize the Jews into leaving. For Gat, however, it is ‘unlikely that there will ever be’ a definitive answer to the question of responsibility (p.187). But then he exonerates Israel in an example of the periodic inconsistencies that mar the text; he argues that the Zionist underground would not have adopted such a risky strategy at a time when the Iraqi police was closing in on them (p.186). Yet, he does not consider the possibility that leading Iraqis, whose pockets were being lined, turned a blind eye; nor does he take into account Yigal Allon’s admission, in comments on the ‘Lavon affair’ of 1954 (i.e. a Zionist bombing campaign in Egypt – AB) that such a method of operation – a bombing campaign – ‘was first tried in Iraq’ “
    LINK
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    1. Wikipedia doesn’t quote directly from Gatt on this particular point but relies on a summary by Philip Mendes, an Australian sociologist at Monash University who has been characterised by Anthony Loewenstein as a “self described left wing Zionist”. Though Mendes has retorted that he never referred to himself in those terms the characterisation seems rather apt to me.

      I add here a fragment from an article by Tom Segev in a Haaretz issue of ten years ago that seems to suggest that both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Zionist underground in Iraq were responsible for the bombings.

      “Nonetheless, the issue has remained a mystery – for one thing because the state continues to conceal information related to the episode. I am referring to information David Ben-Gurion wrote in his journal on October 10, 1960. On that day, nearly 10 years after the incident, the prime minister received a detailed report about it from Isser Harel, then head of the Shin Bet. A few lines of what Ben-Gurion wrote are classified. Some time after Harel reported on the incident to Ben-Gurion, the Mossad established a commission of inquiry that “did not find any factual proof that the bombs were hurled by any Jewish organization or individual.” The commission’s conclusions were made public in a book written by Ben-Porat.

      Now, a recent publication is shedding new light on the mystery. The revelations come from Yehuda Tager, an Israeli agent who operated in Baghdad, was exposed and spent about 10 years in prison there. According to Tager, the bombing of the Masuda Shemtov synagogue was not carried out by Israelis, but by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, at least one activist from the Zionist underground, Yosef Beit-Halahmi, did apparently carry out several terror attacks after the arrest of his comrades, in the hope of proving to the Iraqi authorities that the detainees were not involved in these actions. This is the first time someone involved in the episode is confirming that members of the Zionist underground did commit bombings in Baghdad.

      The interview with Tager, now 83, appears in a new book by the British journalist Arthur Neslen, titled “Occupied Minds.” Tager quoted a conversation he had with Beit-Halahmi’s widow: “She said she had asked him (if he had thrown the bombs) and he had replied that if a bomb was thrown while we were in prison, it would have proved that it was not us who bombed the Masuda Shemtov. She implied that he, on his own initiative, without orders from Israel, did it in order to save us.” “

      For me this only adds to the mystery. Why would the Iraqi authorities conclude that the people they had apprehended were not responsible for the earlier bombings? It seems to me more likely that they would have decided that apparently they didn’t get all the culprits yet. But if Tager’s revelation is true it seems to make nonsense of Gatt’s argument that the Zionist underground wouldn’t have dared to undertake these bombings because Iraqi intelligence was on to them. It is , according to this version, exactly BECAUSE this was the case that the bombings were undertaken.

      According to this same article:

      “The British embassy in Baghdad relayed to London its own assessment of the motives behind the attack: Activists of the Zionist movement wanted to highlight the danger for the Jews of Iraq, in order to spur the State of Israel to accelerate the pace of their immigration. At the time, there was serious debate in Israel on this issue and some wished to slow down the rate of emigration from Iraq. The British embassy’s appraisal is quoted in a book by Esther Meir of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The embassy also offered a second possible explanation: The bombs were meant to influence well-off Jews in Iraq who wished to stay there, to get them to change their minds and come to Israel, too.”

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/now-it-can-be-told-1.184724

      1. @Arie Brand

        You said, “Hirst quotes a letter from Yigal Allon, then chief of the Palmach commandos and later Foreign Minister of Israel, which seems to reveal that his group was responsible for this.. ”
        Yes. Hagana was responsible for smuggling weapons into Iraq for self defense against another pogrom, but NOT, in order to bomb out the Jews of Iraq. The text is plain.

        Please, tell me what Tajar said in Haalom Hazeh in 1966, and In the Black Panther publication in 1972? Tell us what Tajar said exactly, or please stop citing Hirst and Uri Avnery. I’m getting dizzy going around in circles.
        Wait…Don’t bother. Tajar blames the Muslim Brotherhood!

        Arie. You’ve blithely ignored your own link to Haartz, which said,” In the Haganah archives, correspondence between Mossad agents in Baghdad and their handlers in Tel Aviv is preserved, and includes their reports on the synagogue bombing. The impression that arises from the exchange of telegrams is that the Mossad agents in Baghdad and their superiors in Tel Aviv did not know who was responsible for the attack.”
        This is the most exculpatory evidence available. It is contemporaneous and archival, and proves that the ‘Movement’ and Hagana HQ didn’t know who planted the bombs.
        Again. For the slow learners. Contemporaneous telegram exchanges between the ‘Movement’, and Hagana HQ., prove that neither knew who were behind the bombings.
        It makes perfect common sense. Bombs go off and HQ asks ‘The Movement’, ‘Is that you,?’
        Bombs go off and ‘The Movement’, asks HQ, ‘Is that you?’.
        Obviously, if either entity knew that they were behind the bombings, they wouldn’t have asked.

        And what light does the Ella Shohat, Giladi, Wilbur Crane Eveland echo chamber shed?
        None.

        Arie. Please tell us more about, “Yigal Allon’s admission, in comments on the ‘Lavon affair’ of 1954 (i.e. a Zionist bombing campaign in Egypt – AB) that such a method of operation – a bombing campaign – ‘was first tried in Iraq’ “
        You seem to have ‘scooped’ us all.

      2. @ Arie
        Thank you so much for the two lengthy and very informative comments ! I’ll keep them and read them once again later (I often do with your comments).
        I add (though my souvenirs are vague): in a book by a Danish journalist Lars Moeller-Rasmussen (that I have but not accessible right now), title translated to English “Israel-Palestine, a conflict without ending ?”, he writes lenghty about the Baghdad bombings and mentions that descendants of Iraqi Jews now living in Israel had in fact filed a complaint against the State for ‘abduction’ (cheating them into leaving) or something like that of their parents. This was already in the sixties.

        1. Arie, I completely agree with Deir Yassin on your comments. I have also copied and kept them, and that is not the first time.

  8. @Barbar

    We have a saying in Dutch: “A cheeky fellow has half the world”. To judge by your modus operandi here you must have considerably more than that. You really have a hide. Not only copying a summary – such as it is – of Gatt in Wikipedia (without quotation marks) and then not only advising others emphatically to read Gatt but also to insist that others provide quotes from original sources where it has been clearly indicated that the source referred to is a secondary one.

    “Wait…Don’t bother. Tajar blames the Muslim Brotherhood!”

    Segev’s article in Haaretz we both referred to makes clear that Tajar blamed the first bombing on the Muslim brotherhood but there was a whole series of bombings and Tajar ascribed those to an individual in the Zionist underground.

    He kept mum about this in the Mossad inquiry “explaining” later that well, yes, he didn’t originally come up with this because it wouldn’t have been well received at the time. Well …

    “Arie. Please tell us more about, “Yigal Allon’s admission, in comments on the ‘Lavon affair’ of 1954 (i.e. a Zionist bombing campaign in Egypt – AB) that such a method of operation – a bombing campaign – ‘was first tried in Iraq’ “
    ▪ You seem to have ‘scooped’ us all.”

    For somebody who restricts his reading to Ynet and Wikipedia there must be scoops all over the place. I have left the statement about Allon clearly to the responsibility of Ben Cohen who seems a reputable scholar to me which is a damn sight more than I can say about you.

  9. @Arie

    I believe you mistakenly cited to Ben Cohen, when the actual quote came from Shalom Cohen, Shalom Cohen. Donnez-nous les corps des juifs et gardez leurs biens. Jeune Afrique. 894. February 22, 1978. 74–77

    This quote, cherry-picked, translated into French, and without a source, has no value and is dispositive of nothing.

    Far more meaningful is Moshe Gat’s, Jewish Exodus, at page 61.

    https://books.google.co.il/books?id=B_r3_-9ZU1YC&pg=PA61&lpg=PA61&dq=Zionist+emissaries+Yudka+Rabinowitz++April+1949&source=bl&ots=_wUkOkdUTR&sig=W86eAn3EDdsWJyOBWPZLD8uoUL8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjj9-DVnKTLAhXIFSwKHcg1BaIQ6AEIHzAB#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Here, we learn that a Zionist emissary had suggested in 1949 bombing out Iraqi Jewry, but the Mossad forcefully rejected him.

    Arie. You are a rational being. If the Mossad ruled out bombing when Iraqi Jewry was complacent, why would the begin bombing when Iraqi Jewry was panicked and already in flight?

    Arie?

    Why haven’t you commented on the exchange of intelligence telegrams discussed in the Segev article that you linked?

    I don’t mean to be cheeky, but, Segev’s article should be addressed.

    “there was a whole series of bombings and Tajar ascribed those to an individual in the Zionist underground. ”

    Tajar doesn’t ascribe the bombings to an individual, the individual’s widow alludes to the possiblity that her husband may have thrown bombs ,well after the initial wave of bombings. It sounds like conjecture, and no more. It’s not even a ‘claim’ of involvement, much less and admission.

  10. @Barbar

    You wrote

    “I don’t mean to be cheeky, but, Segev’s article should be addressed.

    Tajar doesn’t ascribe the bombings to an individual, the individual’s widow alludes to the possiblity that her husband may have thrown bombs ,well after the initial wave of bombings. It sounds like conjecture, and no more. It’s not even a ‘claim’ of involvement, much less and admission.”

    You can copy but apparently you cannot read. Tajar (Tager) DID ascribe the bombings to an individual. He named him (Yosef Beit-Halahmi) .Here is the relevant passage of Segev’s article that you tell me I should address:

    “According to Tager, the bombing of the Masuda Shemtov synagogue was not carried out by Israelis, but by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, at least one activist from the Zionist underground, Yosef Beit-Halahmi, did apparently carry out several terror attacks after the arrest of his comrades, in the hope of proving to the Iraqi authorities that the detainees were not involved in these actions. This is the first time someone involved in the episode is confirming that members of the Zionist underground did commit bombings in Baghdad.”

    Mind you that Segev says AT LEAST one member of the Zionist underground.

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/now-it-can-be-told-1.184724

    You also wrote:

    “I believe you mistakenly cited to Ben Cohen, when the actual quote came from Shalom Cohen, Shalom Cohen. Donnez-nous les corps des juifs et gardez leurs biens. Jeune Afrique. 894. February 22, 1978. 74–77”

    This is the limit. I gave you chapter and verse of the volume of the Journal of Palestine Studies in which Ben Cohen published that review of Gatt and I quoted him literally – and you tell me, no, I am mistaken – I was quoting from a French text – in English mind you.. Unbelievable.

    You ask me why I didn’t comment on the exchange Mossad had with its operatives in the field. Why should I? I didn’t suggest that Mossad was involved. Tager, when questioned by Mossad, didn’t tell them about that fellow (or fellows) from the Zionist underground. That too is clearly stated in the Segev article.

    Deir Yassin and Elizabeth: thanks for the encouraging comments.

  11. It is clear to me that neither Segev nor Tager assumed that the story of Halahmi’s widow was mere conjecture. Moreover Tager stated that Iraqi Jews in Israel already knew about this.

    “Ehud Ein-Gil, deputy editor of Haaretz Magazine, who came across this information, called up Tager and the latter confirmed the version of events depicted in Neslen’s book. But when he appeared before the Mossad’s commission of inquiry in 1960, Tager did not tell this part of the story. Ein-Gil asked him why.
    Tager: “There is a time and a place for everything. At that time, saying something like that would have been greatly frowned upon by the community. The conditions have changed since then, and here in Israel the true story is already known, at least among former Iraqis.” ”
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/now-it-can-be-told-1.184724

    Do I believe it? Ah that’s another matter. I find the motive Halahmi’s widow alluded to very strange. The fellow allegedly performed the bombings to give the Iraqi authorities the impression that his mates, then in jail, couldn’t have performed the earlier ones. Why wouldn’t those Iraqi sleuths have thought instead that they apparently hadn’t got the whole gang yet and that some of them were still at it?

    To me the version that the British Embassy gave at the time seems most believable.

  12. @Arie

    “You ask me why I didn’t comment on the exchange Mossad had with its operatives in the field. Why should I? I didn’t suggest that Mossad was involved. ”

    And neither was ‘The Movement’ apparently, or they wouldn’t have been cabling Mossad HQ in Israel asking whether Mossad was involved in the bombings. To wit; no ‘Cruel Zionism’.

    “She said she had asked him (if he had thrown the bombs) and he had replied that if a bomb was thrown while we were in prison, it would have proved that it was not us who bombed the Masuda Shemtov. She implied that he, on his own initiative, without orders from Israel, did it in order to save us.”

    According to the book Fascinating life and Sensational death by Gourgji Bekhor, only two bombs were thrown subsequent to the Masuda Shemtov incident. A bomb on 5 June 1951 targeting the Jewish firm Stanley Shashoua on Rashid Street caused no casualties. Another on the Amana market in Rashid Street did not explode. These incidents would not have affected the Jewish exodus ( by March of that year, all but about 6,000 Jews had decided to register to leave Iraq) and preceded the arrest of the Jewish activists Yusef Basri and Shalom Saleh in June 1951. Both were hanged in January 1952.

    BTW, when did Tagar speak with Beit Halahmi’s widow? The meeting with her must have been immediately after Tagar’s release from prison, and before he testified before the Mossad in 1960.
    Who could blame him for not ratting on Mrs Beit Halami, whose evidence is still not conclusive. She does not say outright that her husband had thrown the bomb, she ‘implied’ it.

    “This is the limit. I gave you chapter and verse of the volume of the Journal of Palestine Studies”.

    So Ben Cohen has an English translation of a French translation of the original Hebrew from Shalom Cohen’s article in ‘Jeunes Afrique’. Super!

    Okay. Lets see what we can agree on. There is no proof of ‘Cruel Zionism’ in the exodus of Iraqi Jewry, save for one jail house rat’s heresay statement, and one unsubstantiated quote from Yigal Allon.

  13. ” Oh, and by the way, after pointing out the offensiveness of his tweet, Goldberg blocked me!”
    Seems to be a world wide answer from pro “Israel right or wrong” I was also blocked by a political analyst in Venezuela for my critic of his cheering up the bombing of Gaza.

  14. @Barbar

    Your bits are marked BB – mine AB

    BB. (quoting me) “You ask me why I didn’t comment on the exchange Mossad had with its operatives in the field. Why should I? I didn’t suggest that Mossad was involved. ”

    And neither was ‘The Movement’ apparently, or they wouldn’t have been cabling Mossad HQ in Israel asking whether Mossad was involved in the bombings. To wit; no ‘Cruel Zionism’.”

    AB. Yes I didn’t suggest that Mossad was directly involved in the bombings, but neither did I suggest the opposite. I don’t know of any evidence either way (except for Mossad’s own navel staring – and who would regard that as convincing except for the likes of you?). As a person whose name I prefer to forget used to emphasise: “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

    A source I only consulted now (thanks to a bibliographic reference in Wikipedia) has re-emphasized for me the truth of that maxim in this case as well.

    If we may believe Adam Shatz, writing in the London Review of Books, there is evidence that Mossad had organised a scheme in consultation with the Iraqi government to take Iraqi Jews to Cyprus – but the real destination was Israel:

    “On 27 April 1950 a man whose passport identified him as Richard Armstrong flew from Amsterdam to Baghdad. He came as a representative of Near East “Air Transport, an American charter company seeking to win a contract with Iraq’s prime minister, Tawfiq al-Suwaida, to fly Iraqi Jews to Cyprus. Only six weeks earlier, the Iraqi government had passed the Denaturalisation Act, which allowed Jews to emigrate provided they renounced their citizenship, and gave them a year to decide whether to do so. Al-Suwaida expected that between seven and ten thousand Jews would leave out of a community of about 125,000, but a mysterious bombing in Baghdad on the last day of Passover, near a café frequented by Jews, caused panic, and the numbers registering soon outstripped his estimate.

    By the spring of 1950 the question was when, not whether to leave, and on 9 May NEAT signed a contract with the Iraqi government to organise their departure.
    For Richard Armstrong and NEAT, the uprooting of the Middle East’s most ancient Jewish community was not a mere business transaction: it was a mission. Armstrong was really Shlomo (né Selim) Hillel, an Iraqi-born Mossad agent; NEAT was secretly owned by the Jewish Agency; and Israel, not Cyprus, was the refugees’ ultimate destination.”

    According to Shatz Mossad was more than superficially interested in the departure of Iraqi Jews:

    “The Jewish population grew more receptive to the overtures of Mossad, which had become increasingly active in Iraq since the Golden Square took power, some agents entering the country as volunteers with the British army during the 1941 invasion. Mossad’s objective was not to improve the position of the Jews in Iraq, but to hasten their departure. Pamphlets appeared discouraging Jews from mixing with Arabs, and arguing that any attempt to do so ‘leads to butchery’.
    The Israeli government circulated stories about Iraqi ‘pogroms’ and ‘concentration camps’ and denounced the hanging of seven Jews charged with Zionist activism in March 1949 – executions that Mossad’s own agents in Baghdad insisted had never occurred. Unless Iraqi Jews were allowed to emigrate, Israel warned, it would back armed resistance to al-Said’s government, or find itself unable to prevent Iraqi Jews already in Israel from killing Palestinians in revenge.”

    You asked me whether it is reasonable to believe that Mossad, or any other Jewish agency, would continue the bombing when after the first explosion near that cafe so many had already registered for departure. Well perhaps the resolve of those registered had to be stiffened. But I believe the alternative hypothesis of the British Embassy (that especially rich Jews had to be “persuaded” to leave Iraq) to be pretty close to the bone. They had to leave their considerable property behind for an uncertain future in a country they might not have had too many illusions about. From merchant prince to state dependent pauper – not a very inviting career path.

    Adam Shatz emphasises the same thing as Ellen Shoat – Iraqi Jews had a very privileged position until not long before the foundation of the State of Israel.

    “As bankers, traders and money-lenders the wealthier members of the community had made themselves indispensable: so much so that Baghdad’s markets shut down on the Jewish Sabbath, rather than the Muslim day of rest. By the 19th century, Baghdad was famous for its Jewish dynasties – the Sassoons, the Abrahams, the Ezras, the Kadouries – with their empires in finance and imports (cotton, tobacco, silk, tea, opium) that stretched all the way to Manchester, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Rangoon, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
    When Balfour announced Britain’s support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, leaving Mesopotamia for the kibbutz was the furthest thing from the minds of Baghdad’s Jews. ‘The announcement aroused no interest in Mesopotamia, nor did it leave a ripple on the surface of local political thought in Baghdad,’ Arnold Wilson, the civil commissioner in Baghdad, reported to the Foreign Office after a meeting with a group of Iraqi Jewish notables.”

    Adam Shatz “Leaving Paradise” London Review of Books Vol.30 No.21 6 Nov.2008 http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n21/adam-shatz/leaving-paradise

    BB. “According to the book Fascinating life and Sensational death by Gorge Bekhor, only two bombs were thrown subsequent to the Masuda Shemtov incident. … These incidents would not have affected the Jewish exodus ( by March of that year, all but about 6,000 Jews had decided to register to leave Iraq)”

    AB. I don’t know who Bekhor is but he seems to trivialise the whole thing. Wikipedia gives the following list:

    • In April, 1950, a bomb was thrown into El-Dar El-Bayda Coffee shop in Baghdad. Four Jews were injured in the blast.[44]
    • On 10 May 1950, a grenade was thrown at Beit-Lawi Automobile company building, a company with Jewish ownership.[citation needed]
    • On 3 June 1950, a grenade exploded in El-Batawin, then a Jewish area of Baghdad, with no casualties.[citation needed]
    • On 14 January 1951, a grenade damaged a high-voltage cable outside Masouda Shem-Tov Synagogue. Three,[44] or four[10] Jews were killed, including a 12-year-old boy, and ten were wounded.[10]
    • On 14 March 1951, a bomb went off in the American Cultural Center and Library wounding some of the Jewish intellectuals using the facilities.[45]
    • On 5 June 1951, a bomb went off next to the Jewish Stanley Sashua car dealership on El Rasjid Street.[45] Nobody was injured.[citation needed]
    • On 19 March 1951, the US legation’s information office was attacked.[44][46]
    • In May 1951, a Jewish home was attacked.[44]

    BB.” So Ben Cohen has an English translation of a French translation of the original Hebrew from Shalom Cohen’s article in ‘Jeunes Afrique’. Super!”

    AB. What are you suggesting here ? That Ben Cohen’s review of Gat in such a respectable journal as the Journal of Palestine Studies plagiarized an earlier one by another Cohen in a totally obscure French language journal of which you picked up the name in Wikipedia? That earlier article obviously has nothing to do with Gat’s publications because it dates (1978) from before those. At any case the whole suggestion is outrageous and I cannot help but think inspired by what you yourself seem to regard as acceptable practice.

    BB “Okay. Lets see what we can agree on. There is no proof of ‘Cruel Zionism’ in the exodus of Iraqi Jewry, save for one jail house rat’s heresay statement, and one unsubstantiated quote from Yigal Allon.”

    AB. There is no cosy consensus here – however hard you try to suggest it. There is no direct evidence – bomb throwers generally do not invite an audience – but quite a bit of the circumstantial sort. And more direct evidence might be forthcoming. To quote Segev again:

    “Nonetheless, the issue has remained a mystery – for one thing because the state continues to conceal information related to the episode. I am referring to information David Ben-Gurion wrote in his journal on October 10, 1960. On that day, nearly 10 years after the incident, the prime minister received a detailed report about it from Isser Harel, then head of the Shin Bet. A few lines of what Ben-Gurion wrote are classified.”

    What do you think is in them?

    1. “Well perhaps the resolve of those registered had to be stiffened.”

      And perhaps if Savtah had wings, she’d be a dump truck.

      Since the Shemtov Synagogue courtyard served as a gathering place for Jews, prior to their departure for the airport, on their way to Israel, why would it make sense for the Jews to bomb this particular site (in order to get them to ‘hurry up and leave’)? It would seem to have the opposite effect, wouldn’t it?

      Consider the following, Arie. In his book ‘Une Si Longue Presence’, Nathan Weinstock makes the point that only the Iraqi police possessed the no. 36 high potential grenades used in the bombings.
      Ouch! No wait, maybe the Zionists collaborated with the Iraqi police! Yes!!

      “A few lines of what Ben-Gurion wrote are classified.”

      My question is why Ben Gurion’s journal is classified, while Yigal Allon’s alleged inculpatory quote is not?
      Arie. Can you track down Shalom Cohen’s article in ‘Jeunes Afrique’, where he quotes Yigal Allon? It would be dispositive on this issue, in my mind.

      Finally, I got to read Ben Cohen’s sorry attempt to takedown Moshe Gat’s, ‘Jewish Exodus From Iraq’. Cohen repeats a truncated version of Allon’s alleged quote that a bombing campaign “was first tried in Iraq”. Cohen fails to even source his quote. Pathetic faux journalism.

  15. @Barbar

    Oh now the Iraqi police has done it. Weren’t you sure that the Shemtov Synagogue was bombed by the Muslim Brotherhood? Oh they had those grenades as well did they whereas, miraculously , Yigal Allon’s Palmach commando that had smuggled heaps of weapons into Iraq was missing out.

    One could be absolutely sure that Allon’s note would be classified if it had remained within the state archives. It probably wasn’t.

    You are a good one to accuse others of “pathetic faux journalism”. The retort to that is in your case too obvious – so I will abstain.

  16. @Arie

    Let me see if I understand.
    Maybe the second most powerful figure in the creation of the State of Israel makes a statement that implicates Israel in terrorizing Iraqi Jewry, and no one on earth but Shalom Cohen knew about it?
    And BTW, whose quote is it anyway? Allon’s or Lavon’s?
    It sort of matters.

    Yes, the Palmach had smuggled hundreds of hand grenades into Baghdad, but were they the type being used to bomb out Iraqi Jews? No one seems to have said so, which leads us back to the Iraqi Christian officer who was initially arrested for the bombings. He was found in possession of the same type of explosives used in the bombing

    “Gat 1997, p. 180: “It should be pointed out in this context that the Hebrew daily Davar wrote on 28 January two weeks after the incident, that Major Jamil Mamo, a Christian officer in the Iraqi army, had been arrested on suspicion of perpetrating the crime in the Mas’uda Shemtov synagogue. A search of his home revealed three explosive devices of the kind thrown into the synagogue. The officer, according to rumours spread in the Iraqi community in Israel at the time, was a member of the Istiqlal party…”

    Means, motive, opportunity.

    1. @ Barbar: You’re now officially done in this thread. I don’t intend this thread to be monopolized by your historical revisionsm regarding Israeli false flag operations in Arab lands.

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