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Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Times of Israel
29 May 2021

The Wiesenthal Centre is proud to join 26 organizations, led by HARIF, the UK-based Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on 30 May, to commemorate, the 1 June 1941, Farhud Baghdad pogrom against its 2,700-year-old Jewish community.

80 years ago, Nazi Germany inspired then Iraqi Prime Minister, Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani, to unleash the Farhud (“violent dispossession” in Arabic), reportedly leaving over 180 Jews murdered, some 600 unknown bodies in a mass grave, 700 wounded, rapes and destruction of Jewish properties.

The British Ambassador, apparently, failed to carry out orders from London and requests from British military nearby to act against the mobs. It has been claimed that the British delay in entering Baghdad for 48 hours, had an ulterior motive to allow so-called “clashes between sectarian groups.”

In 2015, the Israeli Mission to the UN organized a meeting to recognize 1 June as “International Farhud Day.”

One may view the current wave of antisemitic violence against Jewish communities across Europe and North America as representing early features of “Farhud”. The Rashid Alis of the day are Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah…

Festering antisemitic Jihadi terrorism, targeting Jews, broke out from the 1980s Copernic synagogue bombing in France, leaving 4 dead and 46 wounded, escalating to 72 other massacres over the decade, until the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Centre in Buenos Aires, with 85 dead and over 300 wounded, organized by Iran.

The 20th century brought the transplantation of the Middle East Intifada, principally across Western Europe. The globalization of Jew-hatred arrived with the 2001 “United Nations World Conference Against Racism” in Durban, South Africa, which closed with the siege of the Durban synagogue by pro-Palestinians brandishing banners stating, “Hitler did not finish the job!”

UN so-called Durban 2 and 3 were opened by then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spewing Judeophobia. Indeed the hand of Iran is the contemporary version of Nazi Germany. A Durban 4 meeting is now planned for September at UN Headquarters in New York. Australia, Canada and the United States will hopefully lead other countries in boycotting this foreseeable exercise in hate.

The 1938 Evian Conference, set up President Roosevelt to relocate European Jewish refugees – organized under the League of Nations, the forbear of the United Nations – was a farce of 32 member-states’ Ambassadors, each explaining why their countries would not receive Jews. Of the millions in need, only the Dominican Republic offered to take a part of them. Hence, up to five thousand there found a safe haven before the outbreak of World War Two and the Shoah.

Today, it is the UN Human Rights Commission, the UN General Assembly, the World Health Organization and the International Criminal Court, whose obsessive-compulsive affronts to the Jewish State make them responsible for the current wave of a new Intifada/Farhud.

The High Commissioner, Directors-General, Presidents, Rapporteurs, etc. have made one great mistake: their fomenting of antisemitism, anti-Zionism, Judeophobia, will send waves of support and arrivals from the Jewish Diaspora to strengthen the Jewish homeland.

The days of Evian and the “Wandering Jew” are over! Democratic member-states will not give up their benefits from the Start-Up Nation. Those failed states of the “Human Wrongs” agencies will continue to denigrate Israel among themselves, in their own echo chambers.

Our late mentor, Simon Wiesenthal, would say, “What begins with the Jews never ends with them.” France, with the largest Jewish and Moslem communities, will be the test for Europe. President Macron has called for a French Islam adhering to the values of the Republic. If this fails, the current victim of Saturday will be followed by the victim of Sunday, as also our friends among the people of Friday. That is our lesson from the Farhud.

Shimon Samuels is Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.