Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Shafik Ades was hanged, 65 years ago
With thanks: Lisette
There is a street named after Shafik Ades in Herzliya. There are two other towns in Israel with 'Shafik Ades' streets. But most people have not heard of him.
Yossi Alfi, a storyteller and talkshow host, once heard the mayor of one of the towns being interviewed on the radio. The mayor was being accused of being anti-Arab. "Me anti-Arab?" he exclaimed. " But I've even named a street in my town after an Arab!
Alfi was furious and rang in. " Ades was not an Arab, he was a Jew! In fact, he was hanged because he was a Jew! You can't get more Jewish than that!"
This clip by Dan Len (Hebrew) tells the story of Shafik Ades, the richest and best-connected man in Iraq, who was accused of being a Zionist and ignominiously strung up on the gallows in front of his family home in Basra while the mob cheered.
It was September 1948 - exactly 65 years ago. All his wealth and his connections couldn't save Ades. The execution of Ades sent shivers of fear down the spines of Iraq's Jews. If it could happen to Ades, a friend of the Regent, a man whose sympathies could not be further from Zionism if he tried, it could happen to them, they reasoned. Shafik Ades's execution was one of the main reasons why Iraq's Jews streamed out when they were given the chance - the vast majority to Israel.