Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Show some sympathy for Yazidis

 Gina Waldman

The year 2014 will be remembered as the year that a genocidal  group overran large parts of Iraq and Syria, destroying age -old minorities. Gina Waldman of JIMENA , writing in the Times of Israel,  calls for sympathy with, and support for, beleaguered Yazidis:

In 1941, during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Iraq’s pro-Nazi government led by Rashid Ali al-Kailani encouraged mobs to pillage the Jewish quarter of Baghdad and to kill and rape innocent men, women, children, and babies. This pogrom or Farhud left 120 dead, dozens wounded and the Jewish quarter destroyed. In 1952, 120,000 Iraqi Jews were stripped of their nationality and fled with only the clothes on their backs. Today the Jewish community of Iraq is extinct.

Similar events are currently taking place in Iraq and again, violence is directed at minority communities who have been part of the fabric and the history of Iraq, and the Middle East, nearly 1,000 years before the advent of Islam. Violent attacks by ISIS targeting Yezidis, Shabaks, Assyrian Christians, and other groups have escalated to ethnic cleansing and genocide. The Middle East, which used to be one of the most diverse regions of the world, is sadly becoming one of the most homogenous.

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