Friday, October 21, 2005

Saddam's victims rejoice

The sight of Saddam Hussein in the dock was greeted with satisfaction by the sister of a young Jew hanged in Basra in 1969 on charges of spying for Israel, Orly Halpern writes in the Jerusalem Post:

"For the 50-year-old mother of three, the trial of Saddam helps the healing of a painful wound. "The trial is the closure of a circle," she said. "The closure began when Saddam was caught in a hole, humiliated, by US forces."

"The pain began in 1967. Following the Arabs' devastating defeat in the Six Day War, Iraq's 5,000 remaining Jews suffered increasingly oppressive restrictions from a government who suspected them of dual loyalties. Hanuka's family and other Jews were prohibited from leaving the country.

"The situation became far worse the following year when the Ba'athists, led by Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr and Saddam Hussein, took power through a bloodless military coup. Within a few months, security forces led by Saddam had rounded up scores of people on charges of spying. Fourteen were sentenced to death. Their public hanging was a holiday, and bus and train rides were free.

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