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The Iraqi Government Urges that Jewish Emigration be Speeded Up, 1951, Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, Jewish Publication Society, 2003.

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THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT URGES THAT JEWISH EMIGRATION BE SPEEDED UP OR IT WILL TAKE DRASTIC MEASURES OF ITS OWN

(1951)

Cypher/OTP FOREIGN OFFICE AND WHITEHALL DISTRIBUTION

FROM BAGHDAD TO FOREIGN OFFICE

Sir H. Mack D. 12.04 P.M. 25th January, 1951
No. 59

24th January, 1951. R.12.41 P.M. 25th January, 1951.

CONFIDENTIAL

Addressed to Foreign Office telegram no. 59 of 24th January.

Repeated for information to Tel Aviv and Saving to British Middle East Office (Cairo)

Washington

Iraqi Jews.

The Acting Prime Minister and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs expressed again today the anxiety of the Iraqi Government about the situation which would exist when the law authorizing emigration expires in March, leaving about 50,000 Iraqi Jews as stateless persons in Iraq. They feared that these would become a danger to the country and would themselves be in danger from the Iraqi people. They begged for our help and asserted that unless a solution were found the Iraqi Government would be compelled to drive them over the frontier to Kuwait or elsewhere.

2. I repeated that His Majesty’s Government could accept no responsibility. The Iraqi Government had passed the law without consulting us. Our only concern was humanitarian. For Kuwait or Cyprus to take these people temporarily was out of the question and I understand that Jordan had refused their passage. The only solution therefore was for the Israeli Government to permit an increase of intake. If this was unobtainable they might be put in camps in Iraq administered by some international Jewish body. (Please see Tel Aviv telegram No. 515 of the 7th November 1950 paragraph 4.)

 


4. The Iraqis are in earnest about this. Their real fear is of a general war which would find them with a large number of stateless and disloyal persons, many of them without means of support within their border. They are also genuinely afraid of a popular outburst against the Jews similar to that of May 1941.

PRO (London)

FO 371/91689.

p. 529

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