This documentary investigates the stories of the dozens of thousands of Jews who emigrated to Israel in 1948 from Iraq, making up 25% of the new nation's Hebrew population. Leaving an Iraq in the 1940... more
Release DateU.S.Forget Baghdad: Jews and Arabs - The Iraqi Connection was released on
Friday, December 5, 2003 Release
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
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This documentary investigates the stories of the dozens of thousands of Jews who emigrated to Israel in 1948 from Iraq, making up 25% of the new nation's Hebrew population. Leaving an Iraq in the 1940s in which Jews lived in peace with Christian and Muslim neighbors, these emigres found themselves pitched into a new political environment in which they were not exactly welcomed, with Ben Gurion once saying of the Iraqi Jews, "We kicked out good Arabs and brought in bad Jews". Director Samir interviewed a quartet of elderly survivors from that time (who also happened to be Communists, which was another reason they were not welcomed), along with NYU film historian Ella Shohat, to make a film that combines their testimony with light-hearted fragments of the last 100 years of Jewish culture as documented in the movies, to demonstrate the sometimes thin, sometimes thick lines between Arabs, Jews, and those who have claim to both heritages (ie, the "Mizrahim", or Eastern Jews).