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Regional History

What happened to the Jews of Iraq?

 A war-torn nation now split between the Iraqi government, ISIS controlled areas, and the Kurdish region of the north, Iraq is certainly no safe land for anyone, let alone the small ethno-religious minorities that once thrived there for centuries. It's hard to imagine now, but Iraq was once home to a large Jewish population of over 150,000 souls, one of the longest surviving and most historically significant of Jewish communities in the Diaspora. As of 2008, there were less than ten Jews counted still living in Iraq, and the number today may very well have dwindled to none.

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THE ISRAEL YOU DON'T SEE ON THE NEWS

 Amidst the whirlwind of tensions that monopolizes much of Israel's airtime attention, it does appear to be a wonder sometimes that anyone would choose to live in such a tumultuous and threatened nation, let alone vacation here. Indeed, it is not unusual for outsiders to shake their heads dismally at the newest sensationalized upheaval, wondering, 'when will those hot-heads in the Middle East get their act together?' And this languid desire for peace and quiet is not unfounded; in point of fact, the state of Israel has been in a perpetual state of war with its neighboring countries since it's Declaration of Statehood in 1948, which was marked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq launching a joint attack on the infant nation meant to 'drive the Jews into the sea'. The truth is Israel itself would like some peace and quiet more than anyone. And yet, despite the troubling realities of a nation living under the constant shadow of war, Israel has miraculously thrived in almost every way imaginable! 

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An Evening of Songs for Danny - ערב שירים לדני

 אחרי מלחמת ששת הימים, משנת 1969 התקיימו כל שנה במערה הקסומה, שבקיבוץ בית-גוברין, ערבי שירה עם מיטב הלהקות והזמר העברי. הערב נקרא: "ערב שירים לדני", לזכרו של דני ורדון מגבעת ברנר, אשר נפל באל-עריש במלחמת ששת הימים.


 Following the Six Day War (the War of Independence), starting in 1969, performances took place every year at the enchanting cave of Kibbutz Beit-Guvrin providing evenings of song by the best of Hebrew singers and bands.  This evening was called: "An Evening of Songs for Danny", in remembrance of Danny Verdon of Kibbutz Givat Brenner, who fell in Al-Arish during the Six Day War.

המשך...
May 08, 1972

Sabena Flight 707

On May 8, 1972 a Boeing 707 passenger aircraft of the Belgian airline company, Sabena, that was in flight from Vienna to Tel Aviv, was hijacked by four terrorists from the Palestinian terrorist organization, Black September, and landed at the Tel Aviv airport near Lod.


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May 01, 2000

Ben-Zion Netanyahu (1910-2012)

Prof. Ben-Zion Netanyahu passed away at his Jerusalem home, at the age of 102. Ben-Zion Netanyahu and his late wife Tzila, who passed away in 2000, had three sons – Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan (Yoni) Netanyahu, who was killed during Operation Yonatan in Entebbe; Benjamin, the Prime Minister of Israel; and Ido, a doctor, writer and playwright. Read More...
April 23, 1963

Yitzhak Ben-Zvi (1884-1963)

Yitzhak Ben-Zvi was a historian, Labor Zionist leader, and the second and longest-serving President of Israel.

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April 22, 1979

Samir Kuntar Murders Israeli Family

Samir Kuntar is a Lebanese Terrorist who belonged to the Palestine Liberation Front. He participated in an attack on an Israeli family in 1979, and murdered three Israelis: a 28 year-old man, his 4-year-old daughter, and an Israeli policeman; the man's 2 year-old daughter suffocated as her mother tried to quiet her crying.

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April 18, 1948

Israel's War of Independence

On May 15, 1948, day after the creation of the State of Israel, the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon invaded the new Jewish state.

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April 13, 1948

The Hadassah Medical Convoy Massacre

The Hadassah medical convoy massacre took place on April 13, 1948, when a civilian convoy, escorted by Haganah militia, bringing medical and fortification supplies and personnel to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus was ambushed by Arab forces. Seventy-nine Jews, including doctors and nurses, were killed in the attack.

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Is Obama worse than Chamberlain?

The comparison between Lausanne 2015 and Munich 1938 lets Iran off lightly, as Germany at the time wasn't calling for 'Death to the Jews'.

 When Jan Masaryk, the foreign minister of Czechoslovakia at the time, heard first-hand the English Parliament greet Neville Chamberlain's announcement about a summit meeting with Adolf Hitler with raucous applause, he was rather confused. After all, the threatening German leader was demanding appeasement in the form of a piece of Masaryk's own country. The summit took place two days later. Representatives of Czechoslovakia weren't even invited. They were simply notified. The rest is history.

 

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March 29, 2001

Chaim Herzog (1918-1997)

Israel's sixth president, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Member of the Knesset and an outstanding figure in Modern Jewish history.

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We don't need another failure

Given upheaval in Arab world, Obama needs to ask himself why he thinks a Palestinian state is viable right now; meanwhile, Israel's right needs to understand that its actions are leading to a bi-national state.

 Two days after the Israeli elections, Islamic State carried out suicide attacks at two mosques in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, murdering around 150 individuals. The day before, an Islamic State offshoot perpetrated a terror attack in Tunisia that killed 23 people, mostly tourists. During the same two-day period, seven people were murdered in an attack in Kathua, India, and 70 bodies were discovered in Damasak, Nigeria. Who heard? During the course of February, 1,977 people were murdered by Jihadists around the globe – all in acts of terror only. And as I write these words, reports are coming in about massacres being carried out by Iraqi-Iranian forces in the city of Tikrit, Iraq.

 

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March 26, 1979

Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat sign on the peace agreement between the two states.

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March 21, 2001

Founding of Kibbutz Hanita

Kibbutz Hanita was founded in 1938 on a land purchased by David Ben-Gurion, then head of the Jewish Agency For Palestine. IsraCast presents the original letter sent by Moshe Shertok of the Jewish Agency to the Lebanese Prime Minister Al-Adhab and his reply letter.

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March 01, 2000

David Rubinger (1924-2017)

David Rubinger was an Israeli photographer and photojournalist. Nicknamed by Shimon Peres "the photographer of the nation in the making", he spent his professional career chronicling the story of the nation of Israel, and is perhaps most remembered by his famous photograph of three Israeli paratroopers at the Western Wall just 20 minutes following the recapture of the Western Wall and the decisive Israeli victory of the Six-Day War. The picture went on to become an iconic image to Israel's national narrative, inspiring national pride and Zionism. Because of the strong emotions it invoked, in 2001 Israeli Supreme Court Justice Misha'el Kheshin declared that the photo had "become the property of the entire nation."

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THE YOM KIPPUR WAR - 42 YEARS OF REMEMBERING

Recommended Articles

 The IsraCast guide to information on the Yom Kippur War of 1973:  Access to live recordings from the war, exclusive post-war recording of Arik Sharon discussing his part, historical facts you may not have known about the war and its many complexities, insightful analysis of the war and region, and explanation of the Yom Kippur - the holiest day in the Jewish Year.

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EXCLUSIVE! Recording of never-before-played song from the Yom Kippur War

During the war, a portion of the recordings that Avi Yaffe recorded of the war were publicized.  After hearing these recordings, Avi was approached by singer Avraham Pereira and Composer Haim Tzur to record a special set of songs written in lieu of the war in Avi's studio.

במלחמת יום הכיפורים, כאשר חזרתי הביתה, פורסמו חלק מההקלטות שביצעתי בעת המלחמה במעוז פורקן.
בעקבות זאת, פנו אלי הזמר אברהם פררה והמלחין חיים צור וביקשו להקליט באולפני מספר שירים.

 

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An ethnic war in Iran is only a matter of time

Op-ed: Imagine the Islamic Republic falling apart like Syria, Iraq, Libya or Yemen in a civil war with armed militias – and nuclear facilities all over the area.

 In Independence Day, I received a message on Facebook from a man who lives in Iraq and wanted to congratulate the State of Israel on its independence and thank it for destroying Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor in 1981.

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Operations Ezra & Nechemia

From 1950 to 1952, Operation Ezra and Nehemiah airlifted 120-130,000 Iraqi Jews to Israel via Iran and Cyprus. By 1968 only 2,000 Jews remained in Iraq. The operation is named after Ezra and Nehemiah, who led the Jewish people from exile in Babylonia to return to Israel in the 5th century BC, as recorded in the books of the Hebrew Bible that bear their names.

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May 17, 1967

Liberation of the Temple Mount and Western Wall

Hear the sounds of gunfire, the footsteps of Israeli soldiers as they draw closer and closer and as General Uzi Narkiss instructs them and asks to be shown where the Western Wall stands. Hear triumphant Brigadier, General Shlomo Goren, who was later to become the Chief Rabbi of Israel, as he recites the memorial prayer and sounds the shofar as Israeli soldiers weep with sorrow over their comrades killed in combat.

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Listen to Historic Broadcast Includes transcript of the recording