asher63 (asher63) wrote,

Reading update: 'Unwitting Zionists' - the Jews of Zakho and their background (pp 13 - 32)

Zakho is located in Kurdish country, in what is now Iraqi Kurdistan (northern Iraq), north of Dohuk and near the three-way border with Turkey and Syria. The Jewish community there trace their origins to Biblical times, and the exile of the Jews to Babylon after the destruction of the First Temple.

In the first part of Chapter 2, author Haya Gavish surveys previous written studies of the community, and then describes their position as "a minority within a minority" in Iraq (i.e., Jews living among Kurds in an Arab country). The city is geographically isolated as well, being situated on an island in a river.

Jewish-Muslim relations "were shaped by the delicate balance of power between the formal sovereign in Mesopotamia and local strongmen who ruled areas in Kurdistan." (p.27) Relations between Jews and Muslim Kurds remained generally friendly into the 20th century, although during Israel's 1948 War of Independence "some deterioration ... could be sensed". Overall, though, the relationship is described as "utterly unlike" that which existed in Arab Iraq.
Tags: books, hebraica, iraq, kurdistan

  • Portland.

    It was 20 years ago that I first moved to Portland. I lived there until the end of 2017, with a hiatus from 2007 to 2013 when I lived in San…

  • 2020-08-18 Tuesday evening: Morning adventures.

    Sometimes I sleep soundly through the night; more often, I'm awake at 2 or 3 in the morning and may or may not get back to sleep. Sunday night must…

  • Blocked.

    With the usually hectic pace of my personal life now approaching a lull, I have some time to catch my breath and dally in some of my side interests.…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.