The talk will explore the Farhud, a series of urban riots against Iraqi Jews during which nearly 180 Jews were killed (June 1-2, 1941). The Farhud brought to the fore both the worst and the noblest aspects of Jewish-Iraqi relations. Essentially the first pogrom in a modern Arab state, it was a direct result of rampant nationalism, the violence of which reached epidemic proportions. At this time Iraqi Jews were attacked by their fellow citizens. The Farhud was also a moment when Muslim neighbors risked their lives in order to protect their Jewish friends, neighbors, and business partners and when friendship, loyalty, and religious and tribal notions concerning protection of the peoples of the book overcame nationalist xenophobia.
About the Speaker: ORIT BASHKIN is Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History. She is also the author of The Other Iraq – Pluralism, Intellectuals and Culture in Hashemite Iraq, 1921-1958 (Stanford UP) and co-author of Sculpturing Culture in Egypt: Cultural Planning, National Identity and Social Change in Egypt, 1890-1939 (Ramot Press). Her forthcoming book is New Babylonians, A History of Jews in Modern Iraq.