Iraqi Jews turn down Sharon’s immigration offer, prefer to stay in Iraq
The few tens of Iraqi Jews who are still in Iraq have turned down an offer by the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to immigrate to Israel.
“Sharon’s offer came on the Jewish Passover feast (Pesach),” the Israeli daily Maariv said Wednesday. The Iraqi Jews turned down the offer saying they were too old to leave Iraq.
“ I hope you will be able to celebrate next Passover in Jerusalem.”
Sharon wrote in his message conveyed to the small Jewish community in Iraq, who do not exceed 50, as cited by Italian journalists.
The Iraqi Jew, Tawviv Sover, 90, thanked Sharon for his offer but did not accept it. “We are too old and Jerusalem will remain our dream,” Sover said.
Before the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Jewish community, which has been in in Iraq since the 7th century BC, was in excess of 100,000.
Ninety percent of this community immigrated to Israel since 1948, while 6,000 of the remaining 10,000 left Iraq secretly through the Kurdish north [of Iraq]. Others were able to obtain entry/immigration visas to Holland. (Albawaba.com)