WikiLeaks Cables May Imperil Baghdad Jews

'The older ones are refusing to leave,' priest says
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2011 1:59 PM CDT
An Iraqi security guard stands at the entrance of a mosque at the Jewish shrine of Ezekiel in the Iraqi town of Kifl, south of Baghdad.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Baghdad's few remaining Jews are being warned to flee after WikiLeaks published cables including their names last month, McClatchy reports. An Anglican priest working with the US embassy is trying to persuade the city's last Jewish members—all nine of them—that they are in danger. "Most want to stay," says Rev. Canon Andrew White. "The older ones are refusing to leave. They say: 'We're Iraqis. Why should we go? If they kill us, we will die here.'"

The cables describe deteriorating conditions for Baghdad's Jews and lay out a bleak assessment of their future—and provide biographical sketches of all of them. White and the US embassy harshly criticized WikiLeaks for releasing the cables, but the whistleblower site has declined to comment. Jews have a 2,700-year history in Iraq, once numbering around 130,000, but have fled since a Nazi-inspired pogrom in 1941 and the creation of Israel in 1948.

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