chapter  17
10 Pages

The Jews of Baghdad in 1910

The world evoked by Sir Gerard Lowther's letter on the Young Turks, the Freemasons and the Jews, and by Sir Mark Sykes' letter on Zionism is a world of fantasy, incompatible, surely, with the practical concerns of diplomacy and foreign policy. But bizarre as these ideas may seem to us, yet they were taken very seriously by those who propounded, and those who listened to, them. One wonders if they thought of comparing these imaginings about the occult power of Jewry with the activities and the way of life of actual Jews. Did Lowther and Fitzmaurice, for instance, read the solid 'Account of the Jewish Community at Baghdad', which the consulgeneral in Baghdad sent them in February 191O? And did they ask themselves if the picture it drew of this large and active community was in any way to be reconciled with the lurid fictions which they were then compiling?