chapter  10
16 Pages

The Zionist Movement in Iraq during the Persecutions

The worst crisis in the history of the Iraqi Zionist movement began in October 1949 with an informer. Zionist sources relate that a communist, who had previously belonged to the Zionist movement, gave his interrogators the names of several Hehalutz counsellors. Dozens of Hehalutz members were soon arrested, including one who also belonged to the Haganah. The Hehalutz and Haganah institutions were disbanded, regular activity stopped and written material was hidden or destroyed. An ‘emergency institution’ comprising counsellors and emissaries was established to gather information and pass on instructions to the members. A three-man emergency committee (Naim Bekhor, David Shokher and Salim Khalifa) was also formed to persuade influential people to act.1 Advance information obtained from the police enabled the movement to take wanted members out of their homes and to hide them. Soon there were about one hundred people in hiding.2