The Jews of Iraq, who numbered 120,000 in 1948, have
been persecuted since the establishment of the State of Israel. However,
in March 1950, the Iraqi government gave them permission to emigrate to
Israel on the condition that they give up their citizenship. Tens of
thousands of Jews left Iraq in the course of the following year after
being forced to sell their property at a very low value. They were
forbidden to take most of the proceeds with them.
In March 1951, the Iraqi government froze - with no
warning - all of the assets of the remaining Jews who were no longer
permitted to sell their property at all. Thus, tens of thousands left the
country penniless and many were robbed by Iraqi customs officials and
police officers of whatever jewelry, money or possessions they had left.
The estimated current value of the seized Jewish property in Iraq is $3-4
Following the Six Day War, the remnants of the Jewish
community came under a rule of terror, which included arrests, torture and
executions. The Jews lost all of their sources of income and savings due
to an official policy of discrimination. Almost all of the Jews fled Iraq
in the early 1970s leaving all of their belongings behind.