Iraqis rightly protest having Saturday off (says a Jewish guy)

Re: Iraq students protest having Saturday off (Miami Herald, 2/27/05) http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/breaking_news/11001250.htm As a Jewish American I have to agree with the Iraqis who are complaining about Saturday being selected as their day off and who say that the decision is dangerous. While there were at least a quarter million Jews in Iraq 60 years ago, Iraq now has one of the world's smallest Jewish populations, probably under 100 in the whole country and only 35 in Baghdad. Iraqis say they don't want to "be like Jews" and they have every right to say it. To choose Saturday as a holiday needlessly makes Iraqis feel that the USA, and by proxy Israel, intends to determine their culture and not just the political system. It's a bad decision by the powers-that-be which unnecessarily creates more anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism in a part of the world which needs far less of both.
  • Brad Warbiany
    Comment from: Brad Warbiany
    02/27/05 @ 06:57:15 pm

    That's just silly. I think some rabbis should officially declare that every day of the week is sacred to them and the Jewish religion. Then, Iraqis can't take *any* days off! Now, if the Iraqis want to change their holiday to whatever they want, that's no problem. But someone should take a little time to explain to them that international commerce is mainly a Monday-Friday affair. It sounds like the rest of the Muslim world is Thursday/Friday or just Friday, but I guarantee that this is going to be a future issue as the Muslim world modernizes and has to work with the West.

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    02/28/05 @ 07:11:04 pm

    I'm not saying it's not silly of the Iraqis to protest a Saturday day off being too "Jewish". I am saying it was a stupid move on the part of whomever made the decision. Just because the Iraqi reaction is irrational does not mean it was unpredictible. My point is simply that we don't need the added anti-American and anti-Israel feelings at this time no matter how idiotic it is that the people feel that way.

  • Brad Warbiany
    Comment from: Brad Warbiany
    02/28/05 @ 07:28:35 pm

    I think this is just people making a mountain out of a molehill. If they're that upset, the US just has to say this: "Sorry, we use Saturday in the US, and hadn't thought about its significance in your culture. Choose whatever day best suits you." There problem solved. Nobody needs to "boycott" the weekend.