Re: Iraq students protest having Saturday off (Miami Herald, 2/27/05)
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.