Asalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatu Allah wa Barakatu (Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you),

Thank you so much for your warm wishes to the people of Iraq. I believe these wishes come straight from your heart and emanate from your evident kindness. 

This book is a serious step towards bringing Arabs and Jews together. We are cousins, both descendants of our great ancestor Ibrahim, peace be upon him. Love, and not hatred, should prevail between us. 

I am an Iraqi woman and recognize the fact that Jews lived in Iraq for 2000 years. We lived together for a long period of time and I even remember my parents telling me about their good relations with their Jewish friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, the Jews were forced to leave Iraq for certain reasons. 

These days, I am following Iraqi Jews’ pages on social media. I weep when I read their reminiscences of Iraq, the Jewish neighborhoods in which they lived, and the Jewish heritage, art and music they left behind. I realize how much of a cultural legacy they bestowed upon Iraq.

I am neither a writer nor a professional critic. However, I must say that whilst reading this book, I felt that the writer excelled in presenting the Jewish story, managing to clearly, effortlessly and engagingly shed light on the major events that shaped the collective Jewish identity.  

I similarly sensed that the writer’s intentions to work towards coexistence between the Jews and their Palestinian neighbors are genuine. He really wishes for everyone to live in peace and that the fear harbored by both sides will eventually fade away.

Nobody can deny the Jewish roots on this land: Jews were present here – on this Land of Israel, Palestine or however you want to call it – before Jesus was born. The Jews were exiled by the Babylonians to Iraq (Babel) and to this day there remain many tombs of righteous men from Bnei Israel all over Iraq, although some such tombs have been repurposed as mosques. At the same time, a great many other peoples have lived on this land since ancient times, some of whom emigrated from Arabia, leaving the desert for Egypt, Iraq and the Levant. 

I believe that the two-state-solution is the only way to resolve this conflict. However, this will not be achieved without putting an end to the radicalization that spreads so much hatred amongst the inhabitants of the land. 

We must work on changing the education system and school curricula, and teach people the virtues of love and non-violence rather than the hatred and rage upon which today’s children are raised. Achieving this will prove extremely challenging and require immense time and effort; we must counter the deep-rooted Salafist mentality prevalent in many communities, whilst simultaneously withstanding Iran’s destabilizing regional activities. 

The State of Israel has been part of this region’s fabric of reality for 70 years now and the country is a neighboring country to multiple Arab nations. Peace must prevail between them, but must first and foremost flourish between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.

Unfortunately, a significant percentage of Palestinians hold radical views. Over 3,000 Palestinians blew themselves up in Iraq and killed innocent Iraqi civilians. Nonetheless, I don’t want to generalize because I believe that the vast majority of Palestinians are good people who would love to live in peace with their Jewish neighbors, just as their Jewish neighbors want to live in peace with them. 

I am so grateful to you for inviting me to read this book and I wholeheartedly wish that peace will prevail between the followers of the three Abrahamic religions. 


Wishing you all the best,

Suhair from Iraq


To read Yossi’s response check this link