Some 150 Iraqi Jews have managed to leave the country in the past five years, leaving just 38 Jews in Baghdad, and a handful in the Kurdish-controlled northern areas of the country. Whereas Baghdad once had 53 active synagogues, only one remains open.
Amazingly, Saddam Hussein's regime has in recent years shown reasonable tolerance toward the Jewish community, even refurbishing the tombs of Yechezkiel Hanavi and Ezra Ha Sofer (also considered sacred by Muslims), as well as that of Yonah.
In 2001, 8 countries had a Jewish population of 100,000 or more; another 5 countries had 50,000 or more.
Many people do not realize how large and vital the Jewish populations of these Moslem-Arab countries were, with our historical consciousness swamped by Holocaust and pre-Holocaust literature.Europe was decimated of its Jewish population and Israel and America became the new major centers of Jewry.France, the Soviet Union and Hungary were the three Holocaust-hit countries left with reasonable populations.In 1939, there were 17 million Jews in the world, and by 1945 only 11 million.While in the 13 years following the Holocaust the Jewish population grew by one million, it took another 38 years for it to grow another million.
Knack, which published the findings, says the DNA was tested under stringent laboratory conditions.