Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

Get access

Operation Ezra and Nehemia (Ali Baba)
(1,018 words)

Operation Ezra and Nehemiah (popularly called Operation Ali Baba) was the name given to the airlift in 1950 and 1951 that transported 119,000 Jews, the vast majority of the Jewish community of Iraq, to Israel. From the establishment of the State of Israel and the 1948 war on, Jews were persecuted and prohibited from leaving Iraq. Persecution of Jewsreached its peak in 1949 under Prime Minister Nūrī al-Saʿīd. When his government resigned in December 1949, persecution eased somewhat. In February 1950, the newly appointed prime minister, Tawfīq al-Suwaydī, a moderate pro-British pol…

Cite this page
Daphne Tsimhoni, “Operation Ezra and Nehemia (Ali Baba)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 21 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0017030>
First published online: 2010

▲   Back to top   ▲