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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 16, 2003

The 10 Plagues of Iraq

Passover begins tonight. Family and food. The first great joyous festival of freedom, echoing through the ages. Bound up in Jewish history, in Christian culture and even in the Negro spirituals of the American south:
"Go down Moses,
Way down in Egypt land,
Tell old Pharoh,
Let my people go."
Every year we gather together at our Seders, links in the chain of a long and proud story. This year, that story has special relevance. Again. In freedom and liberation, yes. And in the Passover wine, drops spilled from the cup as we mourn the blood spilled by the heaven-sent plagues that eventually ended Pharaoh's rule.

Iraqi dissident and human rights activist Kanan Makiya wrote on April 9th: "Baathism died in Iraq yesterday". Beyond all hope comes the force of a mighty hand, and Pharaoh is fallen at last. Along the way, however, the Iraqis too have suffered their own version of the 10 plagues. This Passover, as we sit at our Seders, let us spare a thought for them... and for the difficult post-exodus portions of the Passover story their society has yet to travel. (read the rest)