The Israelis from the Jewish community of Iraq will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Operation Ezra and Nehemia on Thursday. A special event in Tel Aviv will be held with President Shimon Peres as the guest speaker. The ceremony will include important leaders of the Iraqi Jewish community and feature those that braved the journey.
The operation lasted from 1950 until 1952. The majority of the ancient Jewish community of Iraq, about 120,000 to 130,000 people, emigrated to Israel. The Iraqi government instituted laws requiring all those wishing to make aliyah and move to Israel to sell all property. They were also allowed to take a very limited amount of money and luggage with them. The operation paved the way for future rescue airlifts from other countries.