INT: So you were in London, and you’re sending letters to your parents?
ED: Well that came after
INT: Could they tell you about what was happening in Baghdad?
ED: No, no. In, [they ]kind of, covered [up], what do you call it, enigmatic?
ED: Yeah, very little. But I did something that they suffered for. You know, we were sitting in the, what they call the Common Room at college, and [we had ] the Telegraph, you know at college everyone is celebrating the State of Israel and I was Jewish and in London. I mean, that’s fantastic and I had friends, they were very well-to-do, they were in Belgium. She sent me, my girlfriend, my best friend, she sent me a cutting about the State of Israel and me, in my stupidity, or in my enthusiasm, I sent that piece of paper in a letter to my brother. And as I was just saying, everything was censored.
“Ah, that’s your sister, you are all Zionist and this is what you are all, you are just, you are terrible, you’re the scum of the earth, and all the other expletives about the Jews.” And they took them to prison to question them. And so, you know, they asked them about their family and that, and my dad had two brothers in America, one in New York, one in California at that time, for a long time they were there.
“So you get letters from them as well. So your daughter now is in London, and you are quite a ring,[network] you cover the whole world of Zionism. Your daughter is an agent in London, you’ve got your brothers in America and now you’ve got Hebrew books and you’re getting sent letters and you’re writing letters.”
So they put them in prison and the way they treated them, my brother, you wonder why my brother suffers like that, Abraham [my brother]. They tortured him and he spoke up because he was very young, and my dad used to tell him to ‘shut up, shut up.’ “No I’m fighting for my rights.” “We have no rights, be quiet, and just let me speak for you.” And they kept, you know, hitting him and that. He was very ill and my brother suffered, you know
INT2: The three boys and your dad.
ED: Yes, but Abraham was the one who was most [out]spoken, Na’eem took it lying down, but Abraham thought he was going to defend himself and this is what I said in the letter, “the State of Israel and we’re all very happy and all that, so we’ll get rid of all”. I must have put a line to say, “we’ll get rid of all this anti-Semitism now”, and that, and that got in and they went to the British Consul, [and said] “Look at what that girl, the Jewish girl, is writing about us and about everything”, so, I was, what do they call it, a criminal as well, abroad, you know? [They] just tried to get me, so I was terrified at that time.
INT: Did they put your mother into prison as well?
ED: No, not my mother, but the boys. Na’eem was all right but Abraham got it really, and my dad
INT2: How did they get out?
ED: I don’t really know how they got out, by someone who really knew my dad through the work and also money, probably, changed that. I don’t really know the details of that, how they got out. So my brother, who suffered a lot, he tried to go to Israel and, at that time, that wasn’t allowed. It wasn’t, So he goes out as a fugitive, if you like. And he went via Iran and he was caught there. Iran was no better, and he was caught up in hospital. He developed appendicitis, So, Abraham was, that’s why he is not such a brave man now. He’s terrified, runs away from a mouse, now. So that really preyed on him, so he got, eventually, somehow or other, through the Agency, probably the Jewish Agency, he did get into Israel.
INT: Was he imprisoned, also, in Iran, after the appendicitis?
ED: He wasn’t imprisoned in Iran but he was persecuted there because he was a Jew. But, obviously, they took him to hospital to have his appendix out and they wanted rid of him. I don’t know how he got to Israel.