The Abandoned Synagogue of Qamishlo, Syria, in Photographs

In the city of Qamishlo, located in the Kurdish-ruled enclave of Syria known as Rojava, it is unlikely that more than one Jew remains. But the synagogue still stands, and Philipp Breu was able to visit and take photographs. He writes:

The building is guarded by a Syrian Kurd named Kamiran Hassan and he is keen to show visitors around. . . . Over the past years, the condition of the furniture has worsened and he is currently emptying both the synagogue and the yeshiva [attached to it] to clean and repaint some metal elements. He has asked me not to take too many photos of the courtyard because he feels a bit ashamed that it looks untidy, as three turkeys are currently roaming around the vicinity.

Apart from that, everything seems in dusty, but okay condition, although the books and religious papers lying around should be kept in a more preservative way, but the guard is unable to do so, since he doesn’t have any money. He wasn’t exactly sure of the age of the building, and according to him, the synagogue doesn’t have a name, or he is unaware of it. He also showed me the container for the Torah of the synagogue, which was empty. According to him, the Torah was evacuated already at the end of the 1940s by American Jews.

Breu’s photographs of the synagogue can be found at the link below.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Philipp Breu

More about: Kurds, Synagogues, Syrian Jewry

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin