Monday, October 02, 2006

Forgotten Refugees

I found this Wikipedia entry about the Jewish exodus from Arab lands to be quite interesting. Obviously, it's wikipedia, so take it with whatever grain of salt you give to that august research tool. I kind of vaguely knew that many Jews fled Arab countries as the 20th century progressed, but I had no idea it was this bad. The cause of the exile was rather standard fare (for Jews)--violence, oppression, anti-Semitic riots, anti-Jewish legislation. But it's the magnititude that is truly astounding. The entry claims that the Jewish population in Arab states declined 99 percent from 1945 to the present day, from a base population of between 758,000 and 866,000 Jews to fewer than 7,000. To compare, the article claims that the Arab population in Israel has actually rebounded to exceed its pre-1948 level.

Of course, few people talk about the Jewish refugees. One reason is that most have resettled in Israel, rather than being held in an indefinite limbo by the UNRWA because nobody was willing to take them (this, in itself, is a rarity for Jews, as prior to Israel most states, including America, were quite skittish about admitting Jewish immigrants). Another reason, to be blunt, is that the victims are Jews, and exile and oppression are just par for the course. I truly believe that the international community has incorporated a base of violence and oppression against Jews that is considered to be the norm, and will only condemn gross deviations from that norm. They are not at all interested in lowering that baseline or (perish the thought) eliminating anti-Semitic ideologies and actions in the global sphere. The idea of a Jewish refugee isn't shocking to anyone who has internalized the "mark of Cain" narrative about the Jewish people. What is shocking (and unsettling) is that these people found a homeland which has greeted them with open arms and full acceptance. That is an unforgivable sin.


daily_infidel said...

That story is absolutely true. It turns everything you hear about the Arab-Israeli conflict on its head.

This explains why the Oriental (Sephardic/Mizrahi) Jews, who are of Middle Eastern, North African and Spanish origin, and their descendents make up a larger portion of the Israeli population today than do Jews whose roots trace back to Europe.

And think about it: just as the world was learning of the horrors of the Holocaust, the Arab-Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa decided this was an appropriate time to ethnically cleanse their societies of Jewish populations, many of which pre-date Islam and some of which go back three thousand years, and had little or nothing to do with the modern Zionist movement. The total number of Jewish refugees from Arab-Muslim lands is greater than that of the Palestinians who fled Israel. The Jewish refugees never received a dime of aid or compensation from the Arab states or the international community. In most cases, they were forced to leave without being able to take their belongings, meaning they came to Israel destitute. The refugees Israel settled were more numerous than the number of citizens in Israel after its War of Independence. They did this without oil wealth. None of the refugees starved or went without a roof over their heads. Ultimately all were settled in permanent housing while the Arabs, with 22 nation-states, taking in three billion dollars a day in oil revenue and with plenty of cash to spread jihad and fund terrorism, have never found the need to build permanent housing, and with the exception of Jordan, provide Palestinians with full citizenship.

And don't forget about all the refugees from the concentration camps of Europe that Israel was absorbing at the same time.

Israel's enemies don't want this story told because it exposes the lie that Israel is an outpost of European imperialism.

Anonymous said...