Monday, July 16, 2007

The Case of the Jewish Refugees

David Harris has a post up on the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forced to flee their homes in the Arab World over the course of the 20th century. What was once an ancient and vibrant community has been completely decimated, currently existing at around 1% of its population at the time Israel was founded. Fortunately, many were able to escape and resettle in the new Jewish state. But it is still telling how little attention their experience has gotten vis-a-vis their Palestinian brethren (although, for whatever reason, I've noticed a recent uptick in discussion about the history of Jewish refugees).

I blogged about this history here, and I still think it represents most of what I have to say on the subject. The international community has internalized a certain level of violence and suppression against Jews that it deems tolerable. It will not condemn anything that is not a gross deviation from that norm. It simply doesn't shock anybody to see Jews exiled and forced to flee for their lives. And while their resettlement in Israel is what prevented this problem from turning into a crisis, there is very little recognition of the way in which this proves the necessary and indispensable function that Israel serves in the modern world.

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