As it will be demonstrated below, this argument was concocted to deflect the discussion from the core issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (the collective dispossession and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people). It should be noted that the "Jewish state" and Zionism were created in response to the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and not in the Middle East. Ironically, Jewish historians still associate Jewish Golden Age not in Europe, not in the United States of American, but in Arab ruled Spain (Andalusia) and Muslim Turkey
- It's a known fact that most, if not all, of the Arab Jews were under the
direct and indirect control of the British and French occupations, who were
(and still are) very sympathetic to the Zionist cause. So even if it was
"true" that Arab Jews were "expelled" from their countries,
could have been easily stopped by the friendly colonial powers.
- Very little evidence exists that Arab populations or Arab authorities,
in the various Arab nations, were involved in 'expelling' their Arab Jewish
The Arab Jewish minority may had been a victim of sporadic revenge attacks
(in response to Zionist atrocities perpetrated against Palestinians during the 1948 war), however, there is no
proof whatsoever that this violence was organized by any group (state or non-state) whatsoever.
- Arab Jewish immigration occurred in stages as the
"Jewish state" was able to absorb them. First priority was given
to the Western/Ashkenazi Jews, whom according to
Moshe Sharitt (first
Israeli Foreign Minister) are
considered the "....salt of the earth..."(1949,
The First Israelis, p. 173), and when many preferred to go to
America, they turned to Arab Jews to populate Palestine in the early 1950s
and 1960s, and when that was
not enough the Jewish Agency turned to the Falashas (Ethiopian Black Jews) and
Russian Jews. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that early on Ben-Gurion
(the first Israeli Prime Minister) made sure
that the priorities of the newly founded "Jewish state" should be 'Alyah (or
immigration in Hebrew) rather than peace with its Arab neighbors (Righteous
Victims, p. 263).
- It should be noted that the vast majority of the vibrant and assimilated
Turkish Jewish community immigrated to Israel despite Turkey's early
recognition of the "Jewish state" in 1949. So the immigration of Jews from a
friendly Muslim and Arab countries (not only from a non-Arab nation like
Turkey, but also from Morocco, Tunisia, and even the Persian majority nation
of Iran under the Shah before the Islamic Revolution of 1979) was being encouraged by the Jewish Agency.
Ironically, the policy that encouraged Arab Jews to immigrate to Israel is still being
used towards French, Argentinean, Russian, Central Asian,
and American Jews. In a nutshell, this policy is governed by absorption capacity
for the "Jewish state", which has always preferred
Western Jews over Jews from Arab and Muslim countries.
- The Jewish Agency facilitated the transportation of the Arab Jews to
Israel by bribing many of the local
Arab and Muslim (as in the case of Iran) officials. For example, many of the Iraqi Jews were transported to the "Jewish state"
via Iraqi Airways after bribing Nuri al-Said (the Iraqi PM at the time) and his
wife (al-Nakba wa al-Firdous al-Mafqoud by 'Aref al-'Aref).
Similarly, the Yemeni Jews were transported to Israel via friendly
airlines. Ironically, the Falashas (Ethiopian Jews) were forgotten next
door as their Yemeni brothers were being flown from Aden; they were picked
up thirty years later (via Sudan's airports) after bribing President
Numari of Sudan!
- When Arab Jews were hesitant to leave, Zionist gangs resorted to
intimidating them by throwing bombs into their synagogues, as it was the
case with the Iraqi Jews (see Related Articles
section for details).
- As it has been the the case with
Moroccan and Tunisian Jews, Arab Jews who left their counties can return
back and reclaim their citizenships and properties; that is their basic human right.
- It is a fact that the Iraqi Government issued a plea on December 11,
1975 to its Jewish
citizens living abroad to come back to Iraq.
Click here to view text of the advertisement that was published in the
New York Times.
- When many Arab authorities blocked the immigration of their Jewish citizens
to Israel, the Jewish Agency and many Western embassies protested, as in
the case of Syria.
- When so-called 'population exchanges" happen, it occurs as an agreement
between two or more sovereign nations, such as in the Greek/Turkish
'exchange' agreement of 1923. On the other hand there was not and is no
alleged "population exchange" agreement in the case of the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In a nutshell, to ethnically cleanse (illegal,
violent compulsory population transfer) the people of a whole nation and to
replace them with settlers from another group of people cannot be called a
'population exchange', but rather a war crime.
- It should be noted that in the case of the Palestinian people there is a
UNGA resolution 194 that calls for their return plus compensation (which has
been reaffirmed by the world body over 150 times since Sept. 17th, 1948). On
the other hand, there is no such resolution for Arab Jews since it is not
needed to begin with because there is no Arab country that blocks the return
of its Jewish citizens. Furthermore, the Palestinian people always demanded
their return at all levels (individually and collectively) since 1948; and
Arab Jews never call for their right of return but mostly they demand
compensation. In other words, the Palestinian people demand to return even
under Israeli rule, but until this date there is no organized body in the
Arab Jewish community in Israel calling for their own return to their
respective Arab countries.
- Beside the previous point, often Arab Jews react
negatively when called refugees. For example, Knesset speaker Yisrael
Yeshayahu declared: "We are not refugees. [Some of us] came to this country
before the state was born. We had messianic aspirations." Similarly Shlomo
Hillel, a government minister and an active Zionist in Iraq, adamantly
opposed the analogy: "I don't regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands
as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists." In
a Knesset hearing, Ran Cohen stated emphatically: "I have this to say: I am
not a refugee." He added: "I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull
that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to
define me as a refugee." Click
here to see the full report from the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.
- The "Jewish state" was founded by Zionists in response
to European anti-Semitism, not Arab anti- Semitism. It should be emphasized
that if it
was not for European anti-Semitism, Jews and Palestinians would
have stayed in their original home towns or countries as it had been the
case for thousands of years. In other words, the
"Jewish state" was founded to "save" European Jews; not the Arab Jews.
- According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by
the UN on 10 December 1948 any person has the right to leave his/her home
town and has the full right to come back to it. Such a right does not
diminish over time. This is one of the basics of human rights. So any
Arab Jews still have this basic inherent right.
- For decades, the Arab Jewish population in Israel were heavily discriminated against by the a Ashkenazi Jews, who kept them in refugee camps (Ma'baruts) living in tents for a very long time. For many, it was much easier to hire Israeli Palestinians than the Arab Jews living in Israel. It should be noted that the case of 300+ kidnapped Yemeni kids (who were later adopted by Ashkenazi families) have not been closed to this date.
- Now it can be told By Ha'aretz
- The Joe Golan Affair By Ha'aretz
- BEN-GURION'S SCANDALS By Naeim Giladi
- The Jews of Iraq By Naeim Giladi
- Hitching a ride on the magic carpet By H'aretz
- Any analogy between Palestinian refugees and Jewish immigrants from Arab lands is folly in historical and political terms By Ha'aretz:
- THE FORGOTTEN REFUGEES: the causes of the post-1948 Jewish Exodus from Arab Countries By Philip Mendes
- Interview with a former Mossad Agent Yehuda Tajar who was stationed in Iraq in the early 1950s. The interview was extracted from Occupied Minds By Arthur Nelson
- Interview with a Mizrahi Yammni Rabbi Shlomo Korah. The interview was extracted from Occupied Minds By Arthur Nelson
- Iraqi Government advertisements calling for the return of its Jews citizens who had fled their country Iraq after the breakout of the 1948 war
- Photos: The unknown story of Yemen's Jews By Yediot Aharonot
- Myths about Jewish refugees from Arab countries By Henry Lowi
- Video: Zionism versus Judaism By Naturi Karata
- From Haven To Heaven: Changes in Immigration Patterns To Israel