The Nazi-Arab alliance: a neglected aspect of Holocaust education

Genocide is not the endpoint, but the starting point of the Arab and Islamist war against the Jews, preceding even the establishment of the State of Israel, argues Lyn julius in The Jerusalem Post:

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem with Bosnian volunteers of the Waffen-SS, November 1943. (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

How has it come to this? How is it possible that Israel, rather than radical Islamism, would become the villain on liberal campuses?”

The question was asked recently by the author and journalist, Yossi Klein Halevi. He argues that the charge of genocide against Israel is the endpoint of decades of delegitimizing Israel, in which its enemies have systematically dismantled the moral basis of each stage of Zionist and Israeli history.

First came the settler colonial canard, denying the Jews’ indigenousness in their ancient homeland. Then came the Nakba, the narrative denying that Palestinians were forced from their homes by a war that the Arab side started and lost.

Klein Halevi has tried to explain these obscene distortions of history by blaming Holocaust education. He claims that it has been a failure because educators have tried to universalize the message. Instead of being an unique expression of murderous antisemitism against the Jewish people, Holocaust education has become a generalized message of anti-racism.

Klein Halevi is right. But the problem is not just the universalizing of the worst catastrophe ever suffered by the Jewish people, it is ignoring the huge impact Nazism had on the Arabs. I would argue that genocide is not the endpoint, but the starting point of the Arab and Islamist war against the Jews, preceding even the establishment of the State of Israel.

Nazism inspired “secular” Arab nationalist parties, complete with paramilitary “shirts” brigades reminiscent of the Hitler Youth, to glorify militarism and martyrdom. Once independent, Arab autocracies sidelined and ultimately ethnically cleansed their non-Muslim minorities. Jews were identified with the hated European colonizers, although they had predated Arab and Muslim imperialism by 1,000 years or more. (If European colonialism was welcomed by Jews, it is because the European powers had insisted on ending their second-class status under Islam.)

The Middle East has since suffered a catastrophic exodus of minorities – Copts, Assyrians, Yazidis, Mandaeans, Baha’is – to the point that the region is now 99% monolithically Muslim. Close to a million Jews were forced to flee as refugees, most finding a haven in Israel.

Threats of genocide were made by Arab and Palestinian leaders in the run-up to and following the UN Partition Plan of 1947. Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League’s first secretary-general, made the memorable statement that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to “a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.”

While Israel thwarted such threats, it has remained embattled for the past 76 years.

In the 1950s, the Soviets played their part in demonizing Zionism. They declared Zionists to be the new Nazis.

After 1967, the Arab war was rebranded as a campaign against occupation and white settler colonialism. Israel succeeded South Africa as the focus of the fashionable anti-apartheid cause. The Left cemented its unholy Red-Green Alliance. The end result was the anti-Zionist takeover of liberal Western intellectual thought.

Arab nationalism has been replaced by Islamism, also inspired by Nazi antisemitism. The genocide Hamas hoped to perpetrate on the Jews derives from an Orwellian-style fear of Jewish domination and control.

This is an old idea, going back to the 1930s. European antisemitism seeped into the ideology of the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, and the Muslim Brotherhood, creating a toxic mix of jihadism and anti-Jewish hatred. The mufti turned anti-Zionism into an antisemitic movement when he incited violence against the non-Zionists of Hebron in 1929.

The mufti also helped stage a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq in 1941 and incited the anti-Jewish massacre known as the Farhud, making no secret of his wish to exterminate the Jews in his sphere of influence in the event of a Nazi victory. As Hitler’s guest in Berlin, the mufti of Jerusalem raised SS units of Muslim troops and broadcast poisonous anti-Jewish propaganda. “Kill the Jews wherever you find them! This pleases God, religion, and history”, he exhorted from the Berlin shortwave radio station.

For reasons of realpolitik, al-Husseini was never tried at Nuremberg for war crimes. Thus, the Palestinian cause was never de-Nazified. The mufti was, according to the scholar Matthias Küntzel, the linchpin of the Nazis’ great war against the Jews and the Arabs’ small war against Israel.

Nazus fought  alongside Arabs in the 1948 war and became military advisers to Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt. In the 1950s, Islamized antisemitism, influenced by European ideas of Jewish conspiracy and control, became entrenched in the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology. Nazi fugitives like Johann von Leers spread their poison in Egypt. Sayid Qutb wrote the Muslim Brotherhood playbook on Islamized antisemitism: Our struggle against the Jews.

Holocaust education remains resolutely Eurocentric, often erasing, for reasons of political correctness, the connection between the Nazis, their Arab sympathizers, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Such omissions convey the impression that the innocent Palestinians paid the price for European crimes against the Jews.

While the Palestinian nationalists of Fatah espouse politicide – destroying Israel by stages by overwhelming it with millions of returning Palestinian “refugees,” Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood created in 1987, wants to defeat Israel through terrorism. Its aim is genocide of the Jews – a never-ending series of October 7 massacres.

Therefore, Holocaust education needs to teach about the direct link between Nazism and the genocidal ideology of Hamas.

It may not be too late for decent-minded people to see through what is a thoroughly destructive and immoral cause.

Read article in full

Leaders ‘kept Jews in Iran in the dark’ about impending execution

The execution of a young Jew, Arvin Ghahramani, age 20, from the city of Kermanshah, has been postponed for now. But Jews in Iran are angry that they have been ‘kept in the dark’ by  their own leaders about his impending execution on charges of committing manslaughter following a street altercation. They claim that their leaders did nothing to secure Ghahramani’s release. Unlike Muslims, Jews are sentenced to death unless the victim’s family agree to accept ‘blood money’. Karmel Melamed has the story in JNS:

Arvin Ghahramani

Ghahramani is being held at the Dizelabad Prison in Kermanshah. He was arrested, quickly tried and sentenced to death for killing a Muslim man named Amir Shokri two years ago during a street brawl, according to a report from the Iran-based Human Rights Activists News Agency.

Rosa Parto, a freelance Iranian Jewish journalist based in Holland who was among the first Persian-language reporters to break Ghahramani’s story earlier last week, told JNS she spoke with members of the Jewish community in Iran. “They are both shocked and angered about the news of this impending execution for Arvin since they’ve been kept in the dark about it until now,” she said.

The Jews in Iran told Parto that Iranian Jewish leaders did not tell the Jewish community that they were working behind the scenes to try to secure Ghahramani’s release over the past two years. The leaders “failed to do anything to help him and are only now speaking out publicly as he’s facing imminent death,” Parto’s sources said.

Deborah Lipstadt, the U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, appears to be the only American official to comment on the pending execution; she did so shortly after confirmation of the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials in a helicopter crash earlier this week.

“We are deeply concerned by reports that authorities in Iran plan to proceed with the execution of Arvin Ghahramani,” Lipstadt wrote. “We note with concern that Iranian authorities often subject Jewish citizens to different standards when it comes to determining judgments in cases of this nature.”

“We once again urge the Iranian authorities to respect all fair trial guarantees and ensure fair application of the law,” she added.

Washington and others drew criticism when their delegates to the United Nations stood for a moment of silence on Monday for Raisi and the other officials. The U.S. State Department also offered “official condolences” on the deaths, and John Kirby, the White House national security communications adviser, told reporters on Monday that “offering condolences is a typical practice.”

“We are monitoring with deep concern reports that a young Jewish man is scheduled to be executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the coming days,” wrote the Anti-Defamation League.

“We call on the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy Service, the U.S. State Department and António Guterres,” the secretary-general of the United Nations, “to intervene with the Islamic Republic of Iran to stop what is reported to be their scheduled execution tomorrow of a 20-year old Iranian Jewish man,” wrote Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch on May 17.

Homayoun Sameyah Najaf-Abadi, head of the Tehran Jewish Committee—an umbrella group of Jewish organizations that work on behalf of Iranian Jews—posted in Persian on Telegram on May 16 that he was trying to help Ghahramani.

He wrote that he had tried in vain several times to talk to or meet with members of Shokri’s family to try and convince them to ask that the court not enforce the death penalty against Ghahramani. He said he sought to make contact through intermediaries, including Muslim leaders in Kermanshah; a Muslim Parliament member who represents the city; and the city’s Jewish communal leader.

Haroonian, the Los Angeles activist, explained to JNS that under the Iranian regime’s Sharia law, the family of a victim can ask state-run courts not to put the accused to death in certain circumstances.

“In some cases, if the family of the victim agrees to receive the diyah, or ‘blood money,’ which is normally cash or other forms of restitution, then the victim’s family can ask the court not to enforce the verdict of an execution or prison time,” Haroonian said.

Sameyah Najaf-Abadi, the Jewish leader in Iran, wrote in his Telegram post that he offered to pay the diyah to the Shokri family and to have a mosque or school built in the city in the name of the family’s dead son, but it refused all of his offers.

Read article in full

Execution of Iranian Jew postponed for a month

 

Egypt’s lost world, where time stood still

Jews who were driven out of Egypt have lost more than wealth and property – they have lost the intrinsic values of a now-vanished or corrupted way of life, argues Edna Turner, who recalls her childhood adventures out of Alexandria in Farhi.com:

Life on the marshes had scarcely changed since the time of the ancient Egyptians

A cousin of mine living in Cassis (France) recently sent me a list of the present owners of lavish mansions that had to be abandoned in Cairo, by their wealthy Jewish owners after 1948 and 1956.

I felt I had to write and explain my point of view regarding what was intrinsically lost as a result of our Second Exodus. My thoughts on this subject are not in any way meant to trivialize the loss of Jewish wealth and valuable possessions that the Egyptians looted.

The above financial successes by Jewish entrepreneurs represented the acumen, the hard, untiring work, and the ambition to excel at all cost that are part and parcel of our Jewish core.  It is my belief there was another type of loss that resulted from our Second Exodus. A loss that could never be replicated, and like Atlantis, irretrievably disappeared for ever.

When I was a child in Alexandria, and without my parents’ knowledge, I was in the habit of adventuring all over the city and off the beaten track. I was full of curiosity and on one of these adventurous rambles I discovered an opening in the thick bushes of a hedge in a park. I crept through and found myself in “Wonderland”. I had discovered the banks of the Mahmoudieh Canal.

On our way by car to Mariout and/or to the desert road leading to Cairo, my parents and I never stopped to watch the fascinating life of the fellaheen of the Canal.  We just drove across the rickety old bridge to the other bank. This led to the marshes of Lake Mariout (Mareotis) where fishermen in their robe, the gallabiyah, and their knitted prayer cap the ta’eyah, would deftly pole their flat bottom skiffs between the rushes, and spear the fish they needed to sell.

Similar scenes have been depicted on the walls of ancient Egyptian monuments and tombs.

The reeds spread fewer and far between giving way to breathtaking gossamer-tinted salt marshes that stretched as far as the eye could see. The salt marshes gradually changed to a sandy, crusty, low undulating landscape, where wild onions grew in profusion, their blossoms filling the air with a sweet scent. Dozens of busy scurrying little desert hedgehogs nuzzled around feasting on snails, worms, grubs and snakes.

When we slowed down to look at the view or walked around picking wild flowers, Bedouin children appeared from out of nowhere.  They ran barefoot across the dunes, on the other side of the road, across from the salt marshes, until they reached our car.  They had stunning opalescent gentle eyes of gazelles, contoured by black kohl, and wore a medley of shabby but colourful clothes of different lengths, one over the other and head scarves tied behind their frizzy sun-bleached hair.  “Beid! beid” they would call out to us ”eggs! eggs”  They carried wire baskets full of newly laid very large chicken eggs for sale.

These eggs were so fresh that my dad used to hold them up to the light of the sun to show me how transparent the shells were.  We always bought several dozens as they were a delicacy, and we never forgot to bring some back for my grandparents as well.

Other Bedouin children also had fresh dates, figs, chickens, donkeys, tiny lambs baaing loudly, as well as young goats for sale.  The Bedouins carried the latter straddled over their shoulder.  They were such a healthy looking happy giggling bunch, and although they were totally bereft of any material possessions, their beaming faces just glowed with the joy of having been able to sell us their eggs for a couple of piasters.

They peered through the car windows, marvelling at what was inside, and after waving goodbye and wishing us Rabbennou Khalliki.”May God protect you” they disappeared as quickly as they had appeared, running like graceful does across the sand towards their encampment behind the mysterious dunes.

The desert progressively took over and we reached the very dangerous, winding, strategic road that British army engineers had designed during WW2. Tanker-lorries and other commercial vehicles would now drive at catastrophic speed which frequently resulted in deadly crashes.  We used to call this twisting road “The Road of Death”…”La Route de la Mort”!

This accident-prone road first led us to the Rest House, a thick stone walled building, with a roof, and wide openings in the side walls from which we beheld the magnificent view of the desert, and its pearly white sand dunes. There was a small interior kitchen, where a polite and jolly smiling Egyptian cook made us Turkish coffee, sandwiches, crisp buttery croissants and pastry, and served us cold drinks.

A gentle dry cooling desert breeze swept through the shaded eating area with its tables and chairs.  One could hear the sounds of the desert wind, and the distant howls of jackals. There was no electricity, and large blocks of precious ice were delivered by lorries, and stored in huge ice-boxes.

I recall taking photographs with my Kodak box camera of my parents “hamming it up”, astride corroded and rusty carcasses of WW2 tanks and lorries that were partly buried in the white crystal coloured sand next to the Rest House.

After a needed rest, we continued on our way through the desert, until we delighted in the distant sight of the pyramids.  This meant that we had nearly reached our destination: Cairo.

There was thus no incentive for my parents to stop by the Mahmoudieh Canal when I was with them, for we had a long way to go once we were in the car.

As for me, when I was left to my own devices – my parents believing I was safe and sound at the Alexandria Sporting club with my friends, I would naively go off on my own, on my exciting and foolhardy adventures of discovery. I would find my way back to the Mahmoudiyeh Canal, to the hustle and bustle of native Arab everyday life.

I marvelled at the sight of unshod fellaheen on each bank of the canal strenuously tugging barges with ropes tethered round their bodies and how they would pull in unison to the beat and rhythm of their monotonous refrain.

Sitting on a dung-coloured boulder, I would gaze enthralled, wondering at a way of life which was so different from my own. No one ever bothered me and no one ever tried to harm me… I felt blessed indeed to have discovered a part of the real Egypt.

Several years’ later, during weekends, my mum would drive me to the banks of this same canal. I would sit on the same dung coloured boulder and sketch the everyday goings on of the fellaheen.

I drew the barber squatting on the ground in the ant and cockroach infested dirt facing his client who was also sitting in the dirt; and the barber shaved his client’s beard with a lethal looking sharply honed shaving knife. He twisted his client’s head this way and that in order to achieve perfection.

I watched the slender Arab women in long colourful robes walking barefoot, and carrying staggeringly heavy bales on their heads, one arm flung high holding on to their load, their hand protecting and steadying their precious bundles, or earthenware ollas filled with water, and treading with such regal gait.

I sketched them with delight, as I did the small boys their rheumy eyes attracting clusters of flies.  Stick in hand the barefoot children would whack and urge their heavily laden donkeys to go faster. I drew the donkey carts, and the camels calmly and unhurriedly plodding along, hessian sacks full of corn flung on either side of their hump.

I had sketched, drawn and painted hundreds of such occurrences.

And then one fatal day, as I tried to venture out of the car excited at the prospect of sketching some more, we found ourselves suddenly surrounded and attacked by a bloodhirsty- looking mob – the same gentle smiling fellaheen had turned into unrecognizable bellowing murderous thugs; their faces deformed and twisted with maniacal rage and tangible hatred; their hasheesh induced bloodshot eyes balefully glaring at us.

They started pushing and swaying the car trying to overturn it. They banged on the windows, trying to smash them, hoping to grab hold of us and throttle us to death! Or worse!!

“YAHOODI, SAHYOONI!  BANNAT EL KELLAAB!” they shrieked. (“Jews, Zionists, Daughters of dogs” – dogs were considered the lowest of the low after the pig).

My mum screamed at me to close the car window!

I have no idea how she managed to safely and calmly manoeuver the car from amidst this ragged, evil looking, and hate-filled rabble. But she did, and without a mishap.  My mum was an amazing lady! We sped away, the Arabs chasing after us, howling at us like hungry wolves, and pelting the car with rocks.

My mum and I were very shaken, and never returned to the area again. In fact we avoided going to any Arab-lustered area until our penniless departure in 1956 to the freedom and safety of England.

On another of my childhood meanderings  (again without my parents’ knowledge) I discovered an Aladdin’s cave …a sort of walled souk with dozens of shops one next to the other selling antique furniture, heavily gilded baroque frames, as well as solid gold and silver intricately worked jewellery studded with rubies, diamonds, and turquoises.

Each shop seemed to specialize in something different. They catered to British, French, and Italian tourists who, after a healthy and involved amount of haggling, bought their wares.

I watched gallabeyah -lad artists and artisans turning and hammering the most beautiful motifs on multi-coloured hand-made leather ottomans and brass trays. Others designed Islamic patterns on wooden boxes and plates, and delicately inlaid them with detailed carefully cut pieces of mother of pearl, gold and silver.

Still others would pedal on a crude pottery wheel with their bare and calloused foot which was white with encrusted clay. They fashioned clay pots and ceramic plates with their deft hands.  These items were then fired in primitive kilns after they were beautifully decorated with verses from the Koran.

I believe now that this was called the Attarine district.

On another childhood adventure, I would run as fast as I could through very dark and eerily narrow, dirty, smelly, winding lanes, with walls on either side stained and streaked  with urine – the public toilets of Arabs. These lanes led to a lively bustling sunny street.

Hole-in-the-wall shops galore, inside slender tenement buildings, one next to the other. There was no electricity, and the only light inside the shops came from outdoors. To reach the interior of the shops I had to climb a few stone steps.

Some of the friendly, warm -hearted yet impatient and loud -spoken shopkeepers sold thread, wool, buttons, fabrics, table cloths, clothes. Others sold pots and pans and kitchen paraphernalia, and still others sold spices and herbs. The shelves were groaning and collapsing with items for sale. The floors too were so filled with saleable bric a brac that customers could hardly move.

To my amazement I discovered the people in that street were all JEWISH! Their world was so different from my own, and they all seemed very happy, busily getting on with their daily life.

I returned several times to this lively and obviously very poor Jewish enclave, sitting on one of the stone steps, watching and enjoying the particular character of this ghetto; an atmosphere that was so alien to my way of life. I realized that I had inadvertently come across the Alexandrian equivalent of Israel Zangwill’s series of books “Children of the Ghetto,” set in London’s East End.

I walked eastwards, and arrived at the Kosher market in Camp de Cesar, but avoided the street where the Shochet plied his trade. I had been there once before, with my beloved nonno Anzarut, my grandfather.

He had been asked by my nonna Caroline to buy chickens for Shabbat.  At first he refused to take me with him, but then gave in to my entreaties.

My grandfather pointed with his silver knobbed walking stick and selected two chickens in a cage.  Before I knew it the Shochet quickly and painlessly killed the chickens. I was in for a shock however.  Although the birds were dead, their feathered bodies continued to spasmodically writhe and flutter at our feet on the ground.

Most Jews of the Second Exodus who only remember the financial and material wealth they left behind, have settled in countries that were good to them, and assured them of amazing and rewarding future prospects for their descendants.

Many have, to some extent, been able to regain the financial status and material comforts that were stolen by the Egyptians. Others, thanks to their amazing entrepreneurial talents, skills and hard work amassed considerably more wealth in the countries that had welcomed them, and that they now called home.

However, in my humble opinion, the real values that were forever lost were intrinsic ones – those residing in a way of life far removed from luxury and expensive villas.

The real loss was how the gentle fellaheen of the Mahmoudieh Canal were successfully brainwashed by the fanatic Ihwan El Muslimeen (the Muslim Brotherhood) who were very active in those parts, and who are 100% to blame for turning the philosophical, kindly, though poverty-stricken peasants of yore into murderous racist thugs.

The real loss is realizing that the busy active Jewish ghetto teeming with vitality has disappeared into the mists of time.

The real loss is that the pristine Garden of Eden that was once Lake Mariout is no more.

Pollution, “human improvements”, junky construction, army camps,  have transformed this amazing bird sanctuary and nature reserve into a garbage dump, no different from the rest of Alexandria, the city that was once glorified as The Pearl Of The Mediterranean.

The real loss lies in that the Attarine Area which before 1948 and 1956 specialized in selling ornate and typical Muslim artisan handiwork and works of art, after our departure, specialized in the fraudulent sale of looted valuables from our Jewish homes that we were all forced to abandon.

Interestingly, as a result of the constant political turmoil that developed after we left, this culminated in overpopulation, dire poverty, rampant misery, destruction and riots, and possibly may well result in an eventual civil war.

At the time of writing, governments all over the world have warned their citizens not to travel to Egypt, and I have been informed that as a result, the Attarine area is totally devoid of tourists.  The remaining valuables stolen from the expelled well-to-do Jewish population are sitting on the display shelves and counters gathering dust!

Read article in full

Iranian Jews express ‘deep sorrow’ at death of President

The  Jewish community of Iran have issued an official statement expressing their condolences on the death of the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, 64. The statement, with its reference to ‘martyrdom,’ appears to have been written on their behalf. The Jerusalem Post reports:

The late President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi

The Tehran Jewish Association extended its deepest condolences upon the tragic death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, following a helicopter crash that stunned the nation.

“Condolences on the martyrdom of Ayatollah Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, the compassionate and dedicated president of the Iranian nation,” announced the public relations of the Tehran Jewish Association. The group expressed “a heart full of sorrow and eyes brimming with tears,” recognizing the significant loss of a leader revered for his service and humility.

Read article in full

Iranian Jews forced to protest against Israel

Execution of Iranian Jew ‘postponed for a month’

No punishment is handed down if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim in Iran, demonstrating the institutional injustice of sharia law in Iran. The Times of Israel reports on  the case of Arvin Nathaniel Ghahremani, whose execution has apparently been postponed:

A Jewish Iranian man who was set to be executed this week for killing a man in a brawl two years ago received a last-minute stay of execution on Sunday, postponing his death for an additional month.

Arvin Nathaniel Ghahremani, 20, was sentenced to death and was expected to be executed on Monday under the Iranian penal code for retributive justice — or “Qisas” in Arabic — after allegedly killing a man named as Amir Shokri in self-defense when attacked with a knife two years ago, the opposition-linked Iran International news website said last week.

In a last-minute turn of events, however, he received a stay of execution amid extensive efforts by his family and international human rights organization to have his sentence commuted, Ynet reported, citing unnamed sources in the Iranian Jewish community.

Under Iranian law, once a person is found guilty of intentional murder, the only way that the death sentence can be commuted is if the family of the deceased says it forgives the perpetrator.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Iranian law states that if a non-Muslim kills a Muslim, Qisas can be applied and the perpetrator can be sentenced to death. However, if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim in Iran, Qisas does not apply and no punishment is handed down, leading human rights experts to argue that the law discriminates unfairly against minority groups in Iran.

Read article in full

United with Israel report (with thanks: Edna)

 

 

Turkish Jewish businessmen now suffering from Erdogan’s export ban

Jews both in Israel and in Turkey are suffering from Turkey’s decision to ban exports to Israel, JTA reports, via The Times of Israel: 

Graffiti on an Izmir synagogue (Photo: Aviaremoz)

ISTANBUL (JTA) – Despite months of deteriorating relations and increasingly hostile rhetoric, the complete shutdown of trade between Turkey and Israel earlier this month came as a shock to many.

The shutdown, which Turkey’s Islamist-leaning president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on May 3, is putting pressure on prices in Israel, cutting off a major trade route for kosher food and affecting people on both corners of the eastern Mediterranean.

“For the last two weeks, everything stopped. We can’t do normal business,” Rami Simon, a Turkish Jew who trades aluminum and construction materials to Israel, told The Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The shutdown is one of the most sweeping steps taken by any country to oppose Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. Erdogan said trade would resume only when there is a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the terror group that Erdogan has said he supports.

Read article in full

 

Iranian Jew about to be executed ‘for defending himself’

A Jewish man is set to face the gallows for acting in self-defence, the Iranian regime has decreed. According to sharia law, Jews have fewer rights than Muslims. The sentence may be commuted if the Jew pays blood money, or the family of the victim forgives him. The Jerusalem Post reports (with thanks: Yitschak, Lily):

Nethanel Gharemani: accused of murder (photo: Times of Israel)

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s opaque judicial system is expected to execute a young Iranian Jew on Monday for an altercation involving his self-defense that led to the death of a Muslim man, the Jerusalem Post has confirmed.

Beni Sabti, an expert on Iran from the Institute for National Security Studies, told the Post that the Iranian Jew, who faces the arbitrary use of the death penalty in the totalitarian Islamic Republic, is named Nethanel ben Ziona Ghahremani.

Ziona Ghahremani lives in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah and is believed to be either 23-years-old or 24-years-old. Sabti posted a picture of the man on his X feed.

Sabti wrote, “This Iranian Jewish man is going to be executed due to [an] act of self-defense against a Muslim man who attacked him with [a] knife but was killed himself.”

Sabti, a Tehran-born Jew who closely monitors the struggles of the Iranian Jewish minority, said there are efforts to “to talk with the Muslim family, whose son is dead, to have mercy on him Ziona Ghahremani . They can agree in one moment and let him go. It is a tradition in Iran. Even if the rope is on your neck and the other family comes and says, ‘We forgive him,’ they let you.”

Jewish Iranian-Americans are raising funds to send to the Muslim’s family to secure Ziona Ghahremani’s freedom.

Sabti suspects that perhaps the Muslim family is seeking to garner more money and is engaged in high-stakes negotiations with Jewish Iranian-Americans.

Sheina Vojoudi, who is an associate fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy, told the Post that “Suddenly it turns out that Arvin is Jewish and his sentence was reportedly rushed through and according to his lawyer, his case needs further investigation.”

Another spelling based on Netanel’s Hebrew name is Arvin Netanel ben Sonia.

The name of the Muslim man killed is Amir Shokri.

According to the Israeli journalist Emily Schrader’s X post, the altercation unfolded “Because he loaned money to a Muslim who then refused to give it back. When Arvin confronted him, the boy tried to stab him with a knife. Arvin fought back and ultimately in self defense, the other boy was killed.”

Schrader posted on X an audio recording from the news organization Manoto, in which Ziona Ghahremani’s mother, Sonia, pleaded for her son’s life.

Amnesty wrote that Iran’s regime conducted a wave of executions in 2023 that targeted demonstrators, dissidents and users of social media on charges including “insulting the prophet” and “apostasy” as well as vague charges of “enmity against God” and/or “corruption on earth.”

The London-based human rights organization Amnesty added, “Last year also marked a shocking escalation in the use of the death penalty against child offenders.”

There are roughly 9,000 Jews left in Iran from a population of nearly 90 million people, according to one estimate.

The Iranian-American journalist, Karmel Melamed, who is an expert on Persian Jews, estimates the number of Iranian Jews between 5,000 and 8,000. The flourishing Iranian Jewish community once numbered 80,000 prior to the Islamic Revolution. Most Iranian Jews fled Iran after the 1979 revolution.

 

The ethnic cleansing no-one tells you about

More young Jews seem to be challenging the false narrative that Jews are white colonial settlers from Europe. This video not only makes the point that most Israelis come from Arab countries, but explains why they had to seek refuge in Israel.

Entitled ‘The ethnic cleansing no one tells you about’, the video was made by a young US Jew who calls himself ‘Life examined’  ( @lifeexamined7219).

The maker points out the irony that by driving out their Jews Arab states strengthened the new state of Israel.

It’s a fact: most Israeli Jews come from Arab countries

This week, Israel actually marks its 76th Independence Day. The holiday this year is filled with anger and grief inside Israel, as could be imagined. The nation is intensely divided. The hatred toward the government is fierce and overwhelming. But one thing is irrevocably true: the country of Israel exists. It is not disappearing.

History can be interpretative, but facts can’t. Here are some facts.

Today, 45% of the world’s Jewish people live in Israel, with a similar amount in the United States, and smatterings across other countries in Europe (including the former Soviet Union), Canada, Latin America, Australia and South Africa.

Of Israeli Jews alive today, 80% were born in Israel. A majority of Israel’s Jews are not descended from Europe but rather from Arab nations, including from the parcel of land known today as modern Israel. Known as Mizrachim in Hebrew, they hail from Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Algeria, as well as from the Asian caucus region of the former Soviet Union. Those Israelis who are Ashkenazi, the Israeli term for Jews of European descent, are increasingly the minority inside Israel. There are, additionally, a small percentage of Jewish people from Ethiopia, and even a nominal number from India. And, while small in number, there are Jews in Israel who are descended from families that lived in the region under Ottoman rule, and centuries before that.

As happens each year to coincide with Israel’s celebration of Independence Day, the annual national population survey was just published. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports: “There are 7.247 million Jews (73.2% of the population), 2.089 million Arab Israelis (21.1%), and 564,000 people (5.7%) defined as ‘other – including non-Arab Christians, members of other religions, and people with no religious affiliation.”

Additionally: “Israel’s population is also young. About 28% are children aged 14 and younger, and about 12% are aged 65 and older.”

Increasingly, intermarriage blurs the distinctions among Jewish Israelis. In my Israeli family members alone, due to marriage, these countries are represented: United States, Czech Republic, Morocco, Italy, Iran and more – including Poland and Ukraine, if we venture back three generations.

Ironically, the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace, probably the Jewish group most engaged in the protests and anti-Israel rallies, has a fact sheet on its website explaining – correctly – that today, Mizrachi Jews represent over a majority of all Israeli Jews. The facts don’t seem to stand in their way, however, from joining in with a chorus to cancel Israel. That’s because the reality is that the argument emanating from the campus protests isn’t about facts; it’s about ideology.

Read article in full

Britain ‘reluctantly’ took in 6,000 Egyptian Jews

Sarah Claudine Barki was expelled with her family from Nasser’s Egypt. Writing in Egyptianmigrations.com, her grandson Alistair McClure describes her life in Alexandria, and the less than friendly welcome she received in Britain, which he says reluctantly took in 6,000 ‘gypsies with a British passport’: 

Painting of Alexandria owned by Viviane Ettinghausen, Claudine’s sister

On 26 July 1956, a few kilometres from the Barki flat, Gamal Abdel Nasser stood in Mohammed Ali Square and declared that ‘Tonight the Suez Canal will be managed by Egyptians!’ Within weeks Egypt was again at war. With the backing of Britain and France, Israel invaded Sinai. The city was rocked by bombs landing in Alexandria. In response, Nasser imposed martial rule, and with this came more detentions, expulsions, sequestered property, and frozen assets. Claudine’s Jewish family, composed of one parent holding a British passport and the other working with European firms, found themselves in a particularly hazardous position.

The family was afforded time to prepare for what now seemed an inevitable expulsion by an act of profound neighbhourly solidarity. Their mother’s best friend, remembered in correspondence as ‘Madame Leila’, lived next door and the children had grown up together. Leila’s husband worked as a high-ranking police officer and searched files for mention of the Barki family. Once found, he gave the family an advance warning and staved off its delivery so they could ready themselves. The rules for expulsion were clear. An individual order meant the whole family was to leave. They could carry one suitcase along with a limit of ten Egyptian pounds. Once they had gathered their things Viviane remembered her father telling his daughters to think about these events as an adventure, a chance to start afresh.

The family landed in a military base in England in late 1956. The total number of refugees from Egypt amounted to roughly 6,000. The Home Office were far from thrilled by their arrival. From the landing of West Indian immigrants aboard the Empire Windrush in 1948, British governments had expressed hostility toward the possibility of large-scale non-white migration from the Commonwealth. Fears were amplified by the press and vocal political groups, culminating in the stringent Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1962. This legislation drastically reduced non-white immigration to Britain.

The ‘Anglo-Egyptian’ Jewish community were understood squarely through this racially exclusionary lens. From behind closed doors, officials spoke of the problem of ‘coffee-coloured subjects’, or, as one figure described them, ‘gypsies with a British passport’. With the crisis ongoing, the government quickly considered measures to police the entry eligibility of Jewish refugees, including means to dissuade families with husbands possessing foreign citizenship from remaining in Britain. And yet ultimately, for those with British passports, entry had to be granted. Given that the Barki’s possessed only one British passport holder with the rest of the family officially stateless, Britain was their only possible destination.

Their first few nights in Britain were spent in a refugee hostel in Kidderminster. Thereafter, the children were sent to their grandfather in Worcester while the parents headed to London to find work. The children later travelled to London where they would stay in a single hotel room as they looked for more suitable accommodation.

The early years were marked by problems faced by many displaced families; uncertainty over culture and etiquette, struggles with language, and ongoing concerns over finances and employment. Other documents revealed efforts to recoup parts of their old life. By the 1960s, compensation schemes began for expelled British subjects who had lost property in Egypt. As a British citizen, their mother had applied but failed because the assessor found insufficient documentation.

Expulsion interrupted Claudine’s ambitions to become a doctor. Among her papers were copies of school transcripts and letters addressed to medical colleges in London. Here she explained her circumstances and enquired about the possibility of continuing her studies. Responses explained that her transcripts would not be accepted and asked her to consider an alternate career path. Despite these difficulties, over the years the family settled in England and came to enjoy comfortable lives. Claudine trained as a physiotherapist instead. Viviane became a schoolteacher. They both took great satisfaction from these careers, married and raised children.

Read article in full