Arab-American museum features Jews

According to an article of 24 October in the New York Times, the 900,000 ‘Arab’ Jews who lived in the Middle East and North Africa 50 years ago have earned themselves a place in the new Arab American National Museum at Dearborn, Michigan, together with a photo of the Tunisian synagogue in Djerba (via JIMENA Voice).

This is progress – at least there is some acknowledgement that Jews once lived in these countries.

But as Edward Rothstein writes, there is little attempt to explain why Arab immigrants moved to America, nor to distinguish between successive waves of Christian and Muslims. Many Christians left because they were persecuted: 66 percent of the Arab American community is composed of Christians, but out of deference to the Museum’s sponsors perhaps – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Dubai – the Museum gives the impression that they are – and have always been – one big happy Arab family.

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