There is plenty in Khaled Diab’s latest piece for the Guardian website Comment is Free to argue with, and if you hurry you might still be able to leave a comment yourself. The gist of the piece is that Jews and Arabs have had so much in common that Disraeli called the Jews ‘Mosaic Arabs’. You can see where Diab’s argument is leading to: a one-state solution.
Some commenters have questioned Diab’s assumption that much Arab antisemitism is simply a response to Israel’s creation; and several have used Diab’s piece to ask if the Arab world would ever recognise what they called the Jewish Nakba.
But 1366790 was amongst the most thought-provoking :Comment No.
“AminsEGrEgypt: “JeremyHP and Khaled, do you think the Arab world will ever acknowledge and compensate the Jewish Naqba?“
Khaled responded: “See my article (link above). Morocco, for one, has offered its Jewish community a right of return. And I think other Arab countries need to acknowledge the crime they committed in expelling their Jewish minorities in the years/decade following the creation of Israel.”
Khaled, I think you have missed Armin’s point. The vast majority of “Arabic Jews” categorically reject the title and are completely uninterested in any right of return, so the offer is a pig in a poke (and thus like all pigs neither kosher nor halal).
Nor are the “Arabic Jews” so sanguine as yourself about their supposedly integrated pre-expulsion status. You may not realise it, but you have taken the view of the majority that “our darkies, they wuz so happy before they got uppity and wanted civil rights”. It’s presumptuous and insensitive (to say the least) whether done by white Americans towards “their” black minority, or by Muslim Arabs toward “their” Jewish minority.
Your second sentence is closer to correct. There were two crimes: The first, 14 centuries of the Jewish minority treated as second-class and in some ways near-apartheid. The second, the expulsion itself.
By “compensate the Jewish Naqba” Armin could have meant mean both monies to the Sephardim and Mizrahim in recompense of these 14 centuries, and recompense of spiritual and political and material losses in the form of a Jewish right to a defensible sliver of land in the Middle East as a basis for their hopes and dreams. A good argument could be made that Israel and Jerusalem (and potentially even the west bank) should have even been proposed by the Arab world as just such recompense, with appropriate compensation to residents who move, either Jews from Arab countries to Israel, or Palestinians from Israel to Arab countries.
“After all, many Israelis on the left have considered and actively work for moral, national, political, and material recompense to the Palestinians for their 60 years of second-class existence. Why should there not be many Arabs who consider and actively work for moral, national, political, and material recompense to the Jews for their 1,400 years of second-class existence?”