Expulsion order, Egypt
To my post titled ‘Jews were victims of laws worse than apartheid’, Arrabalero has commented:
It has to (be) pointed out that this persecution happened AFTER 1948, as a consequence of & reaction to the creation of Zionist State.
Not true, Arrabalero. Let me explain.
Jews deprived of citizenship: Egypt brought in successive nationality laws excluding Jews from citizenship as early as 1920.
Quotas and restrictions: these were in force in Iraq from the 1930s. Hebrew language and Jewish history were banned in schools in the 1930s in Iraq and the curriculum censored in 1932. In Egypt the school curriculum was Arabised in 1947 and companies Arabised in that year.
Human rights abuses such as forcible conversions to Islam continued throughout, and the conversion of Jewish orphans to Islam became law in Yemen in 1922.
Jews excluded from public service jobs: some 500 Jews were sacked from public service jobs in Iraq in the 1930s. In Egypt Jews were excluded from public service jobs between 1945 and 1948.
Vichy France and fascist Italy imposed official restrictions and handicaps on Jews in Libya and the Maghreb before and during World War ll.
Travel bans: these were in force at various times and from 1934 to 1949 in Yemen.
Meanwhile anti-Jewish violence occurred before, during, and after 1948.
The above measures excluding and marginalising Jews, says Shmuel Trigano, were triggered not by Zionism, but pan-Arabism. They would have occurred in any case as a result of rising xenophobia, even if Zionism had never existed.
It is true that internment, arrests, executions, freezing of assets and dispossession of property occurred after 1948, but the blueprint for such persecution was introduced in December 1947 by the Arab League before the first Arab-Israeli war and mass flight of the Palestinian Arab refugees. Anti-Jewish measures cannot therefore be interpreted as an ‘understandable backlash’ to the creation of Israel.
Even if they were a reaction to Zionism, such collective punishment can never be justified against innocent citizens far from the battlefield, many of whom were non- or anti-Zionist Jews.