Many anti-Jewish ‘apartheid’ laws predated 1948

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.


  • Shmuel Trigano has an excellent analysis of the palestinian authority constitution as an apartheid document. It is on the site of the professors for peace in the Middle East [ SPME].

  • yes, it does make antisemitics feel better for findng that excuse of 1948 (foundation of a Jewish State).
    la mémoire est courte!!!
    Of expulsion papers i have seen more than in three lifetimes.
    stupid humanity!
    suzy vidal

  • Hi Andrew, nice to hear from you again.
    sorry, I haven't a better resolution of this document.
    Stay safe!

  • oh, God
    that "Expulsion order" hurt me a lot.
    do you have a better resolution to this photo please

  • Eliyahu, it is indeed curious that Jews in France are considered fair game for collective punishment for what goes on in Gaza.
    Another phenomenon is to blame the victims for their own misfortune: the Iraqi 'Zionist bombs' is a classic example and now I see the Egyptian authorities are trying to blame the Copts for the 9 October massacre of …Copts!

  • isn't it curious that many of the Israelophobes condemn Israel for allegedly harming Arab civilians while retaliating against Arab terrorists who had attacked Jewish civilians in Israel. The Israelophobes seldom criticize the Arab terrorists for having attacked Jewish Israeli civilians before any Israeli retaliation. But more to the point is that these people so often wave the banner of "the innocent civilian." Yet when Jewish civilians were attacked deliberately –in France, for example– by those local Arabs angry over alleged Israeli killing of Little Muhammad al-Durah, the ostensible defenders of the innocent civilian were seldom or never to be seen, eventhough, clearly, Jewish civilians in Paris had not killed Little al-Durah [if he were indeed dead] nor attacked other Arab civilians in Gaza. Yet attacks on Jews in France were justified by the Israelophobes –often worked up over the deaths of "innocent civilians" in Gaza– on account of the presumed support of these Jewish civilians in France for Israel. But such support was hardly greater –was it??– than support of the Arab civilians in Gaza or in some of the banlieues of Paris for the Hamas and other mass murder terrorists.

    That is the kind of moral argument that Arrabalero is making. Not only is his history false but his morality is evil and hypocritical.

  • "It has to (be) pointed out that this persecution happened AFTER 1948, as a consequence of & reaction to the creation of Zionist State."

    The concept that somehow the creation of the State of Israel is responsible for mass hate crimes against indigenous Jews in neighboring countries is disgusting. There is no excuse for committing violence against innocent people just because of their ethnic identity is connected to events elsewhere.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

Point of No Return

Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

One-stop blog on the Middle East's
forgotten Jewish refugees - updated daily.