For the few Jews left in Muslim countries – and the even fewer Jews in Arab lands, 2013 was another anxious year.
The exodus continued from Yemen to Israel. Just 70 live in a compound in the capital Sana’a.
In Tunisia, the 1, 500 Jews are fearful of the rising power of the Islamists. In April, the tiny Jewish community of Egypt lost its leader, Carmen Weinstein. Her successor, Magda Haroun, will almost certainly be its last. in Iran and Turkey, Jews suffer from officially-sanctioned antisemitism. Only in Morocco has the government been investing in its Jewish heritage. But even here, the king standsalone in the way of an Islamist-proposed parliamentary bill to criminalise relations with Israel.
The cause of Jewish refugees from Arab lands was set back by the absence of Danny Ayalon from the Israeli government. However, MK Shimon Ohayon has been shepherding a bill to make mandatory a Day in the calendar to remember Jewish refugees. On the other hand, organisations lobbying for Jewish refugees were disconcerted to learn that Israel’s chief peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni, was not prepared to link Jewish to Palestinian refugees.
But the big issue of 2013 has undoubtedly been the Iraqi-Jewish archive, whose imminent return to Iraq has captured the mainstream media in the US and Canada and caused outrage among Iraqi Jews.
Finally, it!s been a good year for Point of No Return. Our Facebook page has attracted over 1, 000 likes, and our Twitter feed draws hundreds of followers.
Wherever you may be, we thank our readers and wish you a very happy, healthy and successful year.