Ettinger’s passionate piece on Jewish refugees

This piece in Israel Hayom by former ambassador of Israel Yoram Ettinger is a welcome reminder of the plight of over 800, 000 Jewish refugees. However, it does tend to over-simplify Arab and Muslim antisemitism, and jumps around in time. It is a pity tht Ettinger gets some of his facts wrong too, which undermines the article’s credibility. (With thanks to all those who alerted me to this:)

 Yoram Ettinger

The violent Islamic intolerance of the “infidel” was reflected by the highly-ignored and misrepresented persecution and expulsion of 820,000 (856,000 is the figure most often cited – ed) Jewish refugees from Arab lands, which exceeded the scope of the Palestinian Arab refugees, occurred well before the 1948-49 Arab war on Israel, and persisted following the war.

On November 14 (actually November 24 – ed), 1947, before the war, Egypt’s representative to the UN, Heykal Pasha warned: “The partitioning of Palestine shall be responsible for the massacre of a large number Jews…. It might endanger a million Jews living in Moslem countries… create an anti-Semitism more difficult to root out than the anti-Semitism which the allies were trying to eradicate in Germany….”

 On February 19, 1947, before the war, Syria’s UN representative, Faris al-Khuri told the NY Times: “Unless the Palestine problem is settled [with no Jewish State], we shall have difficulty in protecting Jews in the Arab world.”

 Before the November 1947 UN vote (I make it  January 1949)  on the Partition Plan, Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nuri Said shared with Alec Kirkbride, the British Ambassador to Jordan, his plan to expel Jews from Iraq and threatened: “severe measures would be taken against all Jews in Arab countries.”

On November 28, 1947, Iraq’s Foreign Minister told the UN General Assembly: “The partitioning of Palestine will cause the uprising of the Arabs of Palestine, and the masses in the Arab world will not be restrained.”

 On March 1, 1944, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the top Palestinian Arab leader, incited in an Arabic broadcast from Nazi Germany: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. It would please God, history and religion.” Jamal Al-Husseini, the acting Chairman of the Palestinian Arab Higher Command, threatened: “Palestine shall be consumed with fire and blood if the Jews get any part of it.”

The CIA assessed that “a second Jewish Holocaust in less than ten years” would occur in response to the establishment of a Jewish State.

In fact, 820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab lands, before (incorrect: individuals may have left, but Jews were not expelled before 1948 – ed) and following the 1948/49 War, robbed of billions of dollars’ worth of property, while Arab masses lynched, raped and looted Jewish communities.

240, 000 Jews were expelled (not strictly ‘expelled’ – more ‘ushered towards the exit’) from Morocco, 140,000 from Algeria, 105,000 from Tunisia, 38,000 from Libya, 70,000 from Egypt, 5,000 from Lebanon, 25,000 from Syria, 135,000 from Iraq, 55,000 from North Yemen, 8,000 from South Yemen.

 Unlike the well-documented number of 320,000 Arab refugees of the 1948/49 Israel’s War of Independence, the Jewish refugees did not engage in subversion and terrorism against their host countries; did not join invading military forces, which aimed to destroy their host countries; and did not collaborate with Nazi Germany.

Unlike the 320,000 Arab refugees – most of whom were migrants with 20-100 (some as little as two)  year old roots – the Jewish refugees had deeper roots, preceding the appearance of Islam: 2,500-year-old roots in Iraq, 500-2,000 years in Syria and North Africa, 2,000-3, 500 years in Yemen, etc.. Unlike the Arab refugees, who were uniquely accorded a perpetual refugee status, uniquely inherited by their descendants, the Jewish refugees were fully absorbed in their new homes (600,000 in Israel). None of the Jewish refugees, nor their descendants, retained refugee status.

The persecution of Jews in Arab lands has continued since the rise of Muhammad who, in 626 AD, beheaded, enslaved and expelled the three leading Jewish tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, Quraish, Nadir and Qaynuka – which provided him refuge in Medina when he fled Mecca – for refusing to accept Islam. The genocide is described by the Egyptian writer, Husayn Haykal, in The Life of Muhammad , page 337, and briefly in the Quran, Surah 33, verse 26, consistent with the Quran’s lethal intolerance of the “infidel” – Surah (chapter) 5 in particular. For example, Surah 5, verse 33: “Those who oppose God and his emissary shall be consumed by the sword, crucified, expelled, their hand and leg amputated… doomed forever.”

 Moreover, the Nazi “Yellow Patch” originated in Arab lands, where Jews – and other “infidels” – were forced to wear a “Yellow Badge of Shame” (Christians were assigned pink badges), as well as yellow belts, honey-colored hoods, yellow headgear, in addition to paying “infidel tax” (Jizyya, per the Quran, Surah 9, verse 29), prohibited to build tall homes and testify against “believers,” and were forced to place “infidel” signs on their homes.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” authored in 1903 by Russian anti-Semites and widely-employed by the Nazi Germany in order to legitimize the extermination of Jews, continues to be a bestseller on the Arab Street. The Nazi propaganda machine was introduced into school curricula, intensifying Islamic anti-Semitism.

 Thus, in December 1947, Arabs murdered, looted and expelled Syrian and Yemenite (actually Adenite) Jews, burning synagogues, Jewish schools and shops. In 1936, Jews were terrorized and murdered in Baghdad (not on the same scale). On June 1-2, 1941, a pro-Nazi Farhud (pogrom) was conducted against Baghdad’s Jewish community, murdering 180 Jews and destroying their homes. In 1947, Jews were hung, raped, imprisoned, fired from civil service, accused of poisoning Iraq’s water and poisoning children’s sweets. In 1945, Arab mobs murdered, raped and looted Jews in Egypt and Libya.

While the UN – the most effective platform for anti-Western and human-rights abusing rogue regimes and their Western appeasers – passed 130 resolutions concerning the 320,000 Palestinian Arab refugees, not a single resolution was passed concerning the 820,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands. No UN resolution was passed concerning the lethal abuse of Christians, Jews and other non-Moslem minorities by Moslem regimes, which has been the most authentic reflection of Islam’s (actually Islamist) cardinal strategic goal: the submission of the “House of the infidel” to the “House of the believer.”

Read article in full


  • The reference to Nuri Said is found also in Malka Hillel Shulewitz, Forgotten Millions. You're probably right about this conversation with Kirkbride taking place in 1949.

    However, Aden is usually considered part of Yemen and is a part of it today. Which of course does not prevent a very bloody war taking place now in Yemen involved a variety of peaceloving factions.
    In the 1940s, Aden and its hinterland were under British control and separate from the rest of Yemen. The question is how did the UK forces in Aden handle the pogrom there.

  • Therefore, according to Sadat, the Allied victory in the war was owing to those Egyptian Jews who informed to the British.

  • ". . . the Jewish refugees did not engage in subversion and terrorism against their host countries; did not join invading military forces, which aimed to destroy their host countries; and did not collaborate with Nazi Germany."

    The Jews' opposition to Nazi Germany angered some of the Arab nationalists who saw help for the British as betrayal. For instance, Sadat wrote in his early days, before his peacemongering with Begin, that Egyptian Jews had informed the British in Egypt of the efforts by Sadat and Nasser's "Free Offiers" group to join forces with Rommel's Afrika Korps, providing Rommel and his army with information and other aid. He speculates that were it not for those Egyptian Jewish informers, Rommel could have conquered Egypt and thus have changed the whole course of the war into an Axis victory. [see Sadat, Revolt on the Nile, circa 1953]


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