With thanks: Imre, Eliyahu and Michelle
From the 1940s until the 1970s, and heightening with the founding of
Israel in 1948, nearly one million Jews were expelled from their homes
across Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen,
Libya, Algeria and Iran. In the week that the exodus is being commemorated around he world, Bn’ai B’rith Canada has been running this series:
IRAQ: Asad Mualim
In Egypt, the government
arrested and charged Jews with being part of Zionist or Communist plots.
They seized Jewish assets, businesses and property valued at $2.5
billion (U.S.) and set fire to the Jewish quarters in Cairo and Alexandria. In Syria, the Jewish community (which also dates back to Biblical times) was subjected to abuse and draconian laws.
According to historian Martin Gilbert, Jews were “ forbidden to own
radios or telephones, or to maintain postal contact with the outside
world” and all Jewish properties were “confiscated by the state when the
EGYPT: Irene Buenavida
Jews were frequently subjected to pogroms,
systemic violence and religious persecution. Their exiles were largely
attributable to Arab regimes increasing their hostility toward Jews
because of the very existence of Israel.
LIBYA: Noemi Lieberman
In Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Lebanon, Libya, Algeria and Tunisia, similar measures were put into place at the direction of the Arab League to eliminate the Jewish presence on these lands.
Today, while stories abound of many Arab refugees, few are
aware or even acknowledge this forgotten exodus of Jewish refugees. Only
in Israel has Nov. 30, the day after the UN voted to approve the
Jewish-Arab partition plan of Palestine, been marked to commemorate
LEBANON: Ronit Eskenasi
As part of the commemoration of this tragic but
little-known chapter in Jewish history, B’nai Brith Canada, together
with community partners, have produced a series of videos chronicling
the stories of some who endured the prejudice directed toward Jews in
the Middle East during these decades, and who have
since come to Canada.
SYRIA: Joseph and Olga Esses