Israeli intellectuals need a history lesson

Albert Levy is amazed at the ignorance of Israeli intellectuals about the history of Jews in Arab countries. Article in the Jerusalem Post:

 A ruined synagogue in Baghdad (photo: Reuters)

I am amazed every time anew when I speak with an Israeli
intellectual who tells me, “Jews received very good treatment in Arab
states, they were well off there.”

statement does not at all reflect the historical reality of Arab states
that had significant Jewish population, that is: Morocco, Algeria,
Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran (Muslim, but not
Arab, State), from which about 1,020,000 Jews left between 1945 and
1975. For the most part, they were forced to leave and lost all of their
belongings at best. In the worst case, they were murdered.

Many Arab states succeeded where Hitler failed in Nazi Germany:
they are truly “Judenrein,” that is, “clean” of any Jews. Today there
are no Jews in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and more. And also not in… the
Palestinian Authority’s administered territories! Mahmoud Abbas
declared in 2013, “In a permanent agreement there will not be the
presence of one Israeli upon our lands, citizen or soldier.”

Abbas says, “Israeli,” he means “Jew.” Because the Arabs with Israeli
citizenship freely enter and leave the PA without endangering themselves
with being lynched – which is the traditional hospitality for Jewish

In Islamic States before 1945, up until the period of
Western colonization, the Jews lived under the painful and humiliating
yoke of “dhimma.”

The Israeli intellectual asks me, “What’s
dhimma?” After giving him an improvised history lesson, I add a quick
lesson in Islamic theology and explain that dhimma is the status of
dhimmis – the people of the book, Jews and Christians – in an Islamic

This Islamic ruling determines that dhimmis must always be
humiliated and exploited habitants through a long list of obligations
and prohibitions.

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