2018: The Year in Review

 WISHING ALL POINT OF NO RETURN READERS A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! thanks for your visits, hat tips and comments. See you in 2019.


Another year has flown past and it’s time to look back over 2018, its highlights and low points. Point of No Return continued to attract a  healthy following, with 58,143 page views.

The good news is that the issue of Jews of Arab countries began to penetrate the mainstream press and media – the Boston Globe (Jeff Jacoby), the Daily Telegraph (Allister Heath) and a BBC Radio 4 programme by historian Simon Schama to mark Israel’s 70th anniversary.

The ’30 November’ commemorations took place worldwide, but the exodus of Jews from Arab lands is still not on the global agenda, according to Ashley Perry and Lyn Julius. 

It was a good year for:

* Relations between the Gulf States and Israel. Israel’s minister of culture Miri Regev shed tears of joy when she heard Hatikva at an Abu Dhabi sports competition; the Dubai synagogueemerged into the media limelight and a Bahraini princevisited Israel.

*Rene Trabelsi, appointed Tunisian minister of Tourism.

* 25,000 Algerian-Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, who each received $3,100 compensation for their wartime suffering.

*Mordechai Ben-Porat. After decades of accusations that Zionists planted bombs in Iraq to kill Jews, more evidence emerged vindicatingthe Mossad architect of the mass aliya of Iraqi Jewry in 1950-1. Ben-Porat had always protested his innocence.

*The Iraqi-Jewish archive. This collection of Jewish artefacts and
documents remains in the US beyond the deadline for its return in
September 2018.

* Uprooted by Lyn Julius (Vallentine Mitchell), which grew out of Point of No Return. The book was favourably reviewed in a number of prestige publications and on radio.

It was a bad year for the following :

*French historian Georges Bensoussan  (although he was acquitted of charges of  anti-Muslim hate speech, he lost his job at the Memorial de la Shoah.)

*Kurdish representativeof the ‘Jewish community’ Sherzad Mahmoud Mamsani, who was fired.

 *UNRWA, the agency dedicated to the exclusive care of Palestinian refugees: President Trump cut off aid, amid revelations that the US donated funds for the absorption of refugees on both sides in the 1950s.

* The fifty remaining Jewsin the war-ravaged Yemen capital Sana’a, short of money and food.

*Jewish moveable property in Arab lands: the US has signed Memoranda of Understanding with several Arab states legitimising theft of Jewish artefacts still in Arab states.  Eighteen Jewish organisations have written to the US secretary of state in protest.


70 years since the first airlift of Jews from Yemen and since the  ‘summer of death’ following riots in Egypt, Libyaand Morocco.

Deaths in 2018: Historians Bernard Lewis, Robert Assaraf. Iraq-born philanthropist Uri David, writer and diplomat Zvi Gabay, Libyan-Jewish leader Meir Kahlon, Brooklyn rabbi Shaul Kassin, Morocco chief rabbi Aaron Monsonego.

Outstanding articles of 2018: the Iraqi-Israeli who infiltrated the Muslim Brotherhood. Jews from Arab countries in  Mexico. Adenisin Port Said. Mizrahim who shillfor Arab nationalism. Minoritiesin Iran. Claudia Cardinale and waning diversity in Tunisia.

Other end-of-year Reviews: 







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.