Tunisian: when the Jews were ‘ethnically cleansed,’ the lights went out

It is rare that non-Jews from  the Arab world should call the exodus of the Jews by its proper name: ethnic cleansing. Writing in Israel 24/7, Salem Ben Ammar is a French political scientist of Tunisian background  (with thanks: Imre):

Moroccan Jews arriving at Haifa port

Jews had lived at home in Arabia, Iran, Egypt, the Middle East, Yemen, Libya and North Africa for millennia.

These lands that had become Muslim were marked with the footprints of the Jews.

We cannot say that they have chosen exile, because people never leave their ancestral lands en masse –  repositories of  memory and history, and to which they have given their all. They were pushed into leaving, against their will.

The exodus of 900,000 Jews is truly a matter of ‘ethnic cleansing’: to purify Muslim lands of their presence.

How can we  understand that a community rooted in most Muslim countries before Islam, finds itself driven out overnight, after decolonization and the Six-Day War, driven out like a leper, after having lived for 1,400 years more or less in harmony with Muslims, for whom they have served as an economic, cultural and intellectual catalyst?

It’s as if Palestine acted as a spur to unleashing repressed hatred towards the Jews, subjecting them to what Muhammad and his horde of assassins did to them in Yathrib, a Jewish land that had become the second stronghold of Islam.

The Jews left because they were given no choice but to wish to live in their own place, despite the discrimination they faced.

They sought to live in peace with  an environment which they had nourished with their dynamism, their perfectionism, their economic, culinary, cultural and artistic richness, their vitality and entrepreneurial energy, and their unfailing love of life. Or more simply, their joie de vivre and r legendary  good cheer.

Their forced exodus is like a curse that has struck all these countries, now orphaned of their Jews.

Their departure brings misery and despair to the Muslim peoples. The light went out in their house. It shines in Israel.

Read article in full (French)


One Comment

  • It’s way past time, the remaining Jewish communities in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and in fact all the galut made Aliyah!!!


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