The Jews of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Lebanon

Repost from the old site. This piece was extremely popular with all sorts of folks. I edited it a bit for length.
The standard Zionist line, repeatedly endlessly by Zionist propagandists to all who will listen, is that there are no Jews in “Arabia”, or certainly none in Saudi Arabia.
Clearly, there are still Jews living in Yemen, which is a part of Arabia. In some ways, these very traditional Jews have it better than they have ever had it in Yemen, where traditionally, the life of a Jew was one most of us would consider to be difficult.
As a sign of changing times, although there are only 200 Jews left in Yemen, the ruling party recently nominated a Yemeni Jew to run on its platform as a parliamentarian representing the northern region.
This was a very controversial move in Yemen, and unfortunately ran up against the stumbling block of a regressive law that says that everyone running for office must be a Muslim.
Since one of the religious laws of the Yemeni Jews was that they were not allowed to serve in the army or government of the state (How is that for a dual loyalty problem?), this law meant nothing to the Yemeni Jews, and neither was it an issue under traditional Islamic rule, when non-Muslims were kept out of the military and probably discouraged from government office too anyway.
The fact that a Yemeni Jew considered running for office shows that the remaining Jews are giving up some of their strict, traditional religious rules. Some rules, however, remain. For instance, the Yemeni Jews refuse to eat with non-Jews, and intermarriage is strictly forbidden. The rule about eating was actually a normal practice for all pious European Jews up until about 1800 or so, a little-known fact.
Also, many Yemeni Jews both inside and outside Yemen continue the ancient Jewish practice of prostrating themselves for daily prayer, similar to what Muslims do in a mosque. European Jews generally only do this nowadays, if at all, during portions of certain prayers during the Jewish High Holidays. So, in some ways, the remaining Yemeni Jews are stuck in time.
The Yemeni Jews that remain are presently banned from certain occupations (probably more by traditional Muslim prejudice than by state law), allowed to live only in certain parts of towns, forbidden to serve in the military or government and have little interaction with their Muslim neighbors but unfortunately, it has always been that way in Yemen.
On the ban on serving in government or military, note above how this is possibly changing in the government aspect, and how this was a traditional Yemeni Jewish law for themselves anyway.
See here for a great webpage, Chayas, on the Yemeni Jews. The Yemeni Jews are some of the most religious Jews in the whole world, and have always been deeply religious.
For instance, on the daily prostration for prayer still practiced by Yemeni Jews, see this near-obsessive Chayas webpage, Did You Prostrate to God Today?, that endlessly plumbs all of the possible ins and outs of how to properly prostate oneself, the specific 12 steps required, the history of such prostration, religious debates about prostration, and on and on.
On the Chayas pages, there is a page on the traditional religious laws of the Yemeni Jews. One is stricken by how similar these laws are to those of an Islamic society:

  • Men and women may not bathe together.
  • Women may not bathe in the sea, even in a woman-only area, if there is a male lifeguard.
  • Women may not bring boys older than 3 to the women’s bathing beach.
  • Women may not bathe in the sea where there are men and women present together.
  • One must not look at a picture of a woman.
  • A woman may not look into the home of an unmarried man.
  • Women and girls over 6 years old may not ride bicycles because parts of their bodies that should be covered get exposed.
  • All married women must wear head coverings.
  • Married women must wear a head covering, even when alone in their own homes.

An excellent overview of the Yemeni Jews can be found here. On this Chayas page, we see some of the traditional difficulties in identity faced by many Yemeni and other Arab Jews. In one article on the page, the author proudly proclaims herself to be an Arab Jew. This is now a controversial position in Israel, where the Arab Jews are now referred to as Mizrachi Jews (actually Mizrachi covers all Jews of the Asian lands).
Sometimes the Mizrachi are subsumed into the category of Sephardic, though Sephardic traditionally refers to the Jews of Spain and Portugal, who later moved to Italy, Greece, the Balkans, Turkey and Latin America, with some moving to North Africa.
Nowadays, it is quite common for militant Israeli Arab Jews to demand to be called Mizrachis and to say that if anyone called them an Arab Jew, they might hit the person. This is clearly an outgrowth of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
The Arab Jews were pretty much forced out of their lands by the creation of the state of Israel. Riots erupted across the Arab World and hundreds of Jews were killed amidst a general atmosphere of terror. Many left with little but the shirts on their backs. Many had most of their money confiscated upon leaving and were allowed to take few possessions.
Their homes, properties and money were in many cases confiscated by Arab governments. This is clearly an injustice but the Palestinians experienced a similar injustice, and the Arab Jews at least have the right to go back to their home countries, but almost none of them seem to be interested in doing so.
A few years ago, the son of Muammar Qaddafi, who is being groomed to replace the leader, asked the Libyan Jews to return to Libya. None of them took him up on his offer. This is a typical mindset of the Arab Jews, and this is the crucial difference between the Jewish and Palestinian refugees that lies at the core of the conflict.
The notion of “population transfers” – actually sickening, Nazi-like, super-racist episodes of ethnic cleansing – is frequently brought to the table during Middle East discussions, especially by liberal Zionist Jews. Pakistan and India, Turkey and Greece are mentioned, along with Israel and Palestine. The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians is equated with the largely voluntary flight of the Arab Jews.
The notion is that both populations fled, so the circle is squared and the conflict is over. Yet…the Arab Jews do not wish to go home! And those that do, just pack up and do so, as we shall see later on in this post. But the Palestinians, virtually alone amongst the world’s refugees, are not allowed to return to their lands!
This is at the very root and heart of the conflict, and until there is resolution of this issue, I do not think that peace is possible. In a larger sense, it is deeply disturbing that liberal Zionist Jews, the most progressive of Zionists, casually and glibly equate Zionism with some of the worst horrors of the 20th Century, such as the mass slaughters that accompanied the creations of Turkey and Pakistan.
The flight of 800,000 Arab Jews from their lands was accomplished in part by Zionist terrorists, who, disguised as Arabs, killed Jews in Iraq with hand grenades and bombs in order to terrorize them into fleeing to Israel. The government of Israel cut a deal with the pro-British government of Iraq to deprive Iraqi Jews of their rights and property, to deprive them of employment and ultimately to confiscate their wealth.
All of this was cleverly done to facilitate the flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel. Upon arrival in Israel, 50% of the Iraqi Jews’ money was immediately seized by Israeli authorities and was never given back. Arab Jews experienced pronounced racism from the Ashkenazi ruling class.
In fact, getting the Arab Jews into Israel was a necessity for the new-found Israeli state. 800,000 Arabs had been thrown off the land and there were not enough workers to work the fields and do manual work, despite decades of working class and back-to-the-land propagandizing by socialist Ashkenazi Zionists.
Even the terrible riots that swept the Arab World were complex. In many cases, especially in Iraq, local Arabs fought off Arabs who attacked the Jews and helped to hide the Jews from the mobs. In most cases, the number of Jews killed was in the scores. The usual Zionist transcription of this madness as “Arabs try to do Holocaust 2 on the Arabs” is false, as reality was more nuanced than that.
The Chayas article by Dr. Ella Habiba Shohat, a Professor of Cultural Studies and Women’s Studies at CUNY-City University of New York, Reflections of an Arab (Iraqi) Jew is typical of the identity issues that many Arab Jews face.
She says that when her Iraqi Jewish parents came to Israel in the 1950’s, they thought that the Ashkenazi European Jews were actually European Christians – this is how alien the Ashkenazi seemed to her Mizrachi parents.
In Israel nowadays, the political delineation, a line drawn with blood and guns, is “Arab versus Jew”. For many Arab Jews, this makes no sense, as they see themselves as both. For centuries in the Arab World, despite Ashkenazi Zionist revisionist BS, there had been no such distinction. The only delineation was religious. People were either Jews, Muslims or Christians.
Modern Israel and the Diaspora Jewish community are hostile, to say the least, to the very notion of Arabness or Middle-Easternness outside of their Zionist primordialist nonsense.
This in spite of the fact that Israeli Jews now have adopted many Arabic words into their Hebrew, have added many Arabic dishes to their national cuisine (felafel is a national dish) and have adopted Arabic architecture to their homes and buildings. All while adopting a discourse of hatred for the very Arabs whose lands and homes they stole to make their gangster state.
All of the above is difficult for the Arab Jew. I remember reading a piece by a Yemeni Jew who went to Israel and never felt at home. At one point, he was living in a home in Israel and hired an Arab gardener who told him up front that he had used to own the home that the Yemeni Jew was now living in. The Yemeni Jew was so upset that he moved.
The Yemeni Jews never spoke Yiddish and know nothing of it. The women never wore wigs either, and the Yemeni Jews continue to disdain this common Ashkenazi Orthodox practice as heretical. If you go to their synagogue even now, the music sounds like it is coming from a mosque.
In opposition to what we call the Judeo-Christian tradition, the experience of the Arab Jews can only honestly be described, painful as it is for Zionists, as a Judeo-Muslim tradition.
In Israel, Arab Jewish women dye their hair blond to hide their hated Arabness. The men, suspected of being “Arabs”, are arrested and beaten. The profound racism of the past has significantly diminished, but as recently as the 1970’s the racism of Ashkenazim towards Mizrachis in Israel was as bald-faced and unselfconscious as one found in the US South in the 1960’s.
The history of this naked racism has been systematically hidden from Americans by the Zionist Ashkenazi Jews who have plotted to dominate our media.
Their Gentile colleagues do not dare to run such an article, as they live in terror that the US Zionist (Jewish) Lobby would bombard them with hostile phone calls and letters to the editor, drown them with calls for resignation, stage demonstrations in front of the office, threaten advertiser boycotts and plot media campaigns of character assassination by Zionist fellow travelers.
Wherever their minds are at, media Gentiles know who signs the checks.
This situation of an ethnic lobby dominating a nation’s media, then terrorizing the same media into de facto censorship, is profoundly undemocratic and hostile to (so-called) basic American values. Whether or not it is an innate value for US Jews with “zero-sum game” Middle Eastern tribal values of ethnic warfare and hyperethnocentrism is not important.
In the late 1800’s, Karl Marx said that in 100 years, he predicted that America will be a Jewish country. And so it has come to be, for better and for worse.
European Jews term their movement from the Diaspora to Israel (in a gratuitous insult to the Palestinian natives) as an aliya or an ascent. For the Arab Jews, it has always been a yerida or descent.
In Shohat’s excellent piece, she notes a common Mizrachi complaint – that what they see as their rich, wonderful history has been co-opted and revisionized by Ashkenazi Jews into the party-line Ashkenazi “pogrom and persecution” history of the Jews.
Interestingly, many Mizrachis vociferously object to this and see it as an invalidation of their culture. As Shohat protests:

The Jewish experience in the Muslim world has often been portrayed as an unending nightmare of oppression and humiliation. Although I in no way want to idealize that experience–there were occasional tensions, discriminations, even violence–on the whole, we lived quite comfortably within Muslim societies.
Our history simply cannot be discussed in European Jewish terminology. As Iraqi Jews, while retaining a communal identity, we were generally well integrated and indigenous to the country, forming an inseparable part of its social and cultural life. Thoroughly Arabized, we used Arabic even in hymns and religious ceremonies.
The liberal and secular trends of the 20th-century engendered an even stronger association of Iraqi Jews and Arab culture, which brought Jews into an extremely active arena in public and cultural life. Prominent Jewish writers, poets and scholars played a vital role in Arab culture, distinguishing themselves in Arabic-speaking theater, in music, as singers, composers, and players of traditional instruments.
In Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia, Jews became members of legislatures, of municipal councils, of the judiciary, and even occupied high economic positions. (The finance minister of Iraq in the ’40s was Ishak Sasson, and in Egypt, Jamas Sanua–higher positions, ironically, than those our community had generally achieved within the Jewish state until the 1990s.)

Note that Shohat speaks positively of the tremendous achievements Mizrachi Jews made in the 20th Century Arab World before the creation of Israel. In typical Ashkenazi Zionist histories of Arab Jews one finds on the Internet, the entire 20th century histories of the Arab Jews of each Arab land is described only as a litany of woes, crimes, persecutions, killings, and general unpleasantness.
As Shohat notes, there is another proud history there, when in the 20th Century, Arab Jews reached the peak of power and influence in their societies, and more importantly, played profound roles in the modernization of their backward societies.
But I digress. This post was to be about the Jews of Arabia. As I noted above, Zionists love to talk about the fact that “there are no Jews in Saudi Arabia”. At times, they also sometimes wallow in primordialism by ranting about how Mohammad supposedly killed and ethnically cleansed all of the Jews of Arabia in the 700’s.
The Zionists who talk like this actually say that, as a response to these supposed crimes by Mohammad against the Arabian Jews, Zionists had a right to steal Arab Palestine from Arab Muslims in revenge! I kid you not. Now tell me that Zionism is not a form of insanity.
The fact is that standard history says that there have been no Jews in Arabia proper for centuries. It is true that Mohammad did fight wars against three tribes of Arabian Jews (who apparently had come to Arabia after the destruction of temples by the Romans 500-600 years before).
In one of these battles, the battle against the Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayza at the Battle of Kaybar, he executed hundreds of Jews after they surrendered, stole their lands and possessions and enslaved their women. In another war against the Banu Qaynuqa, Mohammad took their possessions and banished the tribe.
In the Battle of Kaybar, Mohammad took a Jewish slave woman, Safiyya bint Huyayy, as a bride. One Muslim tradition has it that a Banu Nadir woman, angry at what he did to her tribe, slowly poisoned Mohammad, from which he apparently died. This hadith is not very well-attested but is a favorite of Muslim anti-Semites.
The truth, as usual, is so much more complicated. It turns out that there were nine separate Jewish tribes in Arabia. Mohammad only had conflicts with three of these nine tribes. With the other six, the Banu Auf, Banu Harif, Banu Jusham, Banu Najjar, Banu Shutayba, Banu Sa’ida, Mohammad made peace and signed the Constitution of Medina with them, in which they were allowed to retain their Jewish religion.
Clearly, the ultranationalist Zionist notion that Mohammad killed all the Arabian Jewish men, enslaved all their women, stole all their stuff and ethnically cleansed them, is simply false.
After the recordings in the Koran, the trail of the Arabian Jews grows dim. We find one clue in the controversy over the apparently false hadith, in which Mohammad supposedly said on his deathbed, “There shall no other religion in Arabia”.
This fake hadith is used by the Saudi ultrareactionaries to disallow the open practice of any non-Muslim religion in Arabia, to forbid the building of non-Muslim houses of worship, to mandate that all Saudi citizens must be Muslims, and to allow only Muslims to visit Mecca.
The hadith, probably written long after Mohammad died, is dubious for several reasons. For one, history tells us that Christians, and possibly Jews, lived in Arabia for at least 200 years after Mohammad. If Mohammad actually said this, why were non-Muslims allowed to reside in Arabia for 200 years after his death?
Furthermore, are we to believe that non-Muslims lived in Arabia the whole time during Mohammad’s rule with his permission, yet Mohammad suddenly changed his mind on his deathbed and decided they had to leave, yet this was not enforced until 200 years later?
What we do know is that 200 years later, under the influence of this dubious hadith, apparently all Christians, and possibly any remaining Jews, were thrown out of Arabia.
Yet the history of Arabian Jews is more mysterious than even this poorly-attested history.
Saudi society is virulently anti-Semitic these days for various reasons. An example of this nasty anti-Semitism is a a fad in Saudi society to accuse various Saudis one does not like, especially members of the Saudi royal family whose commitment to Islam is suspect, of having Jewish ancestors.
Saudi history (mostly oral) is insistent that a number of Saudi tribes supposedly have Jewish origins. They all apparently converted long ago. Therefore, at the very least, a fair number of the ultra-Muslims of Saudi Arabia are actually converted Jews, as hard as it may be for either group to accept.
Now we find a shocking obscure gem of a web page on the Jews of Iraq from August 2001 that suggests that thousands of Saudi crypto-Jews exist to this very day. From the page:

Wow! What a fantastically historical site you have!! My name is Joseph ElHadef, and I live in NY. I am Greek, Hungarian, Egyptian, and Iraqi. In the article from Montefiore Hall the lecturer mentions that Mr. Dangoor spoke to a crypto Jew in Saudi Arabia, tell me more about this incident? I had two Kuwaiti friends at Hofstra University in NY and they both told me that there are STILL Jews in Kuwait? As well as Bahrain? Tell me more about the Saudi Jews!
Joseph ElHadef
A crypto Jewish couple from Saudi Arabia with their twelve children came to London a few years ago and visited the offices of the Exilarch’s Foundation, asking for help to obtain a visa to enable them to emigrate to Israel. However, the Israel Embassy in London turned down their application and they decided to travel to Jordan and move over to Israel clandestinely.
According to their evidence there are thousands of crypto Jews in Saudi Arabia who lead a separate existence from the main population. To our knowledge, there are no Jews living in Kuwait, but a number of Jewish families still live in Bahrain, mainly of Iraqi origin.

It looks like the Zionists who love to rave about “no Jews in Saudi Arabia” may need to reform those frothing rants in light of this suggestive new evidence that there at least 2,000 crypto-Jews still living in Saudi Arabia! At the least, I think these possible crypto-Jews of Saudi Arabia ought to be investigated by an intrepid, discreet reporter.
One more Zionist lie about Saudi Arabia ought to be disposed of, while we are at it. Zionists love to rail about how, supposedly, no Jews are allowed in Saudi Arabia. Along the same lines, some acknowledge that Jews and Christians are allowed in Saudi Arabia, but are not allowed to practice their religion, according to such august sources as the New York Times. These falsifications really need to be dealt with.
Without defending the fundamentalist cretins in the House of Saud, the fact is that there are quite a few Christians and even some Jews living in Saudi Arabia. None are citizens. All are immigrants working there for foreign companies. Prior to March 1, 2005, the Saudi Tourist Office website had a notice that Jews were not allowed to enter Saudi Arabia. Never mind that many did anyway.
On March 1 of last year, that notice was removed along with a statement apologizing for any inconvenience it may have caused. And, as the nice Crossroads Arabia blog (written by a Western expat living in the Kingdom) notes, there are both observant Jews and observant Christians amongst the expat community, and both are permitted to practice their religions. They are not permitted to proselytize or hold public religious services.
However, foreign business and government offices have facilities that they use to hold religious services for their non-Muslim workers. Furthermore, many of these organizations have what are called “dual-use” employees – workers who also serve to lead these non-Muslim services.
As you can see in the comments on the Crossroads Arabia blog, a favorite Zionist line is that there are virtually no Jews left in the Arab World, while there was an 800,000 strong community before a certain s-tty little country came into existence. That the emergence of this stolen state had something to do with the loss of the Arab Jewish presence is not acknowledged.
The loss of the Arab Jews is used by Zionist super-racists to continuously bash the Arab World over the head. What is truly disturbing about this line, though, is the way in which many of these Jews left the Arab World. For instance, in Operation Magic Carpet in the early 1950’s, virtually the entire 40,000-strong Yemeni Jewish community was airlifted out of Yemen.
Many of the Yemeni Jews claim that they were taken out virtually against their wills, that children were separated from parents, that they were rudely sprayed with disinfectant as soon as they landed in Israel and that they have been treated like crap in Israel ever since.
This has been a pattern. In the late 1980’s, a Jewish community, the Chabani Jews, was discovered in the mountains on the disputed border of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Although they were actually living in Saudi Arabia (I thought there were no Jews in Arabia!?), they were not citizens.
In contrast to the stereotype of the Jew as “rootless cosmopolitan”, these Jews were living the life of the noble savage. They went barefoot in the desert and the men all carried long guns on their backs at all times to defend themselves in this dangerous, tribal region.
Upon learning of the existence of these Saudi Jews, Israel immediately went crazy and demanded that this small group of Jews had to go to Israel “for safety” right now.
Never mind that they had been running around in the desert without significant incident, living lives as normal as anyone else in the region lived, for as long as anyone could remember. They were promptly airlifted out to Israel, where I seriously doubt that they are all sitting on the boards of major Israeli corporations by now.
By 1990, towards the end of the Afghan-Soviet War, it was discovered that there were still a few Jews left in that forlorn land, mostly in Kabul, but a few in Herat. This was for the most part a community of Iranian Jews that moved to Afghanistan long ago and developed its own customs. They had weathered the war about as well as anyone, and apparently did not want to leave.
Israel immediately had an international conniption fit and demanded that all of these Jews had to leave Afghanistan and go to Israel right now. An airlift was organized and most of the baffled Jews took the bait and left. Only one Jew, Zebulon Simontev, remains.
It is important to note that when Israel “rescues” these communities that are usually not even in danger, they bribe them to come to Israel. They are often offered large cash payments, a free house, a free income for 5 years or more, etc. It is not surprising that many take the bait. In this manner the entire remaining Afghan Jewish community was decimated – by Israel!
Even after the Taliban took over, there were still 2 Jews remaining in Kabul, Zebulon Simontev and Isaac Levy. They had stayed to take care of the crumbling synagogue and the scrolls. What was interesting was that the Taliban, who we are continuously told are “Islamofascists” dedicated to exterminating all the Jews on Earth, did not even bother to kill these 2 Jews, although it would have been a trivial exercise.
In fact, they were allowed to live freely with no restrictions. They did get into problems with the Taliban because they were into fortune telling, which was illegal under the Taliban. Both of these Jews was jailed for a few weeks for this offense. These two Jews got on great with the Muslim neighbors, who were truly fond of them.
Wait! I thought all Afghans were “Islamofascist” exterminationists? Tragicomically, these two Jews, though the last remaining of their community, utterly despised each other, and spent most of their time fighting each other in various ways. Their constant fighting seems to have landed them a couple of Taliban jail terms too.
My point here is that whenever a Jewish community turns up in the Arab or Muslim World, Israel immediately races to “rescue” them with an airlift and massive bribes. In this manner have many of these Jewish communities been decimated in recent years.
Then, at the same time, Zionists have the most outrageous chutzpah to say, “There are no Jews left in the region!”, and blame the poor Muslims and Arabs, when Israel is, nowadays anyway, one of the major reasons for that dearth.
Now, on to the Jews of Lebanon. I recently found a fascinating blog called The Jews of Lebanon! That was a very nice find. One very interesting article there says that 250 Jews had just returned from the Diaspora to Beirut on July 6, 2006, as they felt that the atmosphere was finally safe enough for them to return. Hooray!
It fascinating to note that only six days later, Israel launched a massive invasion of Lebanon that pretty much destroyed Lebanon. Although it seems insane to suggest such a thing, it is perfectly possible that one reason for the Israeli invasion was the return of the 250 Jews to Beirut. I realize that sounds crazy, but Israel is a very crazy country. Bear with me.
Israel is completely hostile to the notion that Jews can live peacefully anywhere in the Arab World and has engaged in repeated provocative behaviors seemingly intended to frighten Jews into leaving Arab lands. See my notes above about the murderous Israeli attacks on the Jews of Iraq and see below for a reference to the Israeli attacks on the Beirut synagogue during 1982.
Soon after Israel attacked Lebanon in July, the Jews of Lebanon blog posted a statement strongly condemning the attack. For this, apparently, they were attacked by a violent swarm of Zionist Jews ferociously assaulting them for being “traitors”. The authors of the blog were so shocked by this assault that they made a post called Enough is Enough, telling the Zionist furies to buzz off.
The standard history of the Jews of Lebanon goes beyond the scope of this post and can be found here on the US-Israel site, among other places. The history on that webpage strangely starts at 1948, but I am sure that Jews have been in Lebanon for long before that.
Mitchell Bard’s history on the US-Israel Zionist site, as you can see, is the standard Ashkenazi “pogrom and persecution” history of the Jews, grafted onto the experience of the Mizrachi Jews, in this case the Jews of Lebanon.
Note that, idiotically, on the US-Israel site, the webpage Jews of Lebanon is linked under the larger category, “Anti-Semitism”, as if anti-Semitism was only salient fact of the Lebanese Jews’ existence!
A close glance at The Jews of Lebanon blog shows that many of them probably reject this Ashkenazi mangling of their history. According to Bard’s history, the population dropped from 12,000 in 1948 to less than 100 in 2004.
We also learn of some sad and awful cases where Hezbollah, in the insanity of the Lebanese Civil War, killed some Lebanese Jews simply for being Jewish. It is also interesting to note that during that war, Israel seems to have deliberately bombed one of the main synagogues in Beirut, apparently in order to help push the Lebanese Jews into fleeing, hopefully to Israel.
This is in line with standard Zionist practice.
Zionism assumes, adopting the dishonest line from the Jewish religious Haggadah, “Every generation, they rise up to kill us…” that no Jew in the Diaspora is ever safe, that Gentiles (even the most Judeophilic) are permanently afflicted with anti-Semitism, that anti-Semitism is not understandable by humans except as some sort of bizarre infection of pure evil or utter insanity, and that the only safe place for any Jew is Israel.
Therefore, all Jews in the Diaspora must move to Israel as soon as possible. This is a bizarre formulation for a couple of reasons.
First of all, Zionism is possibly a stupid way to go about protecting the Jews. Is it really intelligent, if the Jews are always in danger of imminent extermination, to gather such a huge percentage of them into one tiny country, where they can be wiped out all the easier?
Second of all, Israel is now probably one of the most dangerous places on Earth to be a Jew.
If we take extreme liberties with the truth and refer to every attack on Israelis as a murderous or at least violent “anti-Semitic assault”, there are probably about 13 violent anti-Semitic attempted homicides in and around Israel every single day at the moment. A number of them end up killing and hurting Jews or at least damaging or destroying their property.
Comparing this to the latest out-of-breath report by the ADL about anti-Semitic incidents in America is an exercise in comedy. If one Jew is killed in an anti-Semitic assault in the US in a given year, that is notable.
Anyway, back to Lebanon. On The Jews of Lebanon blog, there is a linked article from the super-Zionist hard rightwing Israeli Ynet website called, Beirut’s Last Jews. This is a typical Israeli “pogrom and persecution” Zionist crapola sob story.
However, the article makes some interesting points, probably inadvertently. It notes that prior the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, during the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Lebanese Jews had good relations with the other sects in Lebanon (to the extent any ethnic group has good relations with others in such a fractious and sick land).
What is particularly interesting are claims by Lebanese Jews that they had superb relations in particular with the Shiites of Lebanon.
As Israel bombarded and invaded Lebanon repeatedly through the 1970’s and finally invaded en masse in 1982, all of that ended, the Shia radicalized, and Hezbollah was born. All of which portended ill for the Jews of Lebanon. The lesson here is clear. The more Israel attacked Lebanon, the worse things got for the Lebanese Jews.
And the despicable lie that pounds our ears night and day these days, with Iran and Lebanon ricocheting off the news, that the Shia Muslims have always harbored, continue to harbor, and will always harbor genocidal hatred for Jews, based on the immutable texts of the Islamic religion, is exposed as the hate speech that it truly is.
See the execrable but interesting and erudite Andrew Bostom’s Muhammad’s Willing Executioners on Robert Spencer’s disgusting and bigoted Jihad Watch site and Hezbollah’s Creed: Jihadism and Jew Hatred on the disturbing Atlas Shrugs blog of a beautiful, bright, articulate New York neoconservative Jewish publisher named Pamela with clear dual loyalty issues.
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34 thoughts on “The Jews of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Lebanon”

  1. “Zionists” aren’t the only people making the claim there are no Jews in Saudi Arabia. Unless you are arguing that anyone who makes this claim is a Zionist.
    Also, if there are crypto-Jews in Saudi Arabia proper (as opposed to a no man’s land between Yemen and Saudi Arabia) perhaps one cannot be too open in asserting ones Jewishness. Otherwise they wouldn’t be crypt0-Jews.
    Wrt to the whole Christians living in Saudi Arabia thing, it isn’t my understanding that the general consensus is that they cannot practice their religion. They cannot practice it openly from what I understand in the way Muslims practice their religion openly in the U.S. , for example. Religious services are held in private in nondescript places. There are no churches in Saudi Arabia. This may not be the case throughout the Gulf though.

  2. “The profound racism of the past has significantly diminished, but as recently as the 1970’s the racism of Ashkenazis towards Mizrachis in Israel was as bald-faced and unselfconscious as one found in the US South in the 1960’s.
    The history of this naked racism has been systematically hidden from Americans by the Zionist Ashkenazi Jews who have plotted to dominate our media.”
    As bald-faced as what existed in the U.S. South? I doubt it. And how has this history of bigotry been hidden from us by “Zionist Ashkenazi Jews”? I’ve known about this for quite a while just be visiting my local library. I can remember reading an article from “Time Magazine” about “Oriental Jews” and their situation in Israel back in the early 80s. They haven’t been that successful.
    Maybe your anti-Zionism leads you to exaggerate things the way some people’s Zionism leads them to exaggerate the ill-treatment of Arab Jews.

    1. Your average American doesn’t know the slightest thing about this. I can’t ever remember reading one thing about it in the MSM, a big paper, a big newsmagazine, US TV, anything. Obviously, to someone, it’s a non-story.

  3. Much of this is laughable (as well as undocumented) but I found the following to be an absurd contradiction:
    “The government of Israel cut a deal with the pro-British government of Iraq to deprive Iraqi Jews of their rights and property, to deprive them of employment and ultimately to confiscate their wealth. All of this was cleverly done to facilitate the flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel. Upon arrival in Israel, 50% of the Iraqi Jews’ money was immediately seized by Israeli authorities and was never given back. ”
    If Israel cut a deal with the Iraqi government to confiscate the wealth of Iraqi Jews (Can you see it? “Make sure the Jews who leave your country bring no money into our country.” What a joke.), how could 50% of the Iraqi Jews’ money be seized by Israeli authorities? Fifty percent of what?
    The rest of this undocumented silliness would take too long to detail, but somehow I don’t find it comforting that if there are indeed secret Jews in Saudi Arabia, they are forced practice their religion in hiding.

    1. fuck off bastard ! each person knows that u do not need someone to agree with u to be sure that Israel = EVIL !
      every decent normal human being, i mean humans not animals know that jews came and occupied a land which is not theirs ! they left this land long ago and that’s it !
      if now the red indians of north america or the inca or the mayas decide to get back their lands by force, would u agree with them !??!
      i am 100% sure that all the jews must be decimated and this will happen one day, but for now, in case israel want to attempt a chance to solve this problem once and for all, then they must throw their military forces away and at least give back Jerusalem and minimum 50% of the occupied land back to Palestine ! this way, maybe after 10-20 years, all the hatred would cool down in the region and things would go back to normal !
      but since i doubt that israel would take such a step, then i say that fuck israel and everyone backing ‘it’ up !

  4. So it was all down to Zionist terrorists that made almost one million Jews of the arab speaking world flee for their lives. You seem to have forgotten the farhud of 1941 Baghdad, was that also caused by Zionist terrorists. My family fled our arab homeland in 1950 there weren’t any zionist terrorists present coercing us to leave. If my parents hadn’t fled our homeland in the middle east I wouldn’t be here today replying on this blog, we would have been all murdered. The realestate that we Jews of the Middle East & the Maghrebi States left behind was almost five times that of the state of israel today. What about our rights for the jews of thar Arab World.

    1. Well said, Samir and Jania, this “hurricane” is the one who is trying to change historical facts with his filthy lies and thinking using swearwords will give him more substance to his baseless arguments lol !

  5. Your average American doesn’t know the slightest thing about this. I can’t ever remember reading one thing about it in the MSM, a big paper, a big newsmagazine, US TV, anything. Obviously, to someone, it’s a non-story.
    Your average American knows little of how Arabs treat South Asian guest workers in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Also your average knew little of the civil war between the Northern Sudanese (Muslim) and the Southern Sudanese (Animist Christian) which took over 1 million lives. (For some reason Darfur seems to get more press.
    Your average American knows little of how the dominant group treats the minority group outside of American, Australian or European borders because it’s rarely reported.

  6. Zionists love to rail about how, supposedly, no Jews are allowed in Saudi Arabia.
    Someone with name Goldstein with a US or British passport would probably have no problems but I do think for the most part Saudi Arabia does not let anyone who presents an Israeli passport into the kingdom.

    1. I don’t blame them. The Saudis are practically at war with the Israelis, and many Israelis trying to there are probably spies of one type or another anyway.
      The Arabs are correct to be paranoid of even their own Arab Jews and certainly of Israelis. Some of these people are spies, and they are some of the finest spies on the face of the Earth, they are very hard to catch, and they do tremendous damage to Arab regimes deemed hostile to Israel. Mossad operates even in downtown Damascus – note how they killed Mugniyeh.
      The sad truth is that many Jews are basically just traitors no matter what state they live in because when it comes down to brass tacks, they will always side with the Jews against even their own state. Dual loyalty is a very serious issue among Jews everywhere and has been for centuries.
      Kudos to Arabs for watching every Jew in their lands like a hawk.

  7. Also, there is a line called, “Only Whites are evil,” that the US media parries a lot.
    For the most part I would agree. The media only seems to take interest if White people are doing the killing or are the victims.
    If it’s Black people getting killed (such as the more than 3 million who died in the Congo in the last decade and a half..) it doesn’t matter so long as other Black people are doing the killing.

  8. How do you know if one…or all…hadiths are not ‘fabricated’. Perhaps they all were for the benefit of one or another of the competing dynasties of Holy Arab Empire.
    The throne was the prize. ‘Truth’ was never a consideration in politics. It is apparent that with so many contradictions in the hadiths, many of them are definitely ‘fabricated’, but WHICH one?
    Nor you, nor I, nor the university professors can say.
    The evil, barbaric dynastic marauders of the eighth and ninth centuries created forgeries, burned the original records, rewrote others and committed fraud after fraud to defend their temporal power.
    The facts are lost in the ashes of firepits in the Near East.

    1. Yes, you are right. Most ideas that spring from hadith are in stark contrast to the Quran. Even worst, they seem to add ideas from neighboring religions, for example:
      1. Jesus’ resurrection and return is from Paul. Nothing in the Quran speaks of any of Paul’s ideas. Only the synoptic Gospels or Apocrypha are mentioned.
      2. The Prophets “Night Journey” to Jerusalem. The Quran implies that his soul was only tooken there(Masjid Al-Aqsa). The Hadith claim that he physically flew on a horse(Buraq) and tied it to the temple wall. A similar story can be found in Zoroastrian texts. Zoroaster flys on a horse up to heaven and meets Ahura-Mazda(God).
      3. The Prophet will intercede on Judgement Day. The Quran denies any form of intercession, yet hadith propagate it. Another one similar to Paul’s. Whats even worse is no reason for Jesus’ denial is given…
      Most Sunni Hadith glorify the first three Caliphs way too much. They attempt to clear their names of any wrong that they could have done. It’s equal to blasphemy to insult them. The Shia Hadith basically make the Prophets family(mainly Ali) into Gods and make them infallible.
      Most Muslims have gone astray from the Book and followed the traditions of men who just wanted political power and were prejudiced against Jews and Kafirs.

  9. while i was serving in our embassy i heard from some christian TV Chanel that millions of Jews are still living deeply hidden inside Islam in Saudi Arabia. there are some reason to believe that this is true. some of the distant regions are allowed to kept its customs by Saudi govt. these regions are close to foreigners inhabitants of these regions are doing intermarriage among them self only, thus evading any outer people into their circle.
    no one including the civil police in Saudi Arabia has the power to enter any house in that country. most of the houses are en circle by parapet walls. therefore the people inside this houses are able to conduct religious or any other act secretly. therefore i suggest that Jews are still living in Saudi Arabia and with the knowledge of the SAUDI government!

    1. GEE ROBERTO …it really is difficult to distinguish your foundational respect for logic and rationale from that of Himmler. Really not much difference’…the bigger the lie the more likely to be believed’ is not exactly a novel modus operandi. Warping of objective historical fact helps to fit the square peg into the round hole. All those good Arabs who forced out a million Jews from their homes looting their lives and possessions are now forgiven…it was all the fault of the Zionists and as they so happened to be Jews it was all excusable!As with ham an the enemies of Israel will rot in this and the afterlife.

  10. I literally cannot count the errors in this article. First, Mizrachi Jews (I am one) have NEVER considered themselves “Arabs” any more than an English speaking Jew would consider themselves an Englishman.
    Claiming that Zionists dressed themselves up as Arabs in Iraq and threw grenades at Jews is a stock Anti Semitic canard that belongs in the rubbish bin with most other Conspiracy Theories. Anti Semites conflate the Lavon Affair with the Arab depredations against Jews in Arab nations.
    As for Jews adopting Falaffel. Arabs stepped onto the historical stage in 858 BCE/BC. At that point Jews had been in the Middle East for at least 2,200 years. Arabs are indigenous only to a tiny portion of what is today called Saudi Arabia. Unless someone can prove that Falaffel was “invented” in Arabia in the 7th Century CE/AD the liklihood of the matter is that Jews had been eating it long before Arabs existed.
    Mizrachi left Arab nations because in virtually every one the governments stripped them of the few rights they enjoyed as Dhimmi, and subjected them to state-sponsored campaigns of hatred and violence.
    As for Mizrachi Jews having the choice to return to Arab lands, that choice is limited to Morocco and Bahrain, with Libya having changed management and with that change so went Khadaffi’s tongue in cheek “offer.” Stating that Jews are free to return to Aden, the UAE, or even Egypt is either disingenuous or ignorant. Yet, let us for the sake of argument imagine that yes, Jews with roots in a specific Arab nation have the freedom to return to that land. Aside from the Anti Semitism that has always permeated EVERY Arab land, Dhimmitude is a sub-human existence. Palestinians seeking to return to Israel know that if this was ever allowef it would negate either Israel’s Jewish Character, or else its Democratic system. They would not be living as a minority- and like Israeli Arabs today, even if they lived as minorities within a Jewish State, they would not exist as Ahl al Dhimmi, subhumans who are allowed to exist in exchange for a stiff fee that is extorted annualy.
    Suggesting that Israel’s post-independance government needed the influx of Mizrahi Jewry as a cheap and abundant exploitable labour is, beyond ignorant. First, within the Greenline, only 240,000 Palestinians became refugees. There weren’t even “800,000” refugees in all of Historic Palestine. The UN pegged the entire refugee population at 470,000 at the end of the 1948 War (refer to UN documents A/689pp5 and A/689/Addendum 1- as well as A/648 in Part Ipp29, Part IIpp23 and Part IIIpp11).
    Then, factor in the reality that Israel not only allowed them to return, it did so 3 times. In 1949 at the Lausanne Conciliation Conference in Switzerland, even before negotiations began, Israel unilaterally tabeled a plan for the immediate repatriation of 100,000 refugees. Considering the fact that pre-war, the Palestinian population within what would soon become the Greenline merely consisted of 440,000. Of the 240,000 that became refugees, 100,000 would be taken back in one fall swoop. Of the remaining 140,000 refugees, Israel offered an incremental package for FULL repatriation.
    Although this offer was refused by Arabs, they DID accept reperations which were paid on both an institutional AND an individual scale in both cash AND land as Alternative Holdings (the latter for the several thousand refugees who decided on an individual basis to return after all.
    Lastly, Israel ALSO returned all liquid assets under UN and Arab supervision- as well as Barclays, the financial institution that served as the interface in transfer of assets.
    When have the nearly 1 million Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands EVER receive reperations- or EVEN an offer of reperations?
    You denigrate the concept of Population Transfer, conflating THAT with Ethnic Cleansing. Yes, Turkey and Greece could have been handled better, and that is absolutely the case with regards to the partitioning of the Indian sub-continent. However, what about Hungary and Czeckoslovakia? Population Exchange is the simplest and most cost-effective (not only monetarily but emotionally, politically and logistically as well) way in which to smooth out the wrinkles caused by Western cartographers vivisecting large parcels of territory without regard to how it will effect the divided territories.
    While you mention Population Exchange with regard to the Refugee Issue, the League of Nations had actually anticipated one taking place with regard to the 3 Class A Mandates it created in the Middle East just after WWI. Two of the Mandates- Syria and Mesopotamia- were to serve as Arab Homelands in addition to the 3 sovereign Arab nations then in existence. The 3rd Mandate, Palestine- including what we now refer to as Gaza, West Bank, Israel AND Jordan- was to serve as a Jewish Homeland. The Jews on the 2 Arab Mandates would transfer to Mandatory Palestine, whereas the Arabs in Manfatory Palestine would transfer to one of the two Arab Mandates.
    Britain’s criminal behavior in lopping off 90,000 of the legally guaranteed 119,000 square kilometers of Mandatory Palestine ruined any real chances of success that plan might have offered. Those 90,000 square kilometers- 77% of Mandatory Palestine- was then named “Jordan” and handed to the Shariff of Mecca vis a vis promises made in “McMahon Husseini.”
    I would love to dissect the rest of this entry but I fear this reply has been long enough.

  11. neteurikarta // Arabs stepped onto the historical stage in 858 BCE/BC. At that point Jews had been in the Middle East for at least 2,200 years.//
    Before we talk about Falaffel , you need to accept that comparing faith ( Judaism) and race ( Arabs) is not an argument. Arabs are older than all three faith. Abraham’s first son was an Arab before Isaac,
    neteurikarta //Arabs are indigenous only to a tiny portion of what is today called Saudi Arabia.//
    The borders of the Arabian Peninsula before the Western colonialist divided it was from the east shores of Arabia to the southern tip of Yemen right to the top east side of Mesopotamia , which included Abraham;s home town UR, where the tiny Hebrew tribe originated from .Queen of Sheba was an Arab from Yemen, King Herod was part Arab from his mother’s side. What you need is some semitic history course from the real Semites ( ARABS) .
    neteurikarta// Unless someone can prove that Falaffel was “invented” in Arabia in the 7th Century CE/AD the liklihood of the matter is that Jews had been eating it long before Arabs existed.//
    Can you prove that the 70-80% of the European And Ashkinazi Jews left Palestine 2000 years ago ?. Surly some of the literate so called diaspora Jews would have writing’s something about their journey , or such a glorious defeat of the Jews would have been Documented by the Romans. Nothing but a a depiction of the looting of Jewish Goods carried off to Rome as a Booty . Even Jewish Josephus an Eye witness says that most of the rebellion Jews were killed , some were sent to Libya as slaves and the rest kicked out of Jerusalem the Capital NOT PALESTINE the country, so they went to the other cities ,towns and villages. Palestine was never empty of Jews after that period, which proves that the trouble makes only were kicked out of the Capital . Some of today’s Palestinians including the Bedouins and Samaritans are the real Israelite and Jews of the land who later converted to Christianity and then Islam. Not the Einsteins and Burgers of the western block or the Mabutus of Angola, or the Chens of China, or India or Iceland.The Ashkinazi Jews have a unique inherited Genetic decease not found in Semitic or Arab Jews .Maybe its due to the lack of Falaffel in their ancestors diet. Arabs pagan, christian and Jews have been eating falaffel before you knew how to pronounce it.

  12. neteurikarta // When have the nearly 1 million Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands EVER receive reperations- //
    For what ? they were already leaving to take over Palestinian land and Homes . Most Arab Jews left willingly after the creation of Israel 1948 , to fulfill the so called RETURN dream. and for the European Jews as cheap labour to replace their fellow Palestinian Arabs . If they were forced out then why was there STILL a HIGH number of Jews till in Arab kland ? The couple of countries that the Jews left for safety were because of wars and tensions. Many none Jews also left for safety on the hope to come back.
    Giladi the Iraqi Jew told the truth in his last book. I suggest you read it.

    1. To Hasbara:
      Mesopotamians were not Arabs nor were/are the majority of Levantines. This is the typical Arab Muslim distortion if history to try and paint every ancient culture and figure as an Arab. The true Arabs are the southern Arabians. Wasn’t Mohammed himself an Adnani Arab? Meaning those Arabs who are not Arabs by blood but have been Arabized culturally.
      You claim The Jews aren’t an ethnic group but they have as much right to call themselves that as Arabs. If not more. They have genetic and historical bonds.
      Many Arabs such as those in North Africa and the Levant are Arabs by language only as there’s pressure from Islamic establishments to assimilate into the culture and language of the “purest” and earliest Muslims. This has lead to attempts to erase the original cultures and suppress the languages such as in the case of the Berbers of North Africa.
      You need to read some history outside of the clichéd and distorted Arab Muslim view.

        A System of Geography, Popular and Scientific: Or A Physical, …
        Mesopotamia was all Arabia.The Akkedians were from Bahrain ,meaning ARABS, their language, names, kings were all Arabs.
        Recent translation of an Akkadian manuscript was heard to be like Arabic
        I am saying Judaism isn’t an ethnicity that’s why you get Arab Jews, Chinese Jews, German Jews etc.
        North African Arabs are decedents of Arabs and other ethnicity, some mixed with the Berbers who are older migrants

    2. Hasbara, you wrote “If they were forced out then why was there STILL a HIGH number of Jews till in Arab kland ?”
      Thinking by this way, there is no true conflict in the middle east, since Arabians of Palestine were not forced out to leave their homes and lands in Israel, There is a high number of “Palestinians” leaving in Israel and “Palestine”.

  13. The name Mesopotamia did not come to use till after the time of the Macedonian conquest of Asia. The southern part of Mesopotamia Xenophon called Arabia, and other writers included it, especially the northern part was called Syria ( Strabo page 737).

  14. If the jews living in Saudi Arabia are all cripto-jews so jews are not allowed to live in Saudi Arabia. If this is true so your article confirms that the Zionists are RIGHT.

  15. Those making an equation between Arab Jewish and Palestinian refugees ignore some inconvenient facts:
    1.) There were different circumstances in each country: while Jews certainly fled insecurity, violence, rioting and increasing persecution in Iraq, Syria and Libya, they did not necessarily face such problems in Morocco and Lebanon. Morocco, home to the largest Jewish population in the Arab world, did not expel or persecute its Jews.
    While there was certainly insecurity, Jews were nevertheless well integrated and regarded in the country. The King protected them from Vichy France and the Nazis during WW II and when he died in the 50’s or 60’s (I forget) both Jews and Muslims mourned him. The adviser to the current King of Morocco for many years was a Jew. The Jews that left Morocco did so largely on Zionist initiatives trying to actively recruit impoverished Moroccan Jews to come to the country, often having to shove them onto the boats. This largely had to due not just with insecurity per se but also with the economic downturn in Morocco and the lack of opportunities there. Even then, they didn’t all go to Israel. Large numbers also went to France.
    Hardly a precise “population exchange”. What’s more, a small but sizable population of 2,000+ still remain, where they continue to coexist with Muslims in spite of pressures and suspicions arising from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Furthermore, and this is most important, Moroccan Jews who emigrated actually are able to return to the country. The monarchy has on several occasions asked them to return. In fact, many continue to do so but only to visit their religious sites. Not to settle down. Still, a far cry from the Palestinians who fled Israel. They aren’t even allowed to visit, let alone return to live.
    The same is with Tunisian Jews who emigrated. While some did leave due to riots and hostility, many also left for reasons similar to the Moroccans, and they are still allowed to return to visit. A small Jewish community still lives in the country and actually participates in the government, albeit in a limited capacity. Still, they remain proud to be Tunisian and have refused Israeli calls to emigrate, even after the victory of the Ennahda party some years ago.
    Most of Algeria’s Jewish community were made French citizens as per the Cremieux Decree in 1870 and were given all the benefits and privileges of French citizenship and culture denied to their Muslim compatriots, driving a wedge between them and the Muslims. They were even assimilated into French culture and considered part of the Pied Noir community by the 1920’s, even if not as full equals as the WWII Vichy experience demonstrated. With the independence of Algeria, the Algerian Jews had to leave with the other Pied Noirs, as they were French citizens and part of the Algerian French community. A small number remained but had to leave in the 90’s due to political instability.
    Lebanon had a small but stable Jewish community which actually increased after 1948 in comparison to other Arab countries, due in part to immigration of Arab Jews from nearby Syria and Iraq who decided to go to Lebanon rather than Israel. It thrived in a way their co-religionists in other Arab lands did not, serving in the army, government, public life, culture, commerce, etc. The 1967 War and the Civil War changed all that. That too had nothing to do with anti-Semitism but with the shift of the Palestinian movement to Lebanon from Jordan, upsetting the sectarian balance between Sunnis, Maronites and Shias, with the Maronite elites feeling threatened.
    Lebanese Jews, along with other smaller communities like Armenians, Greeks, Syrians and others felt the pressure and started to leave, and that too mostly for western Europe and North America, with only a few going to Israel. The rest left due to the Civil War, especially as a key Jewish neighborhood in Beirut was on the frontlines between the Christian and Muslim factions. What many forget is that Palestinian fighters helped protect the Beiruti main synagogue during the war – there’s even a picture of it.
    Yemen’s Jews were airlifted out of the country due to collusion between the Zaydi Imam, the US, Israel and independent Jewish groups, and that too caused problems for Jews in transit as Esther Meir Glitzenstein has documented so ably.
    Egyptian Jews left due to similar concerns regarding popular hostility and government persecution as with Iraq, Syria and Libya. However, I think Egypt is also a different case from the other Jewish Arab communities. The thing is, the Egyptian Jewish community was not a unified bloc but consisted of two major strands – a Sephardic/Ashkenazi elite that mostly immigrated to Egypt during the 19th and 20th centuries holding multiple foreign citizenships and an indigenous Arabic-speaking Karaite community that was closely integrated into the local society.
    The most prominent and noticeable Jews in Egypt were of the former. They worked in banks, owned businesses and were prosperous, but as foreign citizens they often made use of foreign schools, opportunities and developed a reputation of being not entirely connected to Egypt. Some even sold their businesses and left even before the mass departures of the 50’s and 60’s. What’s more, they were one of several foreign communities that resided in Egypt in the early-mid 20th century and dominated the country’s economy. These included Armenians, Greeks, Syrians, Turks, French, Italians, other Balkan groups etc.
    There’s a huge misconception that Nasser intentionally expelled the Jewish community from Egypt. This is not true at all. After the 1956 invasion of Egypt by Israel, Britain and France, Nasser decided to nationalize most of the foreign business and expel those who held foreign citizenships. This included more than half of the Jewish community, but they were not the sole or even primary group to be affected by this policy. The other major foreign communities were expelled as well, and their properties and businesses went to the state.
    The local Karaite Jews remained but like their co-religionists elsewhere, they too suffered from increased police harassment and hostility. Also left out of the equation is Israel’s underground terrorist operations in Egypt – Operation Susannah – which heavily recruited local Egyptian Jews for its activities. This helped to cast suspicion on Jews in Egypt as agents of Zionism, further collapsing the distinction. Even so, it may be worth pointing out that the Nasserite prosecutor who tried some of the accused parties in the operation noted that they were being tried as “sons of Egypt” accused of treachery against the state, not as foreigners and that they were being treated just as any son of Egypt being charged with such crimes.
    While such a qualifier is meaningless for a minority feeling the heat of being conflated with an enemy they have no control over (I mean Hell, I laugh when US officials professing respect for Islam turn a blind eye to institutionalized Islamophobia), it is a world of difference from countries like Iraq where public discourse turned against the Jews as a result of Istiqlal and Ba’athist propaganda. Nasser also acknowledged the community in an interview and used it as example for why Arabs and Jews should be able to live together in Palestine.
    Nasser was guilty of many things – dictatorship, imprisoning opponents, strengthening the influence of the military apparatus, etc. And he certainly failed to protect Egypt’s Jews and is responsible for his subordinates harassing them, but he did not consciously expel them for the fact that they were Jewish. That said, Egypt should owe Jews reparations.
    Robert is right to note Zionist underground activity in Iraq as well as negotiations with the government to take the Jews while letting the politicians pocket their assets. I say all this to point out the lack of an equivalence between the Palestinians (expelled as per concerted Zionist military policy) and the Arab Jews (voluntarily emigrated or driven out based on differing circumstances, some of which involved the active meddling of Zionist agents themselves).
    2.) By claiming the Arab Jews as “refugees” equal to the Palestinians, Zionists are putting themselves in a curious double bind. If the Arab Jews are “refugees” that invalidates the Zionist narrative of Jews “returning” to the Land of Israel to be redeemed in their ancient homeland. As refugees, they are just as stateless as the Palestinians not at “home.” Zionists haven’t really comprehended the endpoint of their little “Jewish Nakba” counterargument, and many Mizrahi Jews have protested the equation on account of this implication.
    3.) Many Arab countries have actually made various efforts to invite their Jewish communities back, including Iraq, Libya and Morocco. Some, like the North African states (minus Libya), permit descendants of emigrating Jews to come back to those countries for visits and pilgrimages, and Lebanon actually has emigrant Jews working with local figures and parties to rebuild and reopen the main synagogue. Israel has never allowed Palestinians to come near the border, let alone visit. Nor has it even made a pretense of asking them to come back.
    4.) Arab countries don’t go around subjecting Mizrahi Jews to a brutal siege, separating them into bantustans or bombing them daily in refugee camps. Israelis do that to Palestinians though. And the Arabs didn’t bring in settlers from across the world to demographically alter Jewish areas.
    That said, I won’t deny that what Arab Jews faced was a tragedy. And those countries that helped drive them out should be made to pay through the nose to them or their descendants. But it wasn’t comparable to the Palestinian situation, and it involved different circumstances in various countries. And such efforts at compensation shouldn’t be linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its resolution. They should be between individuals and those countries. As many Mizrahim have insisted, such equations with Palestinians only serve to embolden Israel’s own policies and do little to actually help Mizrahi compensation schemes.

    1. Marko, reading your piece on Egyptian Jews makes me question everything else you wrote. You conveniently leave out that Nasser imprisoned the entire Jewish male population (ages 18 to 60) during the 1967 war, accusing them of being a 5th column. My mother who was born in Cairo, watched traumatized as her father was carted off by Egyptian soldiers. She had no father from age 9 through 12 as he stayed in prison on no charges for 3 years. After that experience it was clear he had to leave Egypt with nothing but the clothes on his back, leaving behind a prosperous life, and living paycheck to paycheck in America until he died.

      1. Jacob, you tell the story of your Mother traumatized with the loss of her father for only 3 years when the vast majority of Palestinian children get to watch their parents murdered by Israeli Jews (?) in uniform or not, brothers and sisters jailed for nothing up to 5 years in Administrative Detention, whatever that is.
        Palestinians grow up to hate Zionist Israelis. They know the difference for they have been dealing with them since 1936. Once the leave, pushed out, exiled, to find wok, college, etc they cannot come back to the homes they were many times born in because of the stealing of homes lived in by the same family for thousands of years.
        I feel for Palestine far more than the invaders.

        1. You actually want to make an equivalency and not respond to the actual content of the comment made by my Mizrachi friend regarding his parent’s treatment. Deal with them in separate instances and you see clearly the Jews of many Arab lands like in Egypt and in Iraq (look up the faroud massacre) you will see this was no small business. Jews were treated as second class citizens in these countries (look up jhiyza and laws of dhimmis), and you will second class citizenship although better than a nazi holocaust was no great walk in the park. It makes complete sense why there would be zero interest in going back, not rocket science!
          And please do keep feeling for the Fellashin (you call them palestinians), but Jews never left the land EVER. The cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tzfat were consistently kept Jewish throughout history. You can deny history all you want, but pick up a history and you will be slapped in the face Jewish history. And then while you are at it you can pick up a dictionary and get slapped again for you cannot invade or colonize your indigenous land.

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