Monday, June 11, 2018

Mizrachi-Sephardi Jews in Arab Lands-All Refugees in 1948

Nadene Goldfoot                                               
Yemenite Jews from Aden  being flown to Israel in 1949-50 Magic Carpet Lift
55,000 Jews had lived here.  By 2000 only 200 had remained.  
Israel was created on May 14, 1948 with its Jewish population being 650,000. The UN had a PARTITION PLAN for Palestine that Arabs refused to accept that the Jews did accept, but most likely sadly since it wasn't near anything that they had been promised. They must have figured that something was better than nothing.   The Arabs said NO and launched a war against Israel.  This caused Arab countries to kick out all the Jews living in their countries.  They became refugees.  Over 850,000 Mizrachi-Sephardi  Jews either fled or were expelled from the Arab and Muslim lands after 1948. Between 1949 and 1954, they became homeless.  

They came from Jewish communities that were over 2,000 years old.  The Jewish population in the Middle Eastern and North African countries dropped from about 900,000 to less than 50,000 by 2000.  

The New York Time had written on May 16, 1948, 2 days after the announcement of Israel's creation, that "Nine Hundred Thousand Jews (900,000) in Africa and Asia face wrath of their foes.

Operation Magic Carpet is a widely known nickname for Operation On Wings of Eagles, an operation between June 1949 and September 1950 that brought 49,000 Yemenite Jews to the new state of Israel.  They finished it in 1950.                                                                              
Ofra Haza, Singer
Israeli, Yemenite songs
Ofra Haza b: 1957
family from Yemen

There were about 10,000 Jews before May 14, 1948 living in Judea-Samaria (which Jordan called the West Bank) and  also living in Gaza.  Arab armies were stationed in these places.  The Arab armies didn't just expel the Jews. No, they razed the Jewish communities and  killed many AND  expelled the rest of  the Jews living there.  
After the 1948 war, no Jews were allowed to live in any Arab-occupied zones.  Jordan had taken control of Judea-Samaria and refused to protect the Jewish holy sites.  In East Jerusalem, 57 synagogues, libraries and houses of learning, stood that were historically precious to Jews that were centuries old.  The Arabs desecrated and destroyed them.  Later,  they took the stones  and used them to build urinals, sidewalks and roads.  

Israel celebrated their new state by barely recovering from the War and found themselves also struggling to absorb both the homeless Jews from Arab lands AND 300,000 European Jewish refugees of World War II.  Within 3 years, their 650,000 population had more than doubled.

100,000 Jews had been living in Iran, formerly known as Persia.  By 2,000 it had a population of from 12,000 to 40,000 left.  Libya's 38,000 had no Jews left.  Egypt, Yemen, Syria  had 200 each remaining.  Algeria, Iraq, and Lebanon had 100 each remaining.  Usually it was elderly women who remained, widowed who took up the responsibility of tending their Jewish cemetery. 

 Tunisia's 105,000 was reduced to 1,500.  Jewish slaves to Rome in the days of Carthage,  probably escaped and landed in Tunisia easily, remaining there all these years.   Kairouan had become the greatest center of rabbinic scholarship in the west.  By 1146 CE this had changed for the worst.  Many Jews were forced to accept Islam.  When Spain took Tunisia,  the remaining Jews were sold as slaves.  The French took over, and returning Jews were allowed citizenship in 1910.  Germans occupied it.  Jews suffered.  67,000 Jews were here in 1959.  Immigration to Israel started and by 1990 only 2,500 Jews remained.  " As of 2011, 700 Jews were living in Tunis and 1,000 on the island of Djerba."

Jews didn't remain refugees. 2/3 of them went to Israel.  Israel had to set up temporary refugee camps called "ma'abarot." that were like tents.  They now make up over 1/2 of Israel's Jewish population.  Others went to the USA, England, etc. The last Jewish refugees without a home could be the ones who had to leave Gaza in the name of Peace for the Palestinian Arabs to move in.  They've had a hard time resettling, even in Israel since they had left so much. 
Arab attack on convoy
Jews defending their new Israel 1948 War

The decision of the Arabs to attack Israel also caused refugees of their own people.  Between 472,000 and 750,000 Palestinian Arabs were displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.  Most fled to the Territories of Gaza and Judea-Samaria as well as to neighboring Arab countries, now empty of Jews.  Wars do create refugees.  Their own leaders created their own "Nakba" (catastrophe) that they have chosen to make use of by not resettling any of their refugees.  Instead, they are maintained by the UN. They are are the longest remaining refugees in the world.   

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Israel 101 by StandWithUs

No comments:

Post a Comment