Pub. Date:
Bloomsbury Academic
Forgotten Millions: The Modern Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands

Forgotten Millions: The Modern Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands

by Malka Hillel Shulewitz


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The untold story of how the once flourishing Jewish communities in the Arab Middle East have virtually disappeared.

The Forgotten Millions tells the story of the modern Jewish exodus from the Arab lands against the backdrop of the historical presence of Christian and other minorities. The Jewish presence in this area-present-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, the Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen-preceded the rise of Islam by more than a thousand years. These Jewish communities often played a leading role in the development of the region, particularly as recorded in the Cairo Genizah, with which the book begins.

In 1948 when the state of Israel was declared, there were an estimated 870,000 Jews in the region. By 1986, a generation later, the ancient Jewish peoples had virtually disappeared. Only about 20,000 remain, mainly in North Africa. Of these refugees, some 200,000 opted for the Americas and other Western countries; the majority migrated to Israel, where today they and their progeny comprise over 40 per cent of the population. What happened to trigger the transfer of whole communities? Why did this historic movement and the tragedy that preceded it fail to leave their impress either on the contemporary annals of the Jewish people or on the consciousness of the free world? The Forgotten Millions probes the reasons for this silence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826447647
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 10/27/2000
Series: Jewish History Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 258
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

Malka Hillel Shulewitz is a lecturer and writer. She has participated in the work of many organizations, including serving for seventween years as Executive Director and Publications Editor of the Israel Academic Committee on the Middle East, and is a founding member of the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries.

Table of Contents

Part 1Background
1Minorities in the Middle East: An Overview3
2Middle East Christians: The Captive Nations15
3The Dhimmi Factor in the Exodus of Jews from Arab Countries33
4Syria, A Special Case: A Comparison of the Campaigns on Behalf of Syrian and Soviet Jews52
Part 2Legal, Global and International (UN) Viewpoints
5The Expulsion of the Jews from the Arab Countries: The Palestinians' Attitude Towards It and Their Claims83
6Exchanges of Populations Worldwide: The First World War to the 1990s126
7Perpetuating the Tragedy: The United Nations and the Palestinian Refugees142
Part 3Views from Within
8Immigration and Absorption of Jews from Arab Countries155
9The Integration Processes of Eastern Jews into Israeli Society, 1948-1988185
Part 4Conclusion
Concluding Thoughts205
Appendix 1Findings of the Tribunal Relating to the Claims of Jews from Arab Lands207
Appendix 2Evidence of Four Witnesses Before the Tribunal212
Appendix 3Letter from Shimon Peres223
Appendix 4Speech by Binyamin Netanyahu, Third International Conference of WOJAC225

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