Locked Doors: The Seizure of Jewish Property in Arab Countries

Locked Doors: The Seizure of Jewish Property in Arab Countries


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On the eve of the establishment of the state of Israel, the governments of Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, among others, began persecuting the Jews who had lived in these countries for generations. In most cases the persecution focused on economic measures, aimed at destroying the basis for the very existence of these Jewish communities. The measures became increasingly brutal during the Israeli-Arab conflicts and were also influenced by the claims of displaced Palestinians and internal political strife. Now, for the first time, Itamar Levin tells the full story of this ignored aspect of the Middle Eastern tragedy.

As Itamar Levin shows in this ground-breaking survey, in the Jews of Iraq were first forced to give up their citizenship in order to obtain permission to leave and then their property was seized. The Jews of Egypt were deported after the Sinai Crisis, leaving their property behind. The Jews of Syria were stripped of their property gradually through the years. Levin estimates that the total value of the Jewish property lost in Arab countries is some $6 to $10 billion. No compensation was ever paid to the tens of thousands of Jews who lost their homes, jobs, savings, and property—often overnight—just because they were Jews. Must reading for anyone interested in the modern Middle East and negotiations for a final settlement between the Arabs and Israelis.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275971342
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/30/2001
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

ITAMAR LEVIN is Managing Editor of Globe—-Israel's Business Newspaper. Since 1995, Levin has been the world's leading journalist in researching and reporting on the issue of Holocaust victims' assets. His previous publications include The Last Deposit: Swiss Banks and Holocaust Victims' Accounts (Praeger, 1999) and His Majesty's Enemies: Britain's War Against Holocaust Victims and Survivors (Praeger, 2001).

RACHEL NEIMAN is Managing Editor of Israel's Business Arena (Globes' English web site).

Table of Contents


"Precisely as in Nazi Germany"—The Jews of Iraq, from the Golden Age to Persecution, after the Establishment of the State of Israel

"They Wallow about in Desperate State"—The Jews of Iraq Lose Their Citizenship and Property

"It Caused a Panic"—Freezing Property Owned by the Jews of Iraq

"Down to Their Last Crust of Bread"—Highs and Lows for the Jews of Iraq from the 1950s to Saddam Hussein

"Mother Locked the Door and Left"—The State of Israel is Established-the Jews of Egypt Pay the Price

"An Evil Duplication of Hitler's Aryanism"—The Sinai Campaign—Epypt's Jews Are Banished and Their Property Taken

"We Had No Home"—The Egyptian Deportees Register Claims with Partial Restitution for Some

"Our House Had Become a Ruin"—Community Property Lost—Private Property Stolen

"Poison, Hatred, and Destruction"—Persecution of the Jews of Syria upon the Extablishment of the State of Israel

"For God's Sake, Please Help Us"—The Jews of Syria between Persecution and Relief

"The Community was Reduced to Ruin"—The Jews of Lebanon—Between Property and Total Annihilation

"Our Account with the Arab World"—Israeli Policy, Immigrants from Arab Countries and the Question of Property



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