Guardian

The Guardian wants your refugee story.


Cross posted at Point of No Return, the blog about the Middle East’s forgotten Jewish refugees

Hanging of Jewish Students in Baghdad

The hangings of nine Jews in Baghdad’s main square in 1969 spurred the remaining 3,000-strong community to flee

Do you have a compelling story to tell about the Jews who fled Arab or Muslim countries as refugees in the years following WWII? If so, The Guardian wants your story. Yes, I kid you not – The Guardian. Why? Because it does not feel it gave a fair shout to some refugees in its timeline by Mona Chalabi published recently (expertly ‘fisked’ by CiF Watch here). That timeline omitted 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries altogether. This is your chance to help set the record straight.  But hurry – the deadline is in less than two weeks. Register as a commenter and write-up your story in no more than 250 words.

Here are the instructions, per the Guardian’s Chalabi:

How do I contribute?

Go back to the original timeline and add your comments below. Although tweets, emails and calls are helpful to us as journalists, they don’t always encourage the transparent, open dialogue that comments beneath a piece can.

When should I contribute?

The comments will reopen for another two weeks. After that, we’ll choose the best contributions and add them to our interactive timeline. They will be highlighted in a separate colour to show they came from you.

How will you choose?

We can’t include everything. There is a physical limit on the article page and a conceptual limit about how much can be added to what is not, and could never claim to be, a comprehensive account of every displacement in history.

The displacements that will be added to the timeline will be those that:

• affected a large number of people either at the time or subsequently
• offer a different insight to those already included about the way that a country’s circumstances can disproportionately affect one section of its population – either through disadvantage or persecution

What should I contribute?

Succinct accounts of no more than 250 words will be considered (the longest entry in the interactive so far). Please include:

• the number displaced
• links to sources of your numbers as well as pictures/quotes that illustrate the story

Again – here’s the Guardian link to where you can comment:

80 replies »

  1. ” Do you have a compelling story to tell about the Jews who fled Arab or Muslim countries as refugees in the years following WWII”

    Is there any way the fact that a general polarisation of Jews and Arabs after 48 was bound to have happened can be mentioned ? Nobody wants to be isolated ..many Jews would desperately want to go to Israel. I would.

    Also is there any way the fact that compared to the Christians the Jews lived in some degree of safety for a thousand years in the area until the sudden immigration after WW2…can that compelling story be told? Or is it all about the nasty Arabs?

    • Roger, not wishing to be “isolated” and “desperate” to go to Israel, Jews from Arab lands gave up their homes and businesses, properties and valuables – and you would be at the head of the queue! Meanwhile in Europe just a few years before Jews were prevented from leaving and died in huge numbers.
      Your post is disgusting.

      • Many of these 800,000 “Jewish refugees” were not refugees at all. Many Arab Jews left their countries to make Aliyah to Israel, sometimes following massive recruitment campaigns from the Jewish Agency, out of their own free will, either because they hoped for a better standard of living, or because they liked the idea of a Jewish state.

        In countries such as Morocco, where Jews lived peacefuly, Israel even organized buses to collect Jews and fly them to Israel, promising a better life which turned out to be an illusion for many.

        • Really Olly? Leaving everything they possesed? getting out with only a suitcase? Is that your idea of hoping for better standart. YOu people are pathetic.

        • Between 1956-1961 some 30,000 Jews secretly made their way to Israel. The story of the “Egoz,” a ship smuggling 43 Jews from Morocco, as well as an Israeli representative by the name of Chaim Tzarfati, which sank during the night of January 10-11, was the most tragic incident in the history of Moroccan aliyah. The disaster at sea brought the plight of Moroccan Jewry to the world’s headlines, and following international pressure Moroccan King Hassan II turned a blind eye to immigration by the Jews

        • To anyone wondering, “Nat” is the reincarnation of our former trolling idiot, “Nat”.
          Ban him, before we see his gory sp.amming again.

              • We now have “Chris” — another sock-puppet of “Nat”-‘s to amuse us.
                He couldn’t resist being pummelled again, after throwing that tantrum about leaving us for good.
                I just wish for tighter moderation here. We’ve tolerated enough of that miasma. It’s about time we keep these pages clear of trolling.

          • “Ban him ”

            How quickly any alternative view here is jumped on with hobnail boots. The post of 7.43 is not even controversial. Many people say that there was encouragement given for people to go to Israel. It makes great sense to try to increase the population. What a shame there is so little tolerance in some quarters for essentially moderate stances. Worrying.

            • To call a liar moderate and the denying of antisemitic cleansing as an alternative view indicates the swing of antisemitism from the right to the left extreme, both are semi´educated and hold their own brutal primitivity in high esteem.

            • So I take it you’re “Roger P.”… aka “Rosco”?
              We’ve dealt with trolls before, yourself included, but the one you’re referring to used to sp.am these pages to such a degree, that made commenting, or reading, quite frankly, impossible. Said poster, if you’re interested, has engaged in both blatant anti-Semitism, and Holocaust denial.
              There’s also ample suspicion that his trolling activities(to be sure, you, as a neophyte in the field have a LOT to learn from him) are funded; meaning his presence here is anything but “disinterested” or “moderate”.
              I would advise you to stay out of other peoples’ business: You yourself are a sock-puppeteer(aren’t you, “Rosco”?; in contravention of bona fide comment rules), so if anything, you ought to join him in Trolling limbo.

    • Roger P:

      “many Jews would desperately want to go to Israel. I would.”

      Of course you would.
      Never mind the loss of all their posession and leaving behind their homes for millenia.
      You would like that cause you’re relying on UNRWA donations and love the ever lasting “victim” status.

      • To Itsik

        ” leaving behind their homes for millenia.”

        Firstly it was horrendous that they had to move and I condemn it with every sinew of my body? But you say they lived with Arabs…for a thousand years …owned land? ? But I thought…

        To Adam

        You say it was the Arab league and I believe they were indeed primarily responsible . Yet the article manages to avoid discussing the US which as the worlds real power ,post WW2 ,with half the production of the world and the only country capable of action ..hindered immigration.

        Censorship is free

        “Phew, they let us live,we’re so greatful!”

        Yes Jews lived ..owned land, were educated.

        What nobody can explain is how a minority, measured in the tens of thousands at the start of the 20th century, became millions by 48, without the use of the word “immigration”. It seems a small step to say immigration upset the applecart that had rolled along , if unsteadily, for a thousand years.

        • What nobody explain or don;t want to hear is how a population of 250,000 arabs around the end of the 19th century grew to about 1,250,000 in 1948.

        • Roger,

          “…But I thought…”

          You thought what?
          That Farhood never happened?
          That Jews never paid Jeeza?
          What did you think?

          Just like in Russia, Prussia, England, etc where Jews had to rebuild their destroyed homes and businesses so was the case in Arab lands.
          Owning land and paying protection was a part of their lives that Muslims didn’t have to endure.
          When no option is available one must do what one can and survive.
          Unlike your beloved Palestinians my in laws had no UNRWA, no UN force behind them. and they did not resort to violance.

          Did you know that a 1/3 of Bagdad was Jewish in the 30’s or that Jews created the Egyptian Orchestra and ifrst Opera?

          http://www.think-israel.org/julius.alkuwaitybrothers.html

          I suggest you learn that even though we were forced to pay for things other didn’t we held our heads up high and exceeded against all hope all expectations.

        • Roger:
          “Yet the article manages to avoid discussing the US which as the worlds real power ,post WW2..”

          You seem to forget the Soviet Union. The article doesn’t mention how they controlled a large portion of the ME.

        • The majority were not educated, did not own anything, and were at any rate forbidden to hold certain posts and positions in Arab civil and political society pursuant to Arab state-sponsored anti-Semitism.
          The had the status of Dhimmis, and enjoyed relative tranquillity only when peace suited the Arab rules. Pogroms were numerous(although sporadic), causing deaths, depopulation and untold misery and harm to property.(Read “Jews of Islam”, by Bernard Lewis)
          Not that you would care though; the “applecart” in question is the Historic homeland of the Jews. They did not select their destination of return obliviously(or maliciously) or out of economic benefit or lucre.
          “…What nobody can explain is how a minority, measured in the tens of thousands at the start of the 20th century…”
          Precisely the question directed at the explosion of the Arab population of Palestine after the defeat of the Turks in WW1.
          An increase of about 250,000 people, from the turn of the century well into 1922 cannot be explained without a massive influx of people attracted to the favourable economic conditions brought about by Jewish resettlement in the land.
          So troll, are you that erstwhile nuisance “Rosco”? couldn’t stay away, huh? Tell-all signs of narcissism.

      • You … love the ever lasting “victim” status.

        Exactly the kind of language used by anti-Semites about Jews.

        • Pretzelberg.
          You is a signular term as well as plural.
          I was using it in the singular.
          Specifically to the person I was responding to.
          I am fully aware that many Palestinians wish to break that circle given half a chance.
          Sadly, it appears that some people control their fate for them by preferring to keep that status quo where others are being slaughtered yet their safety is not compromised.
          It’s a person I believe to be holding those views that I responded to.
          I retract it if I am wrong.

          • I was using it in the singular. Specifically to the person I was responding to.

            You must be joking.

            I am fully aware that many Palestinians wish to break that circle

            And there we have it – you were indeed talking about Palestinians in general.

            Re. my reference to similar accusations of victimhood directed at Jews, see the opening post on a recent thread:
            http://cifwatch.com/2013/08/07/irish-times-report-includes-false-claim-about-bds-impact-on-jerusalem-light-rail/comment-page-1/#comment-132731

            Dont’ stoop to their level.

            • “And there we have it – you were indeed talking about Palestinians in general.”

              No I was not. I was refering to Roger P, whom I believed to benefit from UNRWA false hope activity as a paid troll, on the expense of millions of Palestinians in Israel and the surrounding countries which do want to break away from that cycle.
              Saying that, i’ll take your interpretation on the chin and agree that stooping to the troll’s level is indeed the wrong path.

      • Take the “victim” status away and all you’re left with is a bunch of poor Arabs. Who’d want to give up such worldwide fame, sympathy and , ka-ching ka-ching money?

        • Take the “victim” status away and all you’re left with is a bunch of poor Arabs.

          Imagine if someone said something similar about Jews. You’d be outraged about the bigotry – and rightly so.

          • Pretzelberg I agree that Jeff’s statement sounds bad and seems to tar all Palestinians with the same brush but one must not forget the view of the Palestinian leadership in 1987 Arab league summit.

            They were so frustrated at the Arabs daring to ignore their “plight” and focus on the more serious matters of the Iran Iraq war that they initiated the first intifada.

            Though their conditions back in 1988 were terrible and Rabin’s treatment and iron feast response did attribute to the uprising the uprising was in the cards as a result of their on the ground leadership and the diaspora leadership carried on waving the flag and inflating the actual validity of their status as unique.

            I believe this is what Jeff reffering to bu saying that some of them cannot afford to remove that status because if they do the truth of their corruption will be revealed and they will have to face with day to day problems like the rest of us.

            What seem to be connecting them or gelling the Palestinian leaderships through out the years (even prior to 1948) is thei refusal to accomodate any part of the mandate to the Jews.
            Take away the spot light from them and close the UNRWA tap and they will turn on their politicians like what we see in Egyppt.

            • BTW, a similar scenario can be seen in Iran since 1979. They created Quds day to deflect attention from the govt faults and focus on the “baddies” in the world.
              Some might say similar things about Western govt these days but we can’t be certain.

              Saying that, I do not believe for a minute that the Palestinians were not victims to some extent. But time is moving. Staying put is not helping.

    • “Also is there any way the fact that compared to the Christians the Jews lived in some degree of safety for a thousand years in the area until the sudden immigration after WW2…can that compelling story be told? ”
      Sure, your “compelling story” is told here, idiot:

      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/Jews_in_Arab_lands_%28gen%29.html

      We can see that the first known “pogroms ” occurred in Muslim countries and then spread to Christian ones.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogrom#Pogroms_against_Jews
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1517_Hebron_pogrom
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1517_Safed_pogrom

      Some pogroms happend in Iran, too.

      http://jcpa.org/article/the-expulsion-of-the-jews-from-muslim-countries-1920-1970-a-history-of-ongoing-cruelty-and-discrimination/

  2. Roger, the “general polarization” of Arabs and Jews after WWII didn’t cause the ethnic cleansing of over 800,000 Jews from Arab lands between 1948 and 1972. It was caused by an intentional Arab League policy of discrimination and persecution to exact revenge (collective punishment) against their Jewish citizens for the sole crime of the birth of Israel. Jewish citizens of Arab countries were guilty of nothing, other than having the same religion as Jews in Israel

    http://www.justiceforjews.com/jjac.pdf.

    • Jewish citizens of Arab countries were guilty of nothing, other than having the same religion as Jews in Israel

      Similarly, Palestinian Arabs were guilty of nothing re. the expulsion of Jews, other than having the same religion as Muslims in neighboring countries.

      Right?

        • Alexa, only the irregulars contributed to the war.

          It is not certain how many of the Palestinians actualy contributed to the wars brought against Israel.

            • That is correct Alexa.
              I did say that we do not know the exact amount of irregulars that helped the Iraqi, Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian armies (The Libyans and Saudis didn’t seem to receive assistance).
              I know of some who’s families became involved with acts against Israelis back in 1947 yet they managed to flee into Israel after the war and erase that episode becoming law abiding citizens.

              We can see more and more young Arabs that have had enough with the doctrines they were brain washed with for 60 years.
              Those see the benefit to contribute to their country.
              They know that respect is not a given right but something you gain by showing it to others.
              Give and get.
              Sadly people like George Galloway fails to grasp that simple matter.

      • “Palestinian Arabs were guilty of nothing ”

        Hitler was an ally of the Palestinian leader duing WWII, Hajj Amin al-Husseini and planned the extermination of middle eastern Jews with him. Not to mention the Bosnian SS troop he commanded killed 200,000 Christians. He was also a close relative of Yasser Arafat who Arafat called his hero.
        http://allanbogle.hubpages.com/hub/Husseininationalsocialism

        He was also responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Jews in Europe by convincing Hitler not to allow Jews to leave Europe. It is documented here.
        https://catalyst.library.jhu.edu/catalog/bib_3528694

        • Dave, why wont’ you post about Israel’s Lehi offer to collaborate with the Nazis, and the nomination of Naftali Lubenchik as focal point for this shameful act?

        • Dave, your ignorance and your shameful attempts at instrumentalizing the Holocaust to push forward your far right wing agenda are an insult to the memory of the million of Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust.

          It also tells a lot about this website.

          • Your comment Chris or what ever you are is an insult to the memory of Jews considering your earlier remarks. Spare us you hypocrite

          • Dave is quite correct. The Mufti of Jerusalem was a huge admirer of Hitler, and spent most of the war as his guest in Berlin. He also persuaded Bosinian Muslims to join the SS, even though the local Bosnian imams had forbidden it.

            The leader of the Palestinians was an enthusiastic Nazi, and guilty as hell.

            • The Mufti? The one Muslim leader who fought for Hitler? Do you know how many officers of another religion fought for Hitler including a Field Marshal?

        • You deliberately misquoted me.

          Why bother when you must know everyone will see straight through the deceit?

    • 700,000 Palestinians were chased from their homes and land when the state of Israel was created in 1948, never allowed to retunr. To this day they still have property deeds and, sometimes, keys to their properties but Israel will not let them go home.

      What were these men, women and children “guilty” of, Levick?

      • 850,000 Jews from arab countires were chased from their homes and land when the arab world decalre war on the new state of Israel in 1948, never allow to return.
        What were these men , women and children guilty of Chris?

      • But of course Chris , they have keys. I have a key to my twenty room apartment in the Dakota building. and want o sell it. Only 1000 $!

      • Chris:
        “700,000 Palestinians were chased from their homes and land when the state of Israel was created in 1948…”
        This is a lie and you know it.
        The percentage of those who were removed by force is unknown to a single soul.
        Guess work.
        It is estimated that less than a quarter was forcibly removed.
        Most fled as a result of rumors and fighting between armed forces.

        It is very easy to see in Gaza how certain people use homes as bunkers and shelters.
        It is safe to assume similar things took place.

        • Phone caller from Gaza: “Mr. Ibrahim, I address you as a Muslim. My father and grandfather told me that during the “Catastrophe” [establishment of Israel – 1948] our district officer issued an order that whoever stays in Palestine and in Majdel [near Ashkelon, southern Israel] is a traitor, he is a traitor… ”

    • Adam, even before 1948. The Farhud in Iraq in 1942 resulted in several hundred jews being murdered. Nazi sympathiser, Rashid Ali promoted the massacres.

  3. Adding Mondoweiss Chris to the Diane Shame Group of alias
    like Isac/ liar/Peter Ounce/Islamabadi/diane/dianeshammes/Angel/Rafi aka Nazisse Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek

  4. The Guardian’s transparent effort is to use this as an excuse to bash Israel for what it asserts as a matter of editorial policy, of an example of Azkenazi racism and intolerance toward Sephardim. Everyone knows that’s their real angle here. DO NOT HELP THEM.