To: Mr. Malcolm Balen.
Re: BBC’s Report on the London Conference of the organization: Justice for Jews.
I have specialized in the field of Jews from Arab Countries for over thirty years, against a backdrop of Islamic attitudes to non-Moslem minorities in general and Jews and Christians in particular. I received the Internet edition of your report from a friend in London who is aware of my writing and lecturing on the subject. I felt very grieved. It was almost like a personal insult.
Even taking into account the BBC’s continuous pro-Arab reporting, can’t you even admit the claim that Israel absorbed over 680,000 largely penniless Jews expelled from Arab countries who today, together with their progeny, form around a half of the country’s population? Your correspondent says it is a “disputed problem.” What is disputed? That there was a vicious pogrom on the night of the Shavuot (Pentecost) festival in Baghdad in 1941when a hundred Jews were killed and at least a 1,000 injured? Similar crowds seething with hate and ready to kill and destroy, rioted throughout Egypt in 1945 and 1948. Many were killed, shops and synagogues looted (fundamentalism or just normative Islam?).
The l947 racist amendment to the Egyptian Companies Law made it mandatory for at least 75 per cent of administrative employees of a company to be Egyptian nationals and 90 per cent of employees in general. However, only 15 per cent of Egyptian Jews had been granted citizenship, so the majority lost their livelihood and fled.
â€¢In 1945, the Jews of Libya, caught between the anvil of the British Administration’s ambivalence – or connivance, as the Jews of Tripoli claimed â€” and the hammer of burgeoning radical Arab nationalism, became the victims of a wave of savage pogroms. Further riots hit the community in 1948. There are no Jews in Libya today. Said the community’s final president, who was one of the last to leave: “We left with two suitcases, twenty pounds sterling and 2,500 years of history.” The barbarous, bloodthirsty picture repeated itself all over the Arab world. No country was innocent. These ancient communities left behind vast communal and private property. But for the-then nascent State of Israel, most of them would have become victims of further excesses against them in the wake of the Western powers’ withdrawal (whatever their sins, for the most part, they banned the racist dhimmi status from which Jews and Christians suffered previously and ME Christians still do today that is part of normative Islam).
I could give you many more facts on this score, also relating to early periods of Islam when the Jews’ only crime was their refusal to accept Mohammed as the final prophet.
I suppose the Palestinians have also taken away our rights to suffering and to claim that we did not keep our refugees in tents for 60 years at the expense of US and W. European tax money via UNWRA. (Not Arab oil money for their brethren!)
MALKA HILLEL SHULEWITZ Editor,
THE FORGOTTEN MILLIONS
The Modern Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands