Tag Archives: forgotten refugees

Rebels Claim ‘Ancient Synagogue Destroyed’ in Libya

Hebrew inscriptions on the ceiling of the Yefren synagogue

With thanks: Avril A 2,000-year old synagogue in the Libyan town of Yefren is said to have been destroyed in the fighting now raging between President Gaddafi’s forces and Nato-supported rebels. This BBC report yesterday quotes a rebel fighter named Aydress. Aydress claims that Colonel Gaddafi’s forces used rockets, missiles and anti-tank weapons to bombard […]

Posted in Libya | Also tagged | 1 Response

Azerbaijan Government Funds New Synagogue

azerbaijansynagogue

A new state-funded synagogue in Baku has just opened to much fanfare. The opening in the presence of the Israeli ambassador and distinguished state officials, is indeed cause for celebration – where Jews in other Muslim republics are dwindling fast, the Jews of Azerbaijan are thriving: BAKU, Azerbaijan — The opening of the new synagogue […]

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Tunisians Embrace Israeli Song

Bezalel ...all triceps and eyeliner (Photo: Gilad Sasporta)

Well, what do you know? An Israeli spoof becomes the ‘anthem’ of rebels trying to change Libya. Now a song written two years ago by Israeli singer Bezalel, the son of Tunisian Jews – all curly locks, bulging triceps and eyeliner – has found favour with Tunisians. Its name? Tunisia – of course. The pop […]

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Of Kurdish Jews and Koobe Dumplings

Koobe burghul, a Kurdish speciality

The Aramaic-speaking Jews of Kurdistan (northern Iraq) have had their ups and downs in history; their community was almost completely transplanted to Israel in 1950, where they work to maintain their distinctive customs and cuisine. Dennis Wasko continues his culinary series in the Jerusalem Post: It is believed that Jews have lived in the area […]

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How to win friends at SOAS Israel Apartheid Week

mhrug-

As the propaganda tsunami known as Israel Apartheid Week crashes over university campuses across the world, Michelle Huberman (pictured) demonstrates how a showing of the Forgotten Refugees film can have the power to change hostile minds. Read her guest blog on the Jerusalem Post: At the School of African and Asian Studies (SOAS) last week, […]

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Fifty Tunisian Jews Have Already Moved to Israel

The Great Synagogue, Tunis

Some 50 Tunisian Jews have already moved to Israel since the start of the Jasmine uprising, The Jerusalem Post reports. The Israeli government plans to offer financial incentives to attract still more: (With thanks: Lily) Israel is planning to offer Tunisian Jews interested in emigrating following the recent uprising in the country a special absorption […]

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Bahrain’s Unlikely Jewish Emissary: Huda Nonoo

bahrain

This article by Sarah Breger in Moment magazine recycles much of what we already know about Huda Nonoo, Bahrain’s taciturn Jewish woman ambassador. The more the unrest grows, the less she says. The 36 Jews still living in Bahrain are undoubtedly loyal to their protector King Hamid al-Khalifa. If he falls, the Jews fall with […]

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‘In North Africa, there is no future for the Jews’

Taieb-Carlen

‘Move along, nothing to see here’ was the message from the leader of the Tunisian Jewish community, who insisted that Jews had not been targeted in the recent wave of unrest – in spite of arson at a synagogue. For her take, The Jewish Week interviewed Tunisian-born Sarah Taieb-Carlen (pictured), author of The Jews of […]

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Synagogue Bomber Sentenced to Five Years in Jail

Police outside Cairo Synagogue (Photo: AP)

Egypt’s supreme state security court has convicted and sentenced a man to five years in prison for throwing a makeshift bomb at Cairo’s main synagogue, Ynet news reports: Authorities said Hussein was repeatedly jailed for drug dealing and was implicated in attacks organized in the 1980s by Islamic militant groups targeting video stores. Gamal Hussein […]

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The Last Jew to Leave Penang

Joseph Jacobs...born in Penang synagogue

At the turn of the last century some 170 Baghdadi Jews lived in Malaya. Now there is only one. All traces of the Jewish community, save the synagogue, have been erased. FreeMalaysiaToday online interviews Joseph Jacobs, now living in Australia, visiting his childhood haunts: It was a muggy night in George Town but Joseph Hayeem […]

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Berbers Challenge Moroccan Taboo on Israel

Berber flag

Morocco has in recent times witnessed a remarkable phenomenon: young activists, seeking Berber rights, have been courageously swimming against the tide of pro-Muslim anti-Westernism. They have even broken the ultimate taboo – reaching out to Israel. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, whose work has itself sparked controversy among Moroccans, charts these remarkable developments in the Middle East Quarterly […]

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Iraqi Archives: Jewish Republicans are on the Case

20110123_012411T

The saga of the Iraqi Jewish archives rumbles on. The Iraqi government claims that the archives, rescued by the Americans from a flooded basement at the time of the invasion of Iraqi in 2003 and sent to Washington to be restored, are part of their national heritage and should be returned to Iraq. Iraqi Jews, […]

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Exiled Jews Seek Justice, Alongside Protesters

Gina Bublil Waldman

The upheavals sweeping Libya are opening up old wounds and awakening painful memories for Gina Waldman, but Libyan-born Jews like herself are still denied justice, let alone recognition. Article in J Weekly: I left Libya more than 42 years ago when the mobs were roaming the streets. They were not chanting for democracy or yearning […]

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Don’t know much about history…

Jewish refugee girl in a tent camp or ma'abara in Israel in the 1950s (Magnum Photos)

With thanks: Lily, Sylvia At last, one journalist who ‘gets it’. Ed West, who writes for The Daily Telegraph, laments the almost complete lack of historical context in news reporting, especially by the BBC. TV news is driven by the emotional soundbite and the arresting image, but the result is that the viewer remains almost […]

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“Young Hoodlums in the Hundreds…screaming ‘Yahud’, ‘Yahud’!”: A British Professor Recalls the Tripoli Pogrom of 1945

Libyamap

[Via Point of No Return and CiF Watch.] Judah Benzion (Ben) Segal (1912-2003) was Professor of Semitic Languages at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University from 1961-82, and then President of Leo Baeck College in London. During the Second World War he served with the British forces in North Africa, winning the […]

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Farhud: Decisive Turning Point for the Jews of Iraq

'Satan at the door' - a scene from the Farhud by artist Nissim Zalayette

Nothing convinced the ancient Jewish community of Iraq to emigrate en masse to Israel more than the terrible events of 1 – 2 June 1941 known as The Farhud. Philip Mendes wrote this review of Al-Farhud: The 1941 Pogrom in Iraq* edited by Shmuel Moreh and Zvi Yehuda for the Australian Journal of Jewish Studies […]

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Moroccan Jews held for wishing to leave for Israel

Synagogue in Morocco

When Morocco became independent, it extended civil rights to its 265,000 Jews – all rights except one, that is – the right to leave. Jews admitting wishing to leave for Israel were detained in camps, arrested and interrogated, Jennifer Lipman discovers while rummaging in the Jewish Chronicle archives: In 1948 the Jewish population was estimated […]

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No Place Like Israel, Says Qaddafi’s Jewish Cousin

It was only a matter of time before the media once again picked up the story ‘Is Gaddafi a Jew?’ Once again – because it’s old news for regular Point of No Return readers. This post went up over two years ago, but lately has been attracting hundreds of hits. Since her last TV appearance […]

Posted in Libya | Also tagged , , , | 1 Response

Why Go Back to Egypt Where I Never Belonged?

View of Alexandria, Egypt (John Frumm/Corbis)

While Andre Aciman lived in Egypt he never felt he belonged there. For him, the tantalising fantasy of going back to Egypt from his new home, New York, is tempting but unsatisfying. Eloquent feature by the Alexandria-born professor of literature in Newsweek: (with thanks: Levana) The words that someone from Egypt had posted on my […]

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Nasser Expelled Jews of all Nationalities

The Brindisi memorial erected to mark the arrival by ship of hundreds of Egyptian Jewish refugees of Italian nationality in 1956

In a private exchange with Jewish friends, an Egyptian who describes himself as an atheist of Muslim origin takes issue with Andre Aciman’s piece (above). He argues that Nasser did not expel Jews in 1956 – he expelled French and British passport holders, and would have expelled Israelis if there had been any living in […]

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