The ethnic-cleansing of Arabic Jews to be considered in British Parliament

In 1945 there were up to one million Jews living in the Middle East and North Africa outside the Palestine Mandate - many living in communities dating back more than three millennia. Today, there are several thousand.

Who are these Jews? What precipitated their mass-exodus in the 20th century? Where did they go? And why don't we know their stories?

The first ever hearing in the British Parliament on the subject of Jewish refugees from Arab countries will take place on Tuesday, June 24, 2008, 7:00-9:00 pm in the House of Lords.

The Jerusalem Post's Ashley Perry has an excellent article on the eve of the first British Parliamentary hearing on the Arab expulsion of their indigenous Jewish peoples.

"Those who claim Israel carried out ethnic cleansing of Arabs can point to no official command to that effect. Jewish ethnic cleansing from Arab lands, on the other hand, was often official state policy.

Jews were formally expelled from many areas in the Arab world. The Arab League released a statement urging Arab governments to facilitate the exit of Jews from Arab countries, a resolution which was carried out through a series of punitive measures and discriminatory decrees that made it untenable for Jews to remain in their native lands."

When the issue of 'refugees' is raised within the context of the Middle East, people invariably refer only to 'Palestinian refugees'. Neither the mass violations of human rights, nor the displacement of Jews from Arab countries, has ever been adequately addressed by the international community. A Joint Briefing will underscore that two refugee populations emerged as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict; and will assess the most appropriate role that the UK should play in seeking to resolve issues affecting all Middle East refugees.

Featured speakers will include renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert who will speak on the "Historical Narrative and the UK's Response to Middle East Refugees" and former Canadian Minister of Justice, The Hon. Irwin Cotler, MP who will speak on" International Law and Middle East Refugees." Two former refugees will testify on their flight from Iraq and Egypt and their resettlement in the UK.

Convened by Labour MP John Mann and Lord Anderson of Swansea, this Joint Briefing is being organized by Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) in association with the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Recipient of Best Documentary Award from Spain's Marbella Film Festival, "The Forgotten Refugees" (produced by Boston's The David Project) depicts the mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries and Iran and its effects.


  1. after seeing this, I am ready to petition the UN to allow a Right of Return to all Middle Eastern Jews!

  2. Fleeing Arab Lands: 'They left no Jewish community intact'- Jerusalem Post

    Like the nearly 900,000 Jews who left - or were forced from - Muslim countries shortly after Israel's independence, Prof. Yom-Tov Assis (head of the Ben-Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East) says his family "left behind property, left behind wealth. We left behind everything."

    From Lebanon, Assis moved to Turkey, and then to London, before making aliya in 1971. Ever since, the medieval scholar has had to disabuse people of what he calls "the fallacy of Jewish happiness under Muslim rule." That's the assumption that the "Golden Age" in Andalus (Muslim Iberia and North Africa), from the mid-700s to the mid-1100s, was both idyllic and common to Islamic rule in other times and places. Not only is that not the case - although Jews were generally better off under Muslim rule through the 10th century, there were large-scale pogroms in the 11th century - but, as Assis points out, it also disregards the fallout from the invasion of the Almohads, who "destroyed Jewish life" in the latter part of the 12th century.

    "They left no Jewish community intact. There were many who were killed, many who were forcibly converted to Islam, many who had to escape - including the family of Maimonides, and other famous families," Assis says. "So to suggest that there was no persecution of Jews under Muslim rule is absurd."


  3. Has "Forgotten Voices" ever been shown on mainstream TV in the UK ?
    If not why not ! I have just watched it on your site, this is a story that needs to be broadcast to the general public, it is amazing and tragic.
    Best Regards
    Richard Scorner