1951 350, 000 Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands


Yemenite Jews Awaiting AirliftThe flight of the Jews from Iraq and the Yemen… was emphatically the result of Arab oppression. The position of the Jewish communities in the Arab countries has for centuries past been one of inferiority, brief interludes of security and relative prosperity alternating with outbreaks of intolerance and persecution. In the more backward countries they were subjected to legal disabilities and humiliating customs, not infrequently to physical persecution. In the more advanced Arab States discrimination against them is practiced in Government services, universities, state controlled industries, banks and political life. The rise of Arab nationalism in the present generation has further aggravated their position. More than once in recent years Jewish communities in the Arab countries have been victims of mob violence.

After the establishment of the State of Israel conditions in more than one Arab country became utterly unbearable for them. In 1950/51, more than 120,000 Iraqi Jews were transferred by airlift to Israel. Most of them arrived almost penniless, their assets, movable and immovable, having been frozen by the Iraq Government under an arbitrary law enacted to facilitate this wholesale expropriation. Similarly 45,000 Jews from the Yemen, 55,000 from French North Africa and 32,000 from Lybia have come to Israel. Altogether 350,000 Jews from Arab and Moslem lands have settled in Israel since the establishment of the State.

Source: Arab Refugees. (p. 26)

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