Do you remember the Jewish refugees of 1948?

Probably not because it is one of those inconvenient historical truths that is buried by the media and policy-makers in their six-decades-old lament about “Palestinian refugees.”

Jewish refugees cross the desert in Yemen. Photo: Courtesy Israeli National Photo Archive

There is a good summary at Frontpage magazine earlier this month (hat tip: Richard Falknor at Blue Ridge Forum).  We have covered this subject in several previous posts which can be found in our Israel and refugees category, here.

June 20 was World Refugee Day, dedicated to nearly 60 million people worldwide who were forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution. One group of refugees rarely acknowledged is the Jews who were indigenous to Muslim lands but compelled to flee around the time that the State of Israel was established.

A Google search for “1948 refugees” produces about 6 million results. All but a few (at least through page six) are about the Palestinian Arab refugees, as if they were the only refugees of 1948. But it is estimated that from the beginning of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War through the early 1970s, up to 1,000,000 Jews fled or were expelled from their ancestral homes in Muslim countries. 260,000 of those refugees reached Israel between 1948 and 1951 and comprised 56% of all immigration to the fledgling state. By 1972, their numbers had reached 600,000.

In 1948, Middle East and North African countries had considerable Jewish populations: Morocco (250,000), Algeria (140,000), Iraq (140,000), Iran (120,000), Egypt (75,000), Tunisia (50,000), Yemen (50,000), Libya (35,000), and Syria (20,000). Today, the indigenous Jews of those countries are virtually extinct (although Morocco and Iran each still has under 10,000 Jews). In most cases, the Jewish population had lived there for millennia.

Read it all.

Photo is from this 2012 article at the Jerusalem Post.

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