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Sixty Years of the State of Israel, Sixty Years of Exile for Jews from Arab and Muslim Countries

Mercredi 14 mai 2008, par Reuven Abergil

Beginning in May 1949, tens of thousands of Yemenite Jews were brought to Israel on transport planes during Operation Magic Carpet. The Zionist movement, with the assistance of European colonialism, planted a western warship in the very heart of the Arab and Muslim world. This warship is guided by leaders with numerous skills and extensive experience in oppressing and humiliating which they learned in their own countries in Europe. This diseased group took over this area and during 120 years of oppression, we are witness to the Zionist expansion in the region.

The Zionist movement in this region was founded on American and European support, and is equipped with the most advanced weaponry in the world, including nuclear weapons.

Sixty years ago, following the deportation of the Palestinians from their land, Jews from Arab and Muslim countries were brought to Palestine with the full cooperation of Zionists and leaders from North America and Europe. The Jews from Arab and Muslim countries were slated to act as spare parts in place of the Palestinian deportees following the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs. This was in order to substantiate the demographics and militarism of the Zionists. These “spare parts” have now arrived at a situation of advanced decay and deep depression following years of humiliation, disinheritance and ethnic discrimination, as the European Jewish Zionists always viewed the Jews from Arab and Muslim countries as potential enemies, due to their proximity to Arab and Muslim culture.

It is true that we took part in some of the wars that the Zionist movement initiated in this region, and we cooperated and caused extensive injustice to our Palestinian brothers and sisters. The situation and reality in which we lived, however, must be recalled : we were brought over as a helpless herd, our freedom and rights and property was taken from us and a war was waged on our Jewish culture that we brought from our homelands. Our mother tongue, Arabic, was uprooted, making it easier to brainwash us with Zionist propaganda. Thus we were transformed into an obedient herd, serving our masters.

Today we are witness to an awakening of the second, third and fourth generations, the children of Jews who were brought from Arab and Muslim countries. We assume that the oppression of the Palestinians will continue for a long time and that the occupation will not be finished as long as the Zionist movement relies on our public to oppress the Palestinians and continue the occupation.

I hereby turn to the heads of the Arab and Muslim countries, our homelands from which we left, were deported and were brought over through deception and lies. We are not coming to settle accounts with anyone from the Arab countries, as it is Zionism that made the lives of Jews into a living hell. The Arab leaders who collaborated in order to deport us and inherent our property were also those who collaborated with the colonialists in order to oppress their people. What is important is that the result was that the European Zionists exploited us in order to deepen their hold on this place and to oppress the native people, the Palestinians.

We wish to pull the rug out from under the feet of the Zionists and their partners in the Arab world.

The Zionists have long expressed the wish to “settle accounts” regarding the lost property of Arab Jews, particularly vis-à-vis the lost property of the Palestinians deported from their land. Cooperation of this sort by Arab countries will be considered cooperation with the Zionist movement and a betrayal of the Palestinian people. This property belongs to the Jews from Arab and Muslim countries and it must be directed toward positive channels that will open new direction for us and our brothers in Arab and Muslim countries, our natural place, for a better future.

I call on leaders of the Arab countries to open their doors and to legislate humanitarian laws that call on Arab Jews to return to their homelands and be an integral part of this area in the present, as it was in the past and with a look to the future. The Zionist movement has legislation providing every Jew the right to settle in the state of Israel and receive benefits. These laws did not pertain to us and generally came at our expense.

I wish to propose a similar law that would provide for a “right of return” of Jews from Arab and Muslim countries back to their homelands, financed by the property of our ancestors that was left behind in these countries, in order to facilitate settling in after 60 years of imposed exile, and to encourage support for this idea amongst other leaders and peoples. The atmosphere created will encourage Jews from these countries to return to their homelands and renew their belief in the place from which their ancestors left sixty years ago, belief that was torn apart during the sixty years of exile in Palestine. This atmosphere is crucial given the processes of oppression that Jews from Arab and Muslim countries underwent in Zionist Israel.

If the gates will open in Arab and Muslim countries for the Jews to return home, the 40% of the Zionist Europeans will lose the “demographic security” we provided them, in addition to the “black laborers” who served them, and they will have to learn to act as a minority amongst the Arab majority, or return to their own homeland, as most of them have a second passport anyways.

Reuven Abergil emigrated to Israel with his parents and nine siblings from Rabat, Morocco, in 1947. The family was situated in an immigrant camp in Pardes Hana from which they fled to the border-line Jerusalem neighborhood of Musrara. As a child Reuven was a victim of the radiation experiments carried out by the government as part of an American sponsored medical experiment. His first political action was to hand out leaflets in Musrara during the popular uprising of Morocan immigrants in Wadi Salib, Haifa.

Reuven became involved in the Israeli Black Panthers following the arrest of his friends, and his house soon became headquarters for the movement. He went on to become one the key figures in the Israeli Black Panthers movement, and as such was present at the group’s infamous meeting with, then Prime Minister, Golda Meir. Since then has been active in the struggle for social justice and peace in Israel/Palestine as a member of various groups and movements. He currently serves on the board of the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow and was also recently elected to the leadership of Tarabut (“connection”), a joint Jewish-Palestinian political party for peace and equality in Israel.

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