17 May 2009

Arab Lands are Full of Jewish History

Ezra's Tomb in Iraq is now a Shiite Muslim Shrine

A quarter of all Biblical prophets are buried in Iraq. A fascinating photo-feature in the LA Times blog on the tomb of Ezra the Scribe in Amarah reveals that since the mass departure of the Jews, the site is now revered by Muslims. The tiny Jewish community is thought to have paid for repairs in 2000.

Expelled Jews Hold Deed 
For Five Times Israel's Size.

"In just 50 years, almost a million Jews, whose communities stretch back up to 3,000 years, have been 'ethnically cleansed' from Arab countries. These refugees outnumber the Palestinian refugees two to one, but their narrative has all but been ignored. Unlike Palestinian refugees, they fled not war, but systematic persecution. Seen in this light, Israel, which absorbed most of these Jewish refugees, is the legitimate expression of the self-determination of an oppressed indigenous, Middle Eastern people."

"Between 1948 and 1951 there were two refugee movements in the Middle East. One was the exodus of about 600,000 Arabs from the Palestinian areas that became Israel. The second was the movement of about 1 million Jews from Arab countries into Israel. Palestinian refugees were enticed by Arab countries to leave their homes while eight Arab armies invaded the newly established Jewish state. The Arab League passed two resolutions in 1949. One prohibited Arab governments from giving citizenship to Palestinian Arab refugees. The second ordered Arab governments to facilitate the expulsion of Jews living in Arab countries."

"About 850,000 Jews fled Arab countries after Israel's founding in 1948, leaving behind assets valued today at more than $300 billion," said Heskel M. Haddad, MD, President of WOJAC. "He added that the New York-based organization has decades-old property deeds of Jews from Arab countries on a total area of 100,000 sq.km. - which is five times the size of the State of Israel."

From The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center:

It is really unique - one of its kind in the world. You are invited to travel with us through 2700 years of Babylonian Jewry history - Since they were exiled from the land of Israel and until their eventual return from Iraq to their former homeland. 

The Tomb of Nabi Yeheskel

The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center is both a Research Institute and a Museum, with an impressive collection of ethnographic material, judaica, archival documents, books and manuscripts. The BJHC publishes research work and journals, organizes exhibitions and holds cultural events and conferences. We have strong ties with Jews of Iraqi origin both in Israel and in the Diaspora, and are in the process of compiling an extensive genealogical database of families originating in Iraq.

The Biblical Shrine of Oholiav in Southern Lebanon

Oholiav's shrine at Sojod (Soujud) in southern Lebanon is the presumed burial site for a minor, but significant, biblical character referred to in Exodus. Oholiav ("tent-builder" in Hebrew) was said to have been a carpenter and a builder of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Arab lands are full of Jewish history (venerated by Muslims as well as Jews). 

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