القصة الكاملة ليهود غيروا مجرى الفن في الجزائر .

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في الحقيقة؛ لست من “ذوّاقة” أغنية المالوف ولا أملك صبر الاستماع الطويل لموشّح أندلسي، رغم ادّعائي بأنني أملك أذنا طربيّة. كما لا أدّعي أنني باحث في تاريخ الفن الجزائري ولا أظنّ أني من المتعصبين لتحقيق وقائع تاريخية تنصف طرفا على آخر.. كلّ ما في الأمر أن ربع ساعة في تاكسي عاصمي، دفعتني إلى كتابة هذا الموضوع الذي قد يعتبره البعض خوضا في الطابوهات، وقد يؤدلجه البعض الآخر.. كان سائق التاكسي (في الخمسينسات من عمره) يترنّحه على أنغام صوت “قديم” يخرج من مشغّل الكاسيت، عرفت فيما بعد أنه صوت الشيخ “ريمون”، بعد أن سألت السائق عن اسم المغني.. سألته سؤالا واحدا فقط، فأمطرني بعرض لريبرتوار الشيخ “ريمون”، وكيف تحصّل هو على الكاسيت بعد أن أوصى صديقه القسنطيني بأن يعثر له عليها، ثم عرّج على قصة مقتل الشيخ “ريمون” على يد فدائي جزائري، قبيل الإستقلال بسنة واحدة، وحكايات أخرى مرتبطة بسحر المالوف وأصالته.. ربع ساعة وأنا صامت، والتاكسيور يسرد بحماسة، قصة هذا الريمون، الذي بالكاد كنت أعرف أنه مغنّ يهودي جزائري المولد، عاش في شرق البلاد، وأنه من روّاد أغنية المالوف.. وفقط. ما أثار تفكيري بعد نزولي من التاكسي، هو أن ذاكرتي لم تعثر على تحقيق صحفي أوإذاعي أوتلفزي، يتحدث عن تأثير اليهود في الغناء الجزائري، أو حتى تأثير الجزائريين في الغناء اليهودي، بعيدا عن الإيديولوجيا طبعا.. وتساءلت: هل أن خفوت حماسة الحديث في هذا الموضوع هو ابتعاد عن الضرب في الطابو، أم ترك للمسلّم به..؟ لا أدري لماذا أوغلت في التقديم لهذا الموضوع، وكأنني أبحث عن أعذار في اقتحامه؟! كل ما في الأمر أنني سأكتب اليوم - بعد بحث متواضع - عن تأثير اليهود في الغناء الجزائري.. ببساطة وبعيدا عن التأويل.. 

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اليهود.. بين “دور بيها يا الشيباني” وبين “انزاد النبي”
من خلال بعض المعطيات التاريخية التي عثرت عليها في مراجع شحيحة حول الموضوع، يمكنني القول؛ إن حادثة قتل الشيخ الريمون( 1912 - 1961) على يد مقاتلي ثورة الجزائر بناء على تقارير تتهمه بالعمل ضدها سراً، كانت المنعرج الحقيقي لنهاية مرحلة زاخرة بالتعاون الفني المعلن، بين المجتمع الجزائري المسلم وبين الفنانين اليهود الذين ذاع صيتهم في النصف الأول من القرن الماضي، حيث دفعت تلك الحادثة إلى رحيل شبه كليّ ليهود الجزائر من المناطق الجزائريّة، التي سكنوها منذ القرن الثالث للميلاد والتي ساهموا فيها بقدر كبير في تفعيل الحركة الفنية، خصوصا الموسيقية، وسط مجتمع مسلم محافظ، يتعفّف عنالخوض في “لهو الموسيقى والغناء”. وإلى غاية بداية الألفية الثانية، كانت الحفلات والأعراس من تنشيط النسوة فيما بينهن، أو بمشاركة ذكوريّة يهودية لا تجد حرجا في الغناء أوالاختلاط بالنساء. وفي تلك الفترة بالذات ظهرت أسماء فنيّة يهودية، سنأتي على ذكرها، شكّلت جانبا مهما من الخارطة الغنائية الجزائرية، بل وكانت عرّابة بعض الطبوع الموسيقية التي لا تزال تحافظ على مكانتها الفنية في بعض ولايات الوطن وحتى في البلدان المجاورة. وفي هذا الصدد قد يري البعض بوجهة نظر ما، أن خوض اليهود في المجال الفني المحتشم حينها، لا يخرج عن كونه إطارا لترويج ثقافة الانحلال والتفسخ ومن ثم فهي تكريس لسلوكيات غير أخلاقية، فضلا عما تجسده من هبوط وانحدار في الذائقة الفنية، على غرار أغاني “دور بها يا الشيباني” و”قفطانك محلول” و”يا بلاّرج يا طويل القايمة / ما ترعاش في بحيرة لالّة”، إلى غير ذلك.. غير أن أبرز معالم الوجه الآخر للصورة هو ما يتمثل في أغاني المديح النبوي التي انتشرت قبل منتصف القرن الماضي، مثل الأغني ة التي يقول مطلعها “انزاد النبي وفرحنا بيه /صلى الله عليه / يا عاشقين رسول الله/ صلى الله عليه“.. وهي من التراث التونسي، وكذلك الشأن بالنسبة للمدائح النبوية بالتحديد، مثل أغنية “يا كعبة يا بيت ربي محلاك/ يا سلام على الخليل اللي بناك”، وهي أصلا - حسب الأستاذ محمد صقلي في كتابه اليهود في الغناء العربي - للمطرب الليبي المعروف بالبشير فهمي، أعادها الكثير من الفنانين اليهود، قبل أن يطبعها الفنان الجزائري الراحل عبد الرحمان عزيز بصوته. ولعل هاتين الأغنيتين خير مثال على هذا اللون الذي حقق شهرة منقطعة النظير في كل حواضر ومدن المغرب العربي منذ الأربعينيات وحتى الخمسينيات والستينيات. والمفارقة هنا أن الأغنيتين معا تغنى بهما أكثر من مطرب من الطائفة اليهودية، وإن كان التسجيل الأكثر شهرة هو الذي يحمل صوت المطرب التونسي راؤول جورنو. وفي مثال آخر، يتردد في الأوساط الفنية أن من كتب أغنية “قالوا العرب قالوا” التي تبكي مقتل صالح باي وتحمل اسمه أيضاً، امرأة يهودية، خصوصا أن الرواية الشعبية تذكر أن اليهود أحبوا صالح باي، لأنه أعطاهم حقوقاً وخصص لهم حيّا اسمه “الشارع” في قسنطينة. رحلة الحرفة من الأندلس إلى القصبة Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 1.10.21 PM كي نتحدث عن انتقال الطبوع الموسيقية التي خاض فيها الفنانون اليهود، زمنيا وجغرافيا، داخل المنطقة المغاربية، لا بد أن نعود إلى خلفيات التواجد اليهودي في المنطقة، بداية من نزوح الطائفة اليهودية تحت مسمى “التوشيبيم”، إلى شمال إفريقيا وصولا إلى دخول يهود الأندلس المعروفين باسم “الميغوراشيم”، إلى المنطقة مع الموركسيين، هروبا من قبضة الكنيسة الكاثوليكية بعد سقوط الأندلس. ويمكن القول إن أهم ما يسّر أمام اليهود النازحين سبل الإندماج ومن ثم الاستقرار في المنطقة هو ما حملوه معهم من مهارات شتى، خصوصا حرفة الصياغة، والصرافة، إضافة إلى حرفة الموسيقى والغناء بما في ذلك طبع الغناء الأندلسي، وخصوصا الغرناطي الذي استقر في وهران وتلمسان، ليجد امتدادا خاصا لدى يهود المغرب ثم ليمتد بواسطة عائلات يهودية هاجرت من تلمسان إلى كل من فاس، الرباط، تطوان ووجدة. كما استقر نوع “الصنعة” في الجزائر العاصمة، وانتقل “المالوف” من قسنطينة نحو تونس فالقيروان وصولا إلى ليبيا. وبعدما انتشرت هذه الطبوع، توسعت دائرة الإهتمام لتطال قصائد “الملحون” في المغرب، “الحوزي” في الجزائر، و”الفوندو” في تونس. كما استحدث اليهود أنماطا جديدة من العناء الخاص بالأفراح والأعراس وحفلات الختان، خصوصا مع استقرار الوضع السياسي في الجزائر بداية القرن العشرين، وظهور الأسطوانات والمذياع. وقد تبقى الصورة غير مكتملة إذا لم نتطرق بالإشارة إلى فن “الفرانكو أراب”، وهو لون من الغناء انبثق أصلا من غناء الراي السائد والمتجذر في مدينة وهران، غير أنه استفاد مما عرفته المدينة من أنماط غنائية سواء منها الفلامنكو الإسباني، أوأنواع الموسيقى التي سرعان ما بدأت تنتشر في تلك الفترة، والتي كان لليهود دور فاعل في دخولها إلى المنطقة. محي الدين باشطارزي.. تلميذ اليهود ومعلّمهم Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 1.17.51 PM قد لا يعرف الكثيرون أن الفنان الاستثنائي، محي الدين باشطارزي (1897/1986) رائد المسرح والأغنية العصرية في الجزائر والمؤسس الفعلي لما يعرف بمسرح المنوعات، هو صاحب الفضل على أهم الوجوه الفنية الجزائرية في النصف الأول من القرن العشرين، بما فيهم الفنانين اليهود الذي اقتربوا من باشطارزي مثلما اقترب هو من فنانين يهود سبقوه في الحرفة. ومن أبرز الفنانين اليهود الذي حفظوا فضل بشطارزي، الفنان اليهودي سالم الهلالي المنحدر من منطقة سوق أهراس والمولود بمدينة عنابة في 30 جويلية 1920. حين وطئت قدماه وحيدا ميناء مرسيليا قادما إليها من عنابة في ربيع 1934، لم يكن عمر سالم يتجاوز أربعة عشر عاما، ولأن الفتى لم تكن له وجهة معينة، فقد أسلم للضياع في خضم هذه المدينة العالمية الكبيرة، ليجد نفسه في مواجهة متاعب لا حصر لها، ما لا يقل عن ثلاث سنوات، قبل أن يعانق الشهرة ويكتسب اسمه الفني ويجترح له شهرة ويصبح نجما، في أداء الأغاني الإسبانية أو الفلامينكو، إلى جانب عاصميته، بفضل العرّاب محي الدين باشطرزي الذي أدخله فرقته التي جالت عبر العديد من العواصم الأوروبية سنة 1938، فكانت الخطوة الأولى لتألق الهلالي بشكل غير مسبوق خلال الحفل الذي أقامه بأكبر قاعة سينمائية بمدينة مرسيليا الفرنسية برعاية خاصة من محي الدين. وبهذا الصنيع، أي الاهتمام بمطرب شاب مغمور، يكون باشطارزي، وهو من هو في تاريخ الأغنية والمسرح على السواء بالجزائر، قد أبى إلا أن يرد دين أستاذه الموسيقي اليهودي ناثان إدمون يافيل، الموسيقي والباحث اليهودي المولود في الجزائر. فنانون يهود أنقذهم الإسلام هناك حادثة تلفت الإنتباه أوردها الأستاذ أحمد حشلف في معرض كتابته عن هذا الفنان، تستحق أن تروى لأنها تحمل أكثر من مغزى ومن دلالة.. كانت فرنسا عام 1940 تعيش على إيقاع الحرب العالمية الثانية، وقد بدأت الشبهات تلاحق أفراد الطائفة اليهودية، مما ألجأها إلى التقية أوالتخفي، فكان بعض الفنانين اليهود القادمين من شمال إفريقيا، قاب قوسين من أن يقضوا بقية حياتهم في معسكرات الإعتقال، ومنهم سالم الهلالي قبل التحاقه بفرقة باشطارزي؛ حيث كان على وشك الوقوع في قبضة رجال المخابرات الفرنسية العاملين لحساب حومة فيشي الحليفة لألمانيا النازية. لم يكن أمام سالم الهلالي سوى الاستنجاد بالشيخ قدور بن غبريط، خطيب جامع باريس يومها، والذي لم يتردد في تسليمه شهادة تثبت اعتناق والده الإسلام. ولكي يضفي على هذا الإجراء طابع المصداقية، حرص الشيخ بنغبريط على كتابة نفس الاسم على شاهد قبر خرب في مقبرة المسلمين بمنطقة “بوبينيي”. المفارقة الجميلة الأخرى، يذكرها الأستاذ محمد صقلي في كتابه اليهود في الغناء العربي، وهي أن الشيخ بنغبريط، عمل على إدماج بعض الفنانين اليهود ومن بينهم سالم الهلالي، كمغن في المقهى التابع للجامع، ضمن فرقة موسيقية كان أغلب عناصرها من الأتراك. على سبيل الذكر  من القصبة والسويقة و"بلاص دارم" إلى العالمية  رينيت الوهرانية ومسعود المديوني Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 1.18.58 PM من أهم الأسماء النسوية التي جسدت حضورا متميزا، سواء من حيث الأداء الغنائي أوالعزف في فترة معينة من تاريخ الأغنية الجزائرية، خاصة تجربتها ضمن جوقة الشيخ “محمد العنقى” الذي سجلت معه العديد من السهرات الإذاعية.. فنانة عصامية دفعها طموحها إلى تعلم اللغة العربية - رغم آفة العمى - لغاية واحدة هي اكتساب القدرة على التغني بالطرب “الغرناطي“.. سلطانة داوود أو رينيت الوهرانية، ولدت بمدينة تيارت عام 1918 من أب حاخام من أصل مغربي، فقدت نعمة البصر في العام الثاني من عمرها نتيجة مرض الجدري.. قررت أمها تعليمها الغناء الموسيقى فدفعت بها إلى “مسعود المديوني” الملقب بـ “سعود الوهراني”، المطرب اليهودي وعازف الكمان الشهير بغناء الحوزي. كان لمسعود، أكبر أثر على تجربتها الفنية كمطربة وكنجمة غناء، فعلى يد هذا الفنان تلقت الطفلة المبادىء الأولى في الموسيقى. فبعد الإيقاع على “الدربوكة” ثم العزف على”المندولين” أقبلت بحماس على تعلم آلة العود وتطوير قدرتها الصوتية، وهو ما حفزه على تشغيلها بالمقهى الذي كان يملكه بحارة اليهود بوهران، وأطلق عليها بالتالي الاسم الذي يقترن بها طوال مشوارها الفني وهو “رينيت”، أي الملكة الصغيرة باللغة الفرنسية. ولهذا الإسم قصة تستحق أن تروى، لأنه كان يقصد تسميتها الضفدعة الصغيرة غير أن الخطأ الإملائي حوّلها إلى رينيت. وعلى امتداد عقد من الزمن صار لهذا الثنائي “رينيت ومسعود المديوني” شأن كبير في إحياء الحفلات والأعراس وأفراح الموالد والختان أوالعقيقة، صحبة جوقتهما الموسيقية، وذلك في معظم مناطق البلاد، إلى أن تفرقت بهما السبل. وكانت بداية المنعطف عام 1938 حين قرر مسعود المديوني إنشاء مقهى موسيقي بباريس، التحقت به “سلطانة داوود” لكنها سرعان ما عادت أدراجها صوب الجزائر. ذلك أن مسعود المديوني ألقي عليه القبض، في حملة مداهمة لمطاردة اليهود في مدينة مرسيليا، وتم نقله إلى أحد معسكرات الاعتقال فانقطعت أخباره وطواه النسيان واعتبر في عداد المفقودين. في بحر الأربعينيات وبعودتها مجددا إلى الجزائر استقرت في العاصمة تاركة مسقط رأسها وهران، وهي في السادسة والعشرين من عمرها، حققت انتشارا واسعا عزز شهرتها من خلال تقديمها لسهرتين في الأسبوع على أمواج الإذاعة الجزائرية. في هذه الفترة عملت سلطانة داوود جنبا إلى جنب مع “أليس فتوسي” نجمة قسنطينة، وذلك في إحياء أفراح المناسبات كالأعراس والموالد وحفلات الختان. وكرست جهدها لترسيخ مكانتها بين معاصريها من نجوم المغنى سواء منهم المسلمون أو اليهود، أمثال فضيلة الدزيرية، مريم فكاي، زهرة الفاسية، عبد الكريم دالي ودحمان بن عاشور، وكانت جوقتها الموسيقية تتكون من أشهر الموسيقيين وفي مقدمتهم عازف البيانو مصطفى اسكندراني. توفيت رينيت الوهرانية في سن الثمانين وذلك عام.   لين مونتي..من الجزائر إلى القاهرة Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 1.20.11 PM لين مونتي.. مغنية يهودية، ولدت بالجزائر العاصمة.. من الجزائر إلى فرنسا، ومن نيويورك إلى مصر. من الأغنية الفرنسية والتألق ثم التتويج في قاعة الأولمبيا، إلى الغناء أمام أم كلثوم ومحمد عبد الوهاب.  عانقت الشهرة الواسعة عبر مسارح المنوعات، خاصة بعد حصولها على جائزة “إيديث بياف” مطربة فرنسا الأولى، ثم الجائزة الأولى في قاعة “أولمبيا”، وهو ما أهلها لتكون سفيرة الأغنية الفرنسية في العديد من أنحاء العالم. أحيت حفلات في كندا، الولايات المتحدة، وخاصة في نيويورك، حيث ارتبط اسمها بأحد الملاهي لحوالي عقد من الزمن، ثم قامت برحلات بعد ذلك إلى أمريكا اللاتينية، ألمانيا وهولندا، لتحط الرحال أخيرا في الشرق الأوسط وفي مصر تحديدا، المحطة التي تعتبر منعطفا في مسارها الفني. كانت البداية في لقائها بالفنان فريد الأطرش الذي دربها على أحد ألحانه، دون أن تذكر المصادر ما إذا توج هذا التعاون بينهما، وما إذا خرجت الأغنية إلى الوجود أم لا.. في البداية تناقلت أوساط صحفية وفنية خبر المطربة الفرنسية التي تتغنى بالألحان العربية، لتفاجئ الكل بأنها من أصل جزائري.   الشيخ ريمون.. شهبندر اليهود في الجزائر بعد ديباجة سائق التاكسي عن تاريخ الشيخ ريمون، الذي لم أكن أعرف الكثير عنه، دفعني الفضول إلى معرفته أكثر، لأكتشف أن “ريمون ليريس” لم يكن مغنياً وعازف عود متميزاً فحسب؛ بل كان كبير الجالية اليهودية في قسنطينة وله مكانة مرموقة لدى جاليته في الجزائر كلها. تعلم الفن على يد أستاذه العربي المسلم الشيخ بسطانجي وأبدع فيه، وكان من يوازيه في الجانب المسلم محمد الطاهر الفر?اني، الذي عُرف بعميد المالوف.من أب يهودي من مدينة باتنة، وأم مسيحية فرنسية.. كان محاطا بهالة احترام، الكل يقدر فنه ويعشقه بحيث “كانت الطرقات تخلو من المارة في قسنطينة حرصا على تتبع حفلاته الأسبوعية قبل أن يقتل في صيف 1961 في أوج احتدام حرب التحرير الجزائرية، وهو ما يحيل إلى طرد يهود المدينة الذين كان يبلغ تعدادهم 40000 نسمة”. ريمون كان أبرز وجوه المالوف، ليس في الجزائر فقط بل وفي المنطقة عموما، واقترن اسم ريمون ليريس بالمالوف في هذه الحقبة من تاريخ المدينة.   ليلي بونيش.. أوالفنان العالمي مطرب تجاوزت شهرته حدود الجزائر إلى الأوساط اليهودية السيفارديم، والجالية الجزائرية والمغاربية في فرنسا وأوروبا، وكذلك عبر الشباب الذين تستميلهم ألوان الغناء المتوسطي والإيقاعات الأمريكولاتينية. عاد إلى الأضواء مجددا وهو في السابعة والسبعين من عمره. كان ذلك سنة 1998، وفي العام الموالي اعتلى مسرح الأولمبيا رفقة عازف البيانو الشهير موريس المديوني. وفي ربيع بورج 2000 بفرنسا، حيا جمهوره في نهاية الحفل متلفعا بالعلم الجزائري.. “إيلي” هو اسمه الحقيقي، بينما ليلي هو اسم التدليل أو الاسم الفني، رأى النور في حي القصبة بالجزائر العاصمة عام 1921، لم يلتحق يوما بالمدرسة ولم يتلق أي تعليم.. يعتبر نفسه مواطنا عالميا، خاصة بعد نجاح حفلاته في اليابان، إسبانيا، النسما، إيطاليا، ألمانيا والسويد. ذلك أنه توصل إلى صيغة تكامل بين التراث والحداثة، يزاوج بين إيقاعات الطرب الأندلسي وبين الآلات الإلكترونية، أو بمعنى أصح المزج بين الغناء اليهودي المغاربي وبين أغاني البوب والروك والفلامينكو، وكذلك موسيقى أمريكا اللاتينية.. وهو بذلك أصبح أحد رموز ما يسمى بأغنية الفرانكو أراب، وهو النوع  الغنائي الذي اقترن باسمه منذ الخمسينيات من القرن الماضي.
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   رشدي رضوان الفجر في الحقيقة؛ لست من “ذوّاقة” أغنية المالوف ولا أملك صبر الاستماع الطويل لموشّح أندلسي، رغم ادّعائي بأنني أملك أذنا طربيّة. كما لا أدّعي أنني باحث في تاريخ الفن الجزائري ولا أظنّ أني من المتعصبين لتحقيق وقائع تاريخية تنصف طرفا على آخر.. كلّ ما في الأمر أن ربع ساعة في تاكسي عاصمي، دفعتني إلى […]

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(العربية) القانون يوافق: إسرائيل ستحيي ذكرى “نكبة اليهود الشرقيين”

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Dershowitz weighs in, but media stay mum

Posted on Point of no Return September 27th, 2012 Historical evidence conclusively establishes that the forced exile of Jews from Arab countries was part of a general plan to punish Jews in retaliation for the establishment of Israel. There were organized pogroms against Jewish citizens. Jewish leaders were hanged. Jewish synagogues were torched. Jewish bank accounts and other property were confiscated. Jews remained in Arab lands at risk to their lives. Yet Hanan Ashrawi and others dispute the applicability of the label of “refugee” to these Jews. Their argument is that since they are not seeking a right to return to their native lands, they do not qualify as refugees. Under that benighted definition, Jews who escaped from Germany and Poland in the early 1940s would not have been considered refugees, since they had no interest in returning to Berlin or Oświęcim. In 1967, the United Nations’ Security Council took a different view of this matter. I know, because I worked with Justice Arthur Goldberg, who was then the permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, on the wording of Security Council Resolution 242, on which the Middle East peace process has long relied. That resolution dealt with the refugee problem. The Soviet Union introduced a draft which would have limited the definition of refugee to Palestinian refugees. The United States, speaking through Justice Goldberg, insisted that attention must be paid to Jewish refugees as well. The American view prevailed and the resulting language referred to a “just settlement of the refugee problem.” Justice Goldberg explained: “The Resolution addresses the objective of ‘achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.’ This language presumably refers to both Arab and Jewish refugees, for about an equal number of each abandoned their homes as a result of the several wars.” Accordingly, the Jewish and Arab refugees have equal status under international law. There is now pending in Congress H.R. 6242, a law which would grant Jewish refugees from Arab countries equal status under American law. The time has now come, indeed it is long overdue, for these refugee problems to be granted equal status in the court of public opinion, and in the realm of morality. If Hanan Ashrawi really believes that Jews who were forced to leave their homes are not refugees, let her defend her views in a public forum. I hereby challenge her to a debate on that issue. If there are those who doubt the historical accuracy of the Jewish refugee narrative, let an international commission of objective historians take testimony from living refugees. Indeed, it would be useful for an archive now to be created of such testimonies, since many of those who were forced to flee from Arab lands are now aging. There are some who argue that the issue of Jewish refugees is a makeweight being put forward by cynical Israeli politicians to blunt the impact of the Palestinian refugee narrative. But this is not a new issue. I and many others have long been concerned about this issue. Since 1967, I have consulted with Iranian, Iraqi, Egyptian and Libyan families who lost everything—life, property and their original homeland—as the result of a concerted effort by Arab and Muslim governments. What is cynical is any attempt to deflect attention from the real injustices that were suffered, and continue to be suffered, by hundreds of thousands of Jews and their families just because they were Jews who were born in Arab lands. Read More%A %B %e%q, %Y No Comments

Point of no Return September 27th, 2012 Historical evidence conclusively establishes that the forced exile of Jews from Arab countries was part of a general plan to punish Jews in retaliation for the establishment of Israel. There were organized pogroms against Jewish citizens. Jewish leaders were hanged. Jewish synagogues were torched. Jewish bank accounts and […]

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How Muslims treated Jews in Algiers, 1818

Posted on The Elder of Ziyon September 23, 2012 Of Jews, there is an immense number scattered all over the coast of Barbary. The city of Algiers contains about eight thousand, most of whom have swerved considerably from the belief of their ancestors, following the Talmud and Kabbala, with the exception of those called free, who generally come from Leghorn to this place, and are allowed entire liberty in their movements. The unhappy sons of Israel, so badly treated in other countries, can expect little indulgence from the barbarians ; consequently there is no species of outrage or vexation to which they are not exposed. They are prohibited from writing or speaking Arabic, to prevent their being able to read the divine Koran. They cannot ride on horseback, but are obliged to go on mules and asses ; the first being too noble an animal for them. When passing a mosque, they are obliged to go bare-footed. They dare not approach a well or fountain, if there be a Moor drinking there ; or sit down opposite a Mahometan. Their clothing Is obliged to be black ; which colour is held in contempt by the Moors. The Jewish women are only permitted to veil a part of their features. The indolent Moor, with a pipe in his mouth and his legs crossed, calls any Jew who is passing, and makes him perform the offices of a servant. Others amuse themselves by smearing the hands, visage, hair, and clothes of the Jewish boys, with paint or mud ; while the Turkish soldiers often enter their houses, insulting the females, without the heads of the family having the privilege of desiring them to retire. It is the business of Jews to execute all criminals, and afterwards bury their bodies. They are also employed to carry the Moors on their shoulders, when disembarking in shoal water. They feed the animals of the seraglio, and are incessantly exposed to the scoffings and derision of the young Moors, without the possibility of resenting it. Frequently beaten by their persecutors, if they lift a hand in their own defence, agreeable to the lex talionis of the Moors, it is taken off. But that which is still more irksome, is the never ending contributions levied on them : the weekly sum of two thousand dollars is exacted as a general tax upon the whole tribe, besides various other individual assessments, particularly whenever any Moorish festival takes place. The Turks insist on borrowing money even by force ; and contrary to the European maxim, it is not he who forgets to pay, that is incarcerated, but the man who refuses to lend! A Jew cannot leave the regency without giving security to a large amount for his return. If any of the sect become bankrupts, and there happens to be a Turkish creditor, he is almost invariably accused of fraudulency and hung. Woe to those, who attempt to complain on such occasions : which is no trifling aggravation of their sufferings. There was once an imposition laid on fountains; upon which a poet wrote the following address: " You are loaded with imposts like us; but more happy than we — you are at least allowed to murmur." It is, however, astonishing with what stoical fortitude all this is borne by the followers of Abraham ; many of whom, underan appearance of the greatest poverty, accumulate large fortunes. " It is true," said a Jew, on my asking how he could remain in a country, where he suffered so many vexations; " we suffer a great deal; but then what money we make!!" On one side this extraordinary race suffer innumerable vexations and acts of injustice, together with the most cruel servitude ; while on the other, their talents and industry, place them as the directors and proprietors of commerce, manufactures, and even the mint. The taxes immediately within the regency are all collected by Jews, and persons of this persuasion are the principal landholders. They serve as interpreters and secretaries, being frequently employed both as counsellors and agents, in affairs of the greatest delicacy. And either from the influence of their money, or persevering flexibility of their character, they often exercise an unlimited sway in the divan and palace of the Dey. The Turks look with hatred and contempt upon the Jewish financiers, while they secretly envy their riches. Read More%A %B %e%q, %Y No Comments

The Elder of Ziyon September 23, 2012 Of Jews, there is an immense number scattered all over the coast of Barbary. The city of Algiers contains about eight thousand, most of whom have swerved considerably from the belief of their ancestors, following the Talmud and Kabbala, with the exception of those called free, who generally […]

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Hamas: ‘Arab Jews’ are not refugees, but criminals

Posted on The Jerusalem Post September 23, 2012 Hamas on Saturday denounced the Israeli call to recognize the suffering of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and their material claims – the same way it acknowledges the plight of displaced Palestinians, the Ma’an News Agency reported on Sunday. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor and World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder presented the recently launched diplomatic campaign to raise the issue of Jewish refugees, in a special gathering at the UN before Israeli officials, foreign diplomats, activists and journalists last Friday. Following the gathering Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that, “those Jews are criminals rather than refugees.” He added that, “Those Jews were not refugees as they claim. They were actually responsible for the displacement of the Palestinian people after they secretly migrated from Arab countries to Palestine before they expelled the Palestinians from their lands to build a Jewish state at their expense.” Zuhri said it was the fault of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands who “turned the Palestinian people into refugees,” Ma’an reported. Commenting on the conference, he said: “The Hamas movement views this conference as a dangerous, unprecedented move which contributes to the falsification of history and reversing of facts.” Palestinian politicians like Hanan Ashrawi have argued that Jews from Arab lands are not refugees at all and that, either way, Israel is using their claims as a counter-balance to those of Palestinian refugees against it. Ashrawi said that “If Israel is their homeland, then they are not ‘refugees’; they are emigrants who returned either voluntarily or due to a political decision.” “Arab Jews were part of the Arab region, but they began migrating to Israel after its establishment,” she said. “They did so in accordance with a plan by the Jewish Agency to bring Jews from all around the world to build the State of Israel.” Ashrawi did, nonetheless, acknowledge that “some Arab countries at that time were ruled by tyrannical regimes,” but, she noted, “all citizens, regardless of their religion, were subjected to suffering.” PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat has also commented that there was no connection between Palestinian refugees and Israelis whose families are from Arab countries, but he supported their right of return. “We are not against any Jew who wants to return to Morocco, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere. I believe no Arab state rejects the Jewish right of returning to their native lands,” he said. The story of the Jewish citizens who left, fled or were expelled from Arabic-speaking countries while the Israeli-Arab conflict flared has been relatively neglected, a fact Ayalon acknowledged in his speech. Read More%A %B %e%q, %Y No Comments

The Jerusalem Post September 23, 2012 Hamas on Saturday denounced the Israeli call to recognize the suffering of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and their material claims – the same way it acknowledges the plight of displaced Palestinians, the Ma’an News Agency reported on Sunday. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Ambassador to the UN Ron […]

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Peace Means Justice for Jewish Refugees

Posted on Commentary September 21, 2012 By: Jonathan S. Tobin The tragic fate of Palestinian Arab refugees has always loomed over the Middle East conflict. The descendants of those who fled the territory of the newborn state of Israel in 1948 have been kept stateless and dependent on United Nations charity rather than being absorbed into other Arab countries so as to perpetuate the war to extinguish the Jewish state. The refugees and those who purport to advocate for their interests have consistently sought to veto any peace plans that might end the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians. They have refused to accept any outcome that did not involve their “return” to what is now Israel, an idea that is tantamount to the destruction of Israel. The Palestinians have gotten away with this irresponsible behavior because they retained the sympathy of a world that saw them as the sole victims of Israel’s War of Independence. But the historical truth is far more complex. Far from 1948 being a case of a one-sided population flight in which Palestinians left what is now Israel (something that most did voluntarily as they sought to escape the war or because they feared what would happen to them in a Jewish majority state), what actually occurred was a population exchange. At the same time that hundreds of thousands of Arabs left the Palestine Mandate, hundreds of thousands of Jews living in the Arab and Muslim world began to be pushed out of their homes. The story of the Jewish refugees has rarely been told in international forums or the mainstream media but it got a boost today when the first United Nations Conference on Jews expelled from Arab Countries was held at the world body’s New York headquarters. While Palestinian refugees deserve sympathy and perhaps some compensation in any agreement that would finally end the conflict, so, too, do the descendants of the Jews who lost their homes. As Danny Ayalon, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister rightly said today: We will not arrive at peace without solving the refugee problem – but that includes the Jewish refugees. Justice does not lie on just one side and equal measures must be applied to both. It is true that the descendants of the Jewish refugees are not still living in camps waiting for new homes. Though the process was not without its problems, rather than abuse those Jews who were dispossessed and using them as political props as the Arabs did, refugees from the Arab world found homes and lives in Israel and the West with the help of their brethren. But that does not diminish their right to compensation or a fair hearing for their grievances. The truth about the Jewish refugees is something that foreign cheerleaders for the Palestinians as well as the Arab nations who took part in the expulsion have never acknowledged, let alone refuted. As Ron Prosor, Israel’s UN ambassador, pointed out in his speech at the conference, what occurred after Israel’s birth was nothing less than a campaign aimed at eliminating ancient Jewish communities. Arab leaders “launched a war of terror, incitement, and expulsion to decimate and destroy their Jewish communities. Their effort was systematic. It was deliberate. It was planned.” Indeed, not only did Jews lose billions of dollars in property but were deprived of property that amounts to a land mass that is five times the size of the state of Israel. This is something that a lot of people, especially those to whom the peace process with the Palestinians has become an end unto itself don’t want to hear about. They believe that the putting forward of Jewish claims from 1948 is merely an obstacle to negotiations. But such arguments are absurd. Peace cannot be built merely by appeasing the Palestinian claim to sole victimhood. Just as the dispute over territory is one between two peoples with claims, so, too is the question of refugee compensation. Peace cannot be bought by pretending that only Palestinians suffered or that only Arabs have rights. Indeed, such a formulation is a guarantee that the struggle will continue indefinitely since the Palestinians are encouraged to think that they are the only ones with just claims. For far too long the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been cast as one pitting the security of the former against the rights of the latter. Framed this way, it is no surprise that the more emotional appeals of the Palestinians have often prevailed over the arguments of Israelis. Rather than asserting their historic rights, the Jews have often allowed themselves to be cast in the false role of colonial oppressor. The Palestinian pose as the only victims of the war enables them to evade their historic responsibility for both the creation of a refugee problem in 1948 as well as their refusal to accept Israeli peace offers. Let’s hope today’s conference is the beginning of a serious debate about the issue as well as a turning point in discussions about Middle East peace. Peace requires respect for the rights of Jewish refugees as well as those of the Palestinians. Topics: Israel-Palestinian conflict, Jewish refugees, Middle East peace, Palestinian refugees Read More %A %B %e%q, %Y No Comments

Commentary September 21, 2012 By: Jonathan S. Tobin The tragic fate of Palestinian Arab refugees has always loomed over the Middle East conflict. The descendants of those who fled the territory of the newborn state of Israel in 1948 have been kept stateless and dependent on United Nations charity rather than being absorbed into other […]

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The media in disarray over Jewish refugees

Posted on The Times of Israel September 20, 2012 By: Lyn Julius Whatever else you might say about Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s campaign for recognition of the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, he has certainly put the cat among the pigeons. The Arab press and media are in disarray; the campaign has brought forth what Ayalon has termed “extreme and babbling responses” from the Palestinian leadership. Last week’s “Justice for Jews from Arab Countries“ conference in Jerusalem, staged by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in association with the World Jewish Congress (WJC), made history: it was the first official attempt in 64 years to introduce the plight of 850,000 Jewish refugees into mainstream public discourse. On September 21, the scene shifts to New York, when Danny Ayalon, WJC President Ron Lauder and leading lawyer Alan Dershowitz will call for UN recognition of the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Reactions so far in the mainstream media range from bewilderment to hysteria. The campaign is a “cynical manipulation.” It’s about talking points, political point-scoring, “hasbara.” In other words, the involvement of the Israeli MFA has raised the media’s worst suspicions. Haaretz and The Daily Telegraph report that the Israeli government is obeying a recommendation of the Israeli National Security Council. It’s a premeditated strategy. It’s a stumbling block to peace, proof of the Israeli government’s ‘insincerity’, an excuse to avoid a peace settlement even when peace talks are not going on. (Naturally, perpetuating Palestinian refugee status down through the generations is not political. And the Palestinian insistence on their “right of return” to Israel is not a stumbling block to peace. ) The Jewish refugees campaign has been referred to as a tactic intended to deflect attention from Israel’s African refugees crisis, according to Shayna Zamkanei, or divert public opinion from Israeli “discrimination” against Sephardim, according to Sigal Samuel. (You know, discrimination is that thing which makes every Sephardi girl reach for her hair-straightening tongs in order to look like her Ashkenazi friends.) Much Arab criticism has claimed that Jews from Arab countries were not refugees at all. If they were, they would assert a “right of return” of their own to their countries of birth. Since they are now in their homeland of Israel, their aspirations have been fulfilled (Radical Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy has now jumped on this bandwagon). Blogger Petra Marquardt-Bigman calls this vain attempt to “dezionize” Israel an own goal: Ironically, Hanan Ashrawi’s logic is a ringing endorsement of Zionism for the 650,000 Jews who did resettle in Israel. For Hussein Ibish (ably challenged by Ben Cohen), the very fact that the Jews are not asking for a “right of return” makes their campaign for justice “hollow.” They have no substantive claims, he alleges – barring a desire to delegitimise the Palestinian “right of return.” According to Canadian refugee rights lawyer David Matas, however, you can’t both claim to be a refugee and assert a ”right of return.” “The very assertion of a ‘right of return’ is an acknowledgement that the conditions which led to refugee status no longer hold sway,” he told last week’s conference. Needless to say, the conditions in almost all Arab countries remain as hostile and unsafe for Jews – if not more so — as on the day they fled. What the Jewish refugee issue does is to remove a stumbling block to peace by pricking the bubble of Palestinian exceptionalism. If one set of refugees from the conflict has been shown to have been absorbed without fuss, what does it say about the other? Others on the Israeli left have objected to the linkage of the two sets of refugees. One Almog Behar, a young Israeli-born poet, has popped up on Facebook to speak on behalf of an unheard-of committee of Iraqi and Kurdish Jews in Ramat Gan against “renewed Israeli government propaganda efforts to counter Palestinian refugee rights by using the claims of Jews who left Arab countries in the 1950s.” Clutching at Behar’s straw, an Iraqi newspaper is now reporting that Iraqi Jews refuse to be associated with the “file on Palestinian refugees.” For leftist Larry Derfner, the Israeli campaign is not content with seeking parity — it is going for superiority. Derfner contends that the Israeli government’s “splashy new victimhood campaign” engenders a tawdry suffering contest. Leftist blogger Kung Fu Jew charges: I would think that Jews of Arab origin would be outraged that their dispossession is again raised only as a talking point against Palestinian refugees. Well actually, Jews from Arab countries are thrilled that their issue is finally being pushed to the fore. In much of the sniping at Ayalon’s campaign, there is sneering contempt; not compassion for Jewish refugees, nor appreciation for their human rights, from people who only seem to care about Palestinian rights. Under human rights law, Jewish refugees do have substantive claims for which there is no statute of limitations – to remembrance, recognition and redress, a notion that includes compensation. The biggest obstacle to this campaign seems not the foreign or leftist press but mind-numbing ignorance among Israeli Jews. According to a poll released by the WJC to coincide with the international conference, 54% of Israeli Arabs are more likely to link Jewish refugees from Arab countries with Palestinians displaced from Israel, compared to only 48% of Israeli Jews. Even more worrying, 96% of the Jewish population was found to have no knowledge of the issue, compare to 89% of Israeli Arabs. Danny Ayalon, you have an uphill struggle ahead – to educate your own. Read More %A %B %e%q, %Y No Comments

The Times of Israel September 20, 2012 By: Lyn Julius Whatever else you might say about Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s campaign for recognition of the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, he has certainly put the cat among the pigeons. The Arab press and media are in disarray; the campaign has brought forth […]

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Jews deserve justice too

Posted on Israel Hayom September 14, 2012 By: Dror Eydar The U.N. and the U.S., with the help of the Arab League, are perpetuating the Palestinian refugee problem — a perfect tool with which to bash Israel. On the opposite side, shockingly and hypocritically, no one gives a second to the 850,000 Jews who were displaced from Arab countries by means of violence, looting, threats and murder. At the beginning of the week I had the chance to take part in a rare historic event: the first official conference on the issue of Jewish refugees, held under the auspices of Israel's Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the World Jewish Congress. The international conference was titled "Justice for Jewish Refugees From Arab Countries." For the first time in decades, the call for justice for the Jewish people was once again heard in Jerusalem. Not just a call for security, or apologetic Israeli discourse in the face of Palestinian calls for so-called justice, but a clear call, by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to bring the issue of Jewish refugees back into every international arena: the ethical, legal, diplomatic and political arenas. As one of the conference participants, former Canadian Minister of Justice Professor Irwin Cotler, said: “Where there is no remembrance, there is no truth; where there is no truth, there will be no justice; where there is no justice, there will be no reconciliation; and where there is no reconciliation, there will be no peace – which we all seek.” Indeed, this is a serious issue that has been neglected and kept silent for years, in stark contrast with the Palestinian refugee issue, which has become self evident and universally recognized in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians have become experts at marketing their victimhood to the world, and thus, the concept of a “just solution” became unilaterally linked to the Palestinian narrative. But just like every aspect of the Middle East story, here, too, the truth is far more complex. With the exception of a few years prior to World War I, the Arabs living in this region never accepted the Jewish presence here. They rejected the various partition plans, ranging from the Peel Commission in 1937, through the 1947 Partition Plan, to the Oslo Accords and other generous Israeli offers. They were always willing to accept land, but never to sign a final agreement that would spell the end of the conflict. *** In Nov. 1948, the U.N. appointed a task force to coordinate humanitarian aid work for Palestinian refugees. A short time later, the U.N.’s Economic Survey Mission issued its recommendation to resolve the Palestinian refugee problem by resettling them in Arab countries and integrating them in industry and agriculture there. That is how the United Nations Relief and Works Agency came about. Obviously, the plan never came to fruition, because the Arab countries refused to naturalize the Palestinian refugees. They were tasked with being the eternal victims — a means to bash Israel. The Twentieth Century saw millions upon millions of refugees, products of various wars. Population changes occurred in many places around the globe. Millions of Sikhs and Hindus, for example, were displaced from Pakistan to India in the 1950s, and millions of Muslims, meanwhile, took the opposite route. This population exchange involved a lot of violence, but ultimately, it happened. Incidentally, then-Pakistani President Mohammad Ayub Khan visited Cairo in 1960 and voiced hope during a press conference there that the fact that his country absorbed some seven million refugees from India would serve as an example to Arab countries to absorb 750,000 Palestinian refugees. But the status of Palestinian refugees is unlike the status of any other kind of refugee. The U.N. has two agencies that deal with refugees: the UNHCR which handles all the refugees in the world, and a refugee agency just for the Palestinians: UNRWA. The U.N. also has two different definitions of refugee status: one is a general definition assigning refugee status to "people who are outside their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group, and who, for persecution related reasons, are unable or unwilling to return home." This definition affords refugee status for a limited number of years, and only to the displaced persons themselves, not their offspring. Under this definition, refugee status is revoked when a displaced person settles in, and integrates into another country. But not so when it comes to Palestinian refugees. A Palestinian refugee is defined as “anyone whose normal place of residence was in Mandate Palestine during the period from June 1, 1946 to May 15, 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war." In short, anyone who lived here for two years prior to the establishment of the State of Israel is considered a Palestinian refugee who lived here “for thousands of years” since the biblical Jebusites ... And incidentally, only Palestinian refugee status can be passed down from generation to generation. Most of UNRWA’s budget comes from the U.S. and the EU, both of which are pushing Israel to resume negotiations with the Palestinians but are simultaneously helping to perpetuate the conflict. *** Opposite the 600,000 or 700,000 Palestinian refugees, there are more than 850,000 Jewish refugees who were forcibly expelled from Arab countries over the establishment of the State of Israel and its victory in the 1948 War of Independence. The Arab countries are ultimately responsible for creating the refugee problem, both the Palestinian refugee problem that resulted from a war waged by Arab countries against Israel, and the Jewish refugee problem, by stripping Jews of their citizenships, confiscating their property, murdering many of them and violently expelling the rest from the places they had populated for 2,500 years. All this, some 1,000 years before the rise of Islam. It is important to get familiar with the testimonies of Jewish refugees. A good starting point is a website called The Forgotten Million, operated by the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries. These Jews also lived in refugee camps for a time: the Israeli maabarot (refugee absorption camps). But, as opposed to the Palestinian refugee camps, the tents in the maabarot eventually became shacks, which then became permanent housing and ultimately cities. And so, in stark contrast with the U.N.-fueled eternal refugee-hood of the Palestinians, these Jewish refugees integrated into their old-new homeland and were no longer of any interest to anyone. The term "pogrom" was seen as referring to violence only European Jews were subjected to. Furthermore, as Cotler mentioned, in the case of Arab Jews, the violence, the loss of citizenship, the theft of property and the expulsion reflected the stated policy of the Arab League, which had suggested a similar course of action against Jewish nationals back in 1947. Now that the issue has gotten official state recognition, Israel’s representatives should raise the issue of Jewish refugees at every diplomatic event, and demand that justice be done. More than 150 resolutions having to do with Palestinian refugees have been adopted by the U.N. Not one has to do with their Jewish counterparts. It is time to change all that. By the way, U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 talks about a “just settlement of the refugee problem” — all refugees, including the Jewish ones. And one more interesting historical note: the same thing that happened to the Jews half a century ago is currently happening before our very eyes to Christians living in Arab countries. The Christians of the Middle East are being persecuted, murdered and expelled. There is only one country in the Middle East where Christians thrive: Israel. That is an important public diplomacy tool. But not only for diplomacy, it is also important for the sake of education. Every Israeli needs this. Without recognition of the Jewish “nakba” (the term Palestinians use to describe the catastrophe of their expulsion from Palestine), as some Jewish survivors describe their past, the resulting vacuum will have room only for the Palestinian version. “And you shall tell your son ...” as the Bible says. Read More %A %B %e%q, %Y No Comments

Israel Hayom September 14, 2012 By: Dror Eydar The U.N. and the U.S., with the help of the Arab League, are perpetuating the Palestinian refugee problem — a perfect tool with which to bash Israel. On the opposite side, shockingly and hypocritically, no one gives a second to the 850,000 Jews who were displaced from […]

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Algeria: an “Arab” rabbi?

Posted on JFORUM.fr July 24, 2012 Zouheir Ait Mouhoub Here is the strange testimony of a Jewish Algerian, who discovers his Jewishness late, while his father converted to Islam for the sake of an Algeria-Semitic. The text whose authenticity is not verifiable, and delivers a strange tale plausible, what could be the plot of a novel modern Jewish. You be the judge. I Naim, 24, future rabbi of Algeria Algeria, for which they have participated in the liberation is their homeland. With the Algerians, they share everything except ... religion. Them, are the Jews of Algeria. Today, they still continue to hide for a better life. Portrait of a young man who chose to break his silence. I'm only 24 years old. But I've spent most of my life hiding. To hide my secret, that of my family, my peers. I am Algerian. With my fellow citizens, I share the sky, the sea, the earth, the joys and sorrows. But not religion. Today, after law school, I go abroad to integrate a Hebrew school to further my knowledge and to specialize in the study of worship North African and Algerian Judaism in particular. I want to become the next chief rabbi of Algeria to finally one day we can celebrate faith in Hashem on this earth, in freedom, serenity and sharing, in accordance with the laws of the Republic and living together . I'm Jewish and I'm Naim toshavim. I was born some 1988 in Algiers. It was beautiful. There was no evidence that the fall would take a dramatic turn in the troubled life of my country. Despite this, my family has always refused to leave Algeria and remained linked to its history for centuries. In 1962, while many Jews were leaving in haste, carried away by the rumors according to which all Jews would be "killed" my grandfather decided to stay. "Here, this is our land. She was born your parents and grandparents and we have nowhere to go, "he repeated to each discussion. My parents were very tempted to make aliyah to Israel, but my grandfather has deterred them. "In 1963, Israel was forbidden to make aliyah Algerians like other Jews of the world. The lawsuit Algerian Judaism and Jews of Algeria in 1963 Jerusalem was a shame and contempt for us. Pretext that we have not made aliyah en masse and we were special. But we are proud to be what we are. Do not expect from others. Trust our Algerian brothers. Promise me you will stay here no matter what, my son, "he said to my father. Commitment. My grandfather, at the time in shopping Znikat Laârayass in Lower Casbah, helped his mujahideen brothers. His brother was even in the Army of National Liberation. This is a shaheed. Today, the old and the old Casbah remember the commitment of my family in the Revolution. France we harmed because she was then assimilated by sordid Anglicized * Cremieux decree. "France forbade our Jewish brothers to be buried in its soil. With this decree, she wanted to separate us from our Muslim brothers and embarrass us, "explained learnedly my grandfather. He wore Algeria in his heart and saw no other heaven than that of Algiers. He was proud to be Algerian and did not accept any other name, refusing labels "Jews of Algeria", "Jews of Algerian origin" or "Israelite or Jewish community of Algeria." He loved lamhadjab, and zlabia makrout. El Hadj El Anka brightened her days and evenings. Chaabi music was his favorite and Yafil Edmond, one of his great friends. My father was a quiet man who had scared all the time. It was an ambitious officer who, unfortunately, was removed from high office in the state because of his Jewishness, discovered after lengthy investigations eligibility made by the security services. There we learned nothing from the halakha. I always remember this story. I was six years and one day I accompanied him to the fishery, we passed the large mosque Sahat Echouhada. Bearded men were protesting in front of the Grand Mosque. I watched this beautiful white mosque, ornaments, when suddenly I saw the six-pointed star: "Look at that star, it's weird, it has six branches!, It looks like on the wall of your room! "" One day you will understand, my son! "My father gave me the shifty eyes after a long moment of silence. Like no other I remember from school, the first lessons of Arabic alphabet. And Islamic education classes. We began to recite the Fatiha and Echahada. Something unusual to my ears. The tone was the same, but the words were different from those my mother used to pray at night or Shabbat. In the evening, at dinner, my mother felt disturbed. She asked me, but I could not tell him anything. I expect when I see her sit and pray in front of a candle. It is at this point that I realized that my mother did not recite the Quran and spoke good a language other than Arabic. She did her dafayoumi. Before my obstinate silence, believing me haunted by a spirit, she decided to treat me with the word of God. She recited dafa and threw water everywhere until I crack and I told him: "At school, we learned the Quran and how to pray. But I've seen and you did not do what we are told to do in school! "She stood stunned and then burst into tears:" We're not like the others! We're Jewish, my son! May God protect you! ' The warning. The small window of my room, I watched the sky. Blessed Chema Israel, Adonai Elohenou, Adonai Echad (the people of Israel: Adonai is our only God, Adonai is one). It is our echahada to us, the Jews. I began to pray alongside my mother. Faith has become the priority of my life. My mother had taken care to warn me: I would never reveal my religious affiliation. Especially in this period. January 23, 1994, my maternal uncle visited us to tell us the murder of Raymond Louzoum. An optician Tunisian Jewish origin of the current street Didouche Mourad, foully murdered in front of the Fine Arts library. My father hurried back to his work. He spent the evening talking with my mother. I heard him shout: "No! I am still here! I would not go anywhere else! "My uncle came back a few days later and took me to the synagogue. Finally, let's say a room converted into a place of prayer. During the 1990s, the Jews of Algeria were forced to do even more discreet. It was risky in this bloody period of Algeria. We used to pray in a small mosque where the imam had allowed us to do for Shabbat. I learned some years later that the authorities were informed and they watched the scene for our safety. We were not numerous and were lacking the necessary accessories to our office. My uncle introduced me and taught me the Jewish tradition according to the rite of the great rabbis Algerians. Protection. January 22, 2005, counsel Joseph Belaiche was assassinated. Algiers became morose. The new killings of intellectuals, journalists and artists came to us every day. My uncle was visited by terrorists at his home in Saint-Eugène, who asked him to pay fidya. "And we'll leave you alone," they ceased not to tell him. A pressure force, despite the strength of my mother, we ended up leaving Algiers to Oran. People I did not know came to the house to talk to my father. My uncle revealed to me a few years later it was the security authorities. They had advised us to leave Algiers and tell the neighbors that we left for abroad. According to my uncle, the authorities did not exactly this scenario. "They do not want the Jews to leave the country en masse. They care about our situation and do everything to protect us, "he told me. That summer, so we settled into a new apartment in the center of Oran. I discovered how much we were a great community! The rest of my family had followed us. The instructions were the same: we should reveal anything. After detachment, my father was hired in local government. My mother, meanwhile, never went out, except to visit family and friends. We spent a lot of time in Beni Saf, where my uncle had a house by the sea For him, it was Shabbat and I attended my first hayloula. A magical and full of emotion. My mother told me: "These are our traditions, we must live fully and you have to perpetuate the glory of God. "At home, we speak Arabic and French force to attend the" community "where my uncle was one of the organizers. Oran was a haven of peace. I learned Hebrew in an underground school, and Judeo-Arabic, strange and poetic, and the Torah. I lived so fully my Jewishness. But between my parents, tensions were increasingly visible. Doubt took over. They parted and my father converted to Islam. At the start, I headed back to school with the feeling of having been abandoned by my father. He had hidden the fact that I was Jewish. Conversion. I can understand, but he betrayed the halakha. At school, it was difficult to deal with so much hatred, contempt and denial of all that is Jewish. I learned the Koran in spite of myself, even though I respect this religion and its divine teachings, values ​​of tolerance and coexistence between peoples. But the Algerian school as xenophobes, anti-Semites. How many times have I heard: "The Jews are hated by God. "They are" bad, "" infidels, "" hypocrites, "" dirty. " "This is a test among others, sacrifice my son," said my mother, who has always been very supportive. She greatly respected his fellow lived a full Algerianism. One day I dared to admit to a classmate my religion, but I was not taken seriously. For him, it was inconceivable that I am Jewish. Because of my faith in Hashem, I could spend many trials as I continued the evening to attend Hebrew school. In reality, the image of the synagogue, the school was opened "illegally" by the descendant of a family of rabbis in Algeria. They entered the garage fitted with a discreet door located in an impasse. A member of our community was on the watch and watching the scene. Our meetings resembled the secret meetings of certain guilds! "We have to protect ourselves. We are not acting in secret, but the situation in the country does not allow us to expose ourselves. There are too many dangers. Always be alert and discreet ", repeated incessantly our teacher. In 1999, when President Bouteflika was elected a wink in his speech gave hope to the Jews of Algeria. Secret meetings. Aunt Sarah, Enrico, businessmen ... were finally able to return. I remember seeing my mother crying and praying for Bouteflika be blessed. And then the dream turned into a nightmare. After a hate campaign directed against us, Bouteflika turned back under pressure. We continued to keep silence, to pray in secret and compromise sometimes contrary to our religion. Like the time I attended the funeral of an "old" in our community. Discretion requires, the body was brought at night in the cemetery of Tlemcen, in an ambulance accompanied by a police van, contrary to the Jewish tradition. This man, who has long supported the struggle for national liberation, deserved better than that. This scene will remain forever engraved in my memory. When the internet came to the house, all my early research concerned the history of the Jews of North Africa. I discovered the Algerian specificity of Judaism, its practices, its peculiarities. I subscribed Panacha courses, teaching the Sefer Torah. Zlabia.com site (official site of Algerian Jewish community in Algeria and abroad) count myself among the most active. I made many Jewish friends in Algeria and abroad, which today still, I say how much I believe in my country, where I fed a lot of hope and ambition. I pray every morning and evening to Hashem that Algeria finally recognizes his children, his plurality. That it respects, as it always has, its minorities, without distinction. Algeria belongs to all Algerians. Amen. * In 1870, the Cremieux decree grants automatic citizenship to 35,000 French Jews in Algeria. In the aftermath, the settlers from Europe are also Anglicized. Muslims in Algeria are maintained in their native status. Read More %A %B %e%q, %Y No Comments

JFORUM.fr July 24, 2012 Zouheir Ait Mouhoub Here is the strange testimony of a Jewish Algerian, who discovers his Jewishness late, while his father converted to Islam for the sake of an Algeria-Semitic. The text whose authenticity is not verifiable, and delivers a strange tale plausible, what could be the plot of a novel modern […]

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Algeria’s Jewish Question

Posted on History Today July 5, 2012 By Martin Evans On Wednesday June 22nd, 1961 the 48-year-old Jewish musician Raymond Leiris was shopping with his daughter in the crowded market of his home town, Constantine, in eastern Algeria. Suddenly, without warning, a young Muslim gunman surged forward to shoot him in the back of the neck. The defenceless Leiris was killed instantly, another victim of a round of shootings in Constantine that day, which left one Algerian woman dead and two other people seriously wounded. It was a shocking incident even if, after nearly seven years of war between the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) and France, the colonial power, there was no shortage of horrific events to record. By no stretch of the imagination was Leiris a military target. Popularly known as Cheikh Raymond, he was one of the great figures of the Andalusian musical tradition, a gifted oud player, blessed with an astonishing voice. Studying under the greats of Algerian music – Cheikh Chakleb and Cheikh Bestandji – his Cheikh Raymond Orchestra encapsulated the style known as malouf. He was a living symbol of a shared Jewish-Muslim culture. We still do not know why he was murdered. Neither the FLN, nor the Secret Army Organisation (OAS), the hard-line pro-French Algeria terrorist group formed in January 1961, ever claimed responsibility for his murder. The killing threw into sharp relief the dilemmas of Algeria’s Jewish community in 1961. Numbering 130,000, as opposed to nine million Arab-Berber Algerians and just under one million European settlers, this minority was faced with three choices: either they could accept independence, which by this point seemed inevitable given that the French government and the FLN had entered into negotiations; fight a last-ditch stand to defend colonial Algeria; or leave. With names like Derrida, Nouischi and Stora, Jews had lived in North Africa for over 2,000 years. Some had arrived with the Phoenicians between 1100 and 146 bc. Others sought refuge after their expulsion, along with the Muslim population, following the fall of Granada, the last bastion of Islamic Spain, in the Reconquista completed in 1492. As such the Jewish population was derived from a complex mosaic of Judeo-Berber, Judeo-Arab, Portuguese and Spanish roots, in which each locality had its own customs. Under Islamic law Jews were accorded a protected status as the ‘people of the book’. In return for a tax they were allowed to practice Judaism. Read More...%A %B %e%q, %Y No Comments

History Today July 5, 2012 By Martin Evans On Wednesday June 22nd, 1961 the 48-year-old Jewish musician Raymond Leiris was shopping with his daughter in the crowded market of his home town, Constantine, in eastern Algeria. Suddenly, without warning, a young Muslim gunman surged forward to shoot him in the back of the neck. The […]

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