Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Essay: When the Arab Jews Fled

A new movement insists that the founding of Israel created more than one set of refugees
A group of Yemenite Jews, newly arrived to Lod, Israel,
in 1948 after being airlifted en masse.
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis
Fortunée Abadie is still haunted by the day in 1947 when mobs stormed the Jewish Quarter of the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo, shortly after the United Nations vote that laid the groundwork for the creation of Israel.

Aleppo, a city where Jews and Muslims had lived together for centuries, exploded with anti-Jewish violence. Mrs. Abadie, now 88, remembers watching attackers burn prayer books, prayer shawls and other holy objects from the synagogue across the street. She heard the screams of neighbors as their homes were invaded. "We thought we were going to be killed," she says. The family fled to nearby Lebanon. Mrs. Abadie left behind all she had: clothes, furniture, photographs and even a small bottle of French perfume that she still misses, Soir de Paris—Evening in Paris. -- Lucette Lagnado, Wall Street Journal
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