My Mideast Punchlines: dream, dream, dream…

Having persecuted and purged their Jews as punishment for the rebirth of Israel, many Arabs now realise they shot themselves in the foot.

A million Jews lived in Arab countries in the 20th century. Today, just a few thousand are left, mostly in Morocco and Tunisia.

The purging of the Jews caused a crisis in almost every Arab country from which they came. Despite their relatively limited numbers, the Jews’ impact on society, culture, economy, and trade was crucial to the development of those countries, and their loss was felt. After the Jews were evicted from Iraq and Egypt, for example, those countries experienced crisis after crisis.

There is now a palpable longing in most Arab states for the Jews to return. Many believe that only with a Jewish presence will their countries blossom and develop as they did in the past.

biffWell, having a wife whose family members suffered pogroms in Aden before being expelled, I can’t imagine the queues to return will be very long. Basically, the 850,000 Jews thrown out of Arab countries around the time of the establishment of the State of Israel learned pretty quickly that any hardships encountered in the nascent state were preferable to ending up in unmarked graves in their erstwhile homelands. Is there one Judenrein country in the Middle East that isn’t a failed state? Since 1948, Arabs have been slaughtering fellow Arabs on an industrial scale. The upside is, no Jews, no scapegoats. It all really boils down to a question of trust. So it’s worth repeating the axiom of my late and beloved father-in-law Shmuel. He used to say: you can’t trust an Arab forty years in his grave. So to those Arabs who yearn to see a Jewish return, I simply say: dream on and singalong to the Everly Brothers:

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