Hi, I'm refael, a 17 years old mixed maghrebi Jewish trans man, and today I'm here to talk about antisemitism.
Is antisemitism an European epidemic?
Today, January 27th, is the international Holocaust remembrance day, but I'm here to talk about the middle East and north Africa.
Now, antisemitism in the MENA existed WAY before israel, and way before the Holocaust. But before we jump into the horrors, let's talk about statistics.
Before I start, I wanted to say that I currently live in israel, and I'm an antizionist minor.
Mizrahim, who are mostly arab Jews, are Jews that live or are descendant from Jews from the MENA. Mizrahim comes from the Hebrew word Mizrah, meaning East.
As of 2005, 61% of the Israeli Jews were of full or partial mizrahi ancestry, which makes it about 10 million mizrahi Jews in israel alone.
But, out of 8 million Jews living outside of Israel, only 40 thousand live in the MENA, which is half a precent.
It is because that between 1948 and the early 70s, around 850 thousand Jews were expelled, evacuated or forced to flee from the MENA.
Now let's get to the horrors.
Pogroms are deliberate persecutions of Jewish communities either condoned or approved by the authorities.
There are evidences of at least 24 pogroms in the MENA between the 1840s and the 1910s.
Before israel, in the 30s and 40s, there were "Nazi inspired" pogroms in Algeria, Libya and Iraq.
In 1941, there were violent anti-Semitic riots in Baghdad known as the "farhud", where 180 Jews were killed and 700 more injured.
Zionism didn't just encourage Jews to immigrate to Israel, it encouraged the MENA to exile their Jewish populations to Israel, and you can see that from the almost instant rise of antisemitic attacks meant to drive Jews away.
This is sort of a short pilot for a podcast I'm making called 'gay maghreb' where I explore LGBT issues, anti-Semitism and other epidemics in the middle East and north Africa.
Thank you for listening.