Against oblivion – The suffering of indigenous Arab Jews

Issue #1

– This article is unfinished –

During the centuries indigenous Arab Jews often enough had hard times. Of course there were Muslim rulers who ruled with sense of proportion and an idea of good governance, but often enough Jews were victims of arbitrary justice, arbitrary taxes and tolls, peonage, rape, torture and mass killings. The suffering of the Yazidi, under the terror regime of the IS, gives an idea how Muslim Arabs treat Kafir. We are talking about mass killings, slavery and mass rape. We are talking about the total denial of human rights. As history and presence show: Arab Muslims can be the worst nihilists. Nitzsche’s  “God is dead” has become folklore even before the philosopher coined the term.

Too many people don’t even know the reason why Israel was created. I mean, this shouldn’t be too interesting here in Europe, if not exactly the same people would spread libels about Israel and Jews. So I am trying to bring this together and I fear this post will become long and gory.

I already tried once to get into the matter, but I aborted my attempt because I couldn’t bear it. This time, I will try a different approach. One that spares my nerves a little more. Back in 2012 I decided to start with the massacre against Jews in Basra 1776 (1776 Iraq (Basra) The History of the Jews in Basra (David S. Sassoon) The Jewish Quarterly Review Vol. 17, No. 4, Apr., 192) I got my own copy, becausee the internet sometimes looses things, but this link now worked for years now. But before I really start I would like to make one thing absolutely clear: If I provide a list of atrocities committed against indigenous Arab Jews by their Muslim countrymen, the list will always only name the most prominent pogroms and massacres. The countless and nameless smaller atrocities that against Jews in Arab countries hopefully will not be forgotten. Still written accounts exists, that give an impression of life for common Jews really was in Arab countries. Of course there were the wealthy Jewish merchants and a few influential figures who made their way up in the hierarchies. But like in any other people the vast majority is average if not poor. The crimes and atrocities against these vast majority will always be unaccounted for.

This time I will not try to do all at once. I will write a number of consecutive posts and I will refer between them backwards and forwards like in a doubly_linked list.

The next pogrom on my list occurred in 1785 in Benghazi (Libya) The famine and plague had devastated Tripoli and in the aftermath Jews were hunted in Benghazi’s streets. The pogrom from 1785 in Benghazi is widely undocumented and I am still searching for documents that would allow me to write more about it.

Five years later there was the Tetouan pogrom im Morocco. In en.wikipedia we find the following account:

As the new ruler (Mawlay Yazid) entered the city of Tetouan, he commanded that all the Jews should be gathered and imprisoned in a house, meanwhile permitting the Moors to rob all their homes and cellars, which they obeyed with their own particular ferocity. Thus, they stripped all the Jews and their wives of all the clothes which they had on their body with the greatest violence, so that these unfortunates not only had to watch all their belongings being stolen, but also had to bear the greatest injury to their honor… But on top of this, their bestiality showed itself to such an extent that they stripped the Jewesses of their clothes, forthwith satisfied their desires with them, and then threw them naked into the streets.

This description refers to page 308 of the book “The Jews of Arab Lands” (ISBN 0-8276-0198-0) But unfortunately in google’s ebook exactly page 308 which describes this pogrom is missing.

And from there we come to the next incident two years later – same place: 1792 Tetouan. We have to assume, that this two pogroms are only known peeks in a particularly hard time for Moroccan Jews.

This favorable treatment was to come to an end with the cruel Alaouite Sultan Moulay Yazid who reigned from 1790 to 1972 and had an intense hatred for the Jews, as a result, there were pogroms in Tetuan in 1790 and 1792, in which children were murdered, women were raped and property was looted. He hanged all the Jewish notables of Meknes from their feet for 10 days, he also later burst the eyes of 300 Muslim notables who had the courage to question his violent temperament and his mistreatment of the Jews.

[Dr Mohamed Chtatou, The Chronicles of the Sephardic Jews in Spain,
Europe and in Morocco after 1492, ]

From there we come to Algier (Algeria) 1805 and 1815

In the city of Algiers in 1805, several hundred Jews were murdered during what was termed the “Black Sabbath” massacre. Algiers was the site of major anti-Jewish pogroms again in 1815 and 1830.

[Richard Kraus, The Roots of Anti-Semitism, ]

1805 : pogrom contre les juifs d’Alger après une famine

[ Gérard Darmon,, Pogrom anti-chrétien ou anti-juif en terre d’Islam ?, ]

In the late 18th-early 19th centuries the wealth of certain families added to the enormous influence of Naphtali *Busnach; this aroused the jealousy of the Janissaries, who assassinated Busnach: The day after Busnach’s assassination (June 29, 1805), they sacked Algiers killing between 200 and 500 Jews. Despite this catastrophe, the great families would not forgo their internal disputes nor their fierce competition for power.

[Encyclopaedia Judaica, ]

A history of the Jews in North Africa
ISBN-13: 978-9004062955