Monday, April 15, 2013

A lie or mere ignorance?

Prof. AbuKhalil, who passes himself for an expert on the Israel-Arab conflict*, tells us that this statement in a NYT article is a lie:  

"Nasser began expelling them. [the Jews]" 

He does not quite explain what the lie is. Does he dispute the fact that Nasser choreographed the expulsion of the Jews from Egypt? Or does he dispute the attribution of Nasser being the first to orchestrate such a move, as might be understood by the verb "began"? 

If the first, then AbuKhalil  is not the expert he quite thinks he is. According to wikipedia

"The 1956 expulsion of Egyptian Jews came as a direct consequence of the Suez Crisis and a background of generalized anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish attitudes in Nasserist Egypt. The decree bound all Jews with relatives in Israel and those suspected as Zionist agents - nearly half of the whole community. Similar measures were enacted against British and French nationals in retaliation for the invasion. About 25,000 Jews left Egypt following the decree, urged to abandon all their property. By 1957 the Jewish population of Egypt had fallen to 15,000.[1] The expulsion came within the scope of the Jewish exodus from Arab countries. [-]
 In October 1956, when the Suez Crisis erupted, Nasser brought in a set of sweeping regulations abolishing civil liberties and allowing the state to stage mass arrests without charge and strip away Egyptian citizenship from any group it desired; these measures were mostly directed the Jews of Egypt.[2] As part of its new policy, 1,000 Jews were arrested and 500 Jewish businesses were seized by the government.[3] A statement branding the Jews as "Zionists and enemies of the state" was read out in the mosques of Cairo and Alexandria. Jewish bank accounts were confiscated and many Jews lost their jobs.[4] Lawyers, engineers, doctors and teachers were not allowed to work in their professions.[5]"
And according to this source: 

Egyptian Jews being  expelled from Egypt in 1956 under the direction of President Gamal Abd El Nasser. All those expelled had to sign a pledge of NEVER TO RETURN, leaving behind their possessions, amounting to Billions of dollars.
All their assets have been placed under sequestration and confiscated by the government  of which no restitutions have been made.  
The policy of sequestration and confiscation was in effect from 1948-1967. During the war of 1967 many Jews  were mistreated and placed in jails for no reason other than they  are of the Jewish faith. Egypt has yet to apologize. 
Today, with a handful of Jews left in all of Egypt, our request to salvage and rescue our heritage and religious articles has been denied by Egypt stating  it all has been placed under the auspices of the department of Antiquities, and therefore may not leave Egypt.
If the second, then AbuKhalil might be inadvertently correct, since the expulsion of the Jews from Egypt was not begun by Nasser but started earlier. Again, according to Wiki:

While the exodus of Egyptian Jews had begun following the 1945 Cairo pogrom, it had not been significant until 1948. In 1948, approximately 75,000 Jews still lived in Egypt. Their numbers however quickly began to decrease, following the eruption of the 1948 War over the creation of Israel and the resulting local violence directed against the community.

I suspect that AbuKhalil's contention here is that the event never happened, or, alternatively, if it did, whatever did cause the Jews to flee Egypt, denuded of all their assets and barely alive, was not the fault or result of anything any poor, maligned and misunderstood  Arab leader did. Such is the information, the truth, one gleans from the professor's knowledge.


"[AbuKhalil i]s a tenured Professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus, and a visiting professor at UC Berkeley. He taught at Tufts University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Colorado College, and Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.
He teaches courses in American Government, Comparative Politics: Middle East, Gender & Sexuality in the Middle East, and Politics of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (I can only imagine what this is like).
He’s paid — we California residents pay him — to teach our children."


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