Amid Unrest, Arab Jewish Communities Worry for Their Safety

| February 23, 2011

Washington, Feb. 22- In the aftermath of long-time President Zine el Abidine ben Ali’s overthrow in mid-January, Tunisian Jews were greeted with a harsh reminder of their delicate situation: "Jews wait, the army of Mohammed is coming back!” scores of Muslim demonstrators chanted in front of Tunis’ main synagogue on Feb. 11.

While hoping for a positive outcome from the upheaval in Arab nations, remaining Jewish communities from Tunisia and Egypt to Bahrain and Morocco still fear for their safety in a volatile region.

More than 60 years after Jews were first assaulted and forced from their homes in Arab countries, a new wave of anti-Semitic incidents, though sporadic, have alarmed remaining communities throughout North Africa. The incidents are a subtle echo of the Jewish expulsion from those places after the creation of Israel in 1948 and continuing until after the 1967 six-day war. Arab riots, vandalism, and outright violence forced Jews to flee from Egypt, Syria, Iraq and other countries were they were once a sizable minority.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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