“The Arab countries, which never accepted the UN declaration on the establishment of a Jewish state, compelled the Jews living in their territories to leave their homes while leaving their assets behind. In several instances, the deportations were accompanied by pogroms and violence against Jews. We have acted─and will continue to act─so that they and their claims are not forgotten,” said Netanyahu.
Ada Aharoni (The Forced Migration of Jews from Arab Countries) writes: “The various efforts for peace between Israelis and Palestinians have overlooked an important factor in the Arab-Israeli conflict: the displacement of Jews from Arab countries, the loss of all their assets and property, and the hardships with their emigration to Israel. As almost half of the Jewish citizens of Israel, together with their descendants, are from Arab countries, peace research and future peace efforts should take this into account.”
The new state of Israel was in hard economic straits as it struggled to provide housing and jobs for the masses of immigrants. Camps with shacks and tents gave temporary shelter; employment was created, the Hebrew language taught, and the educational system was expanded to meet the needs of tens of thousands of children.
A well-known Mizrachi scholar Ella Shohat writes: “For the Jews of Arab lands, in a generation or two, millennia of rooted Oriental civilization, unified even in its diversity, has been wiped out.”
New immigrants in Giv’at Ye’arim, Judean hills in 1951:
The moshav was established a year earlier, in 1950, as it is now home to about 1,500 mainly Yemenite Jews. Life in the moshav has changed from agricultural labor to members holding jobs in Jerusalem and Mevaseret Zion.
Jews from Arab lands have contributed immeasurably to Israel’s success despite experiencing wars and conflicts in their ancestral homeland. On May 9, 2021, the first physical memorialization in Israel of the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from Arab land and Iran was placed on the Sherover Promenade in Jerusalem. (References: The Jerusalem Post, Wikipedia, and other online publications and posts)
The Departure and Expulsion Memorial followed the Knesset law for the annual recognition of the Jewish experience, held annually on November 30.
Yemenite Jewelry, design by Lea Mizrachi.