Saturday, September 13, 2008

Demonstrators highlight Jews from Arab lands

The campaign to draw attention to the destruction of the Jewish communities of Arab Countries hit the streets of California when a dozen women, dressed in black, picketed this year's annual Arab Cultural Fair (via Blue Truth blog):

"With recent attention on the Jews from Arab lands, the organizers of the 14th Annual Arab Cultural Fair still seemed angry when a dozen activists showed up in Golden Gate park in San Francisco bearing signs describing the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Arab lands. The group, Oakland Women In Black decided that the time had come to bring public awareness to the forgotten refugees of 1948, the Jews expelled from Arab lands.

Oakland Women in Black describe themselves as Jews and allies who stand against injustices tolerated by others, rejecting the notion that some people are worthy victims. They have broken off from the other Bay area Women in Black groups in their belief that all people, not just a select few, have the right to security, home, education, justice and freedom.

There had always been a Jewish presence in the Arab world. Since the expulsions of the indigenous Jews, this important thread is missing from the rich cultural tapestry of the Arab world. The Oakland Women in Black prepared informative signs showing the numbers of Jews in respective Arab countries before the expulsions and at present.

Tunisia 1948 Jewish population: 105,000 2008: 1,500
Algeria 1948 Jewish population: 140,000 2008: 100
Egypt 1948 Jewish population: 75,000 2008: 100

The group maintained a solemn vigil, dressed in black and bearing silent witness to the destroyed Jewish communities of Arab land. And, true to form, festival organizers called the police.

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1 comment:

Dusty said...

Oakland Women in Black have promised to put up photos of the protest on their website!
I am still waiting.