Tuesday, December 30, 2014
2014: the Year in Review
2014 was a good year in many respects, even as actual Jewish communities still in Arab countries continued their slide towards extinction.
First the good news: in June 2014, the Israeli Knesset passed a law designating a Memorial Day to remember the exodus of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran.
Good news when over 40 programmes were arranged worldwide on or around the designated date of 30 November, from a reception at the Israeli president's residence to conferences, Knesset lobbying sessions, film showings and book launches. The Israeli government and World Jewish Congress held an event in the UN building. The net result was unprecedented press interest in the Hebrew and Jewish media, although the occasion did not break through into the mainstream, with one or two exceptions.
Good news when the Kerry peace talks hinted that compensation for Jewish refugees was being considered as part of a final settlement.
Good news that two films about the plight of Jews in Iraq, Shadow in Baghdad and The Dove Flyer, were widely screened in Israel and abroad.
Good news that the journalist Matti Friedman received acclaim for writing his groundbreaking article, Mizrahi Nation.
Good news that the return of the Iraqi-Jewish archive, which was to have been sent back from the US to Iraq, has been postponed.
Good news that UNESCO seems to be aware of the need to protect Jewish heritage in the Middle East, even if it is too little, too late.
But 2014 was also a bad year in many respects:
Bad news for non-Muslims in the Middle East who have been killed, captured, sold into slavery, beheaded, forcibly converted and generally ill-treated by the jihadists of Da'esh (IS - ISIS) .
Bad news for Jewish, Christian, Yazidi and Shi'a heritage, much of it destroyed by Da'esh in areas under their control.
Bad news for the Jews in Yemen, whose capital Sana'a was taken over by the fanatical Shi'a Houthis.
Bad news for the (predominantly Sephardi) Jews in France, who experienced an antisemitic backlash from the summer's Gaza war and are still suffering from antisemitism, causing over 5, 000 to emigrate to Israel.
It was a good year for Point of No Return. We are getting 1, 800 page views per day, and you can find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as through Google. Thank you to all Point of No Return readers for your support and comments, and see you in the New Year.
WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST FOR 2015
Posted by bataween at Tuesday, December 30, 2014