Monday, March 09, 2015

Can Algeria break its 'Jew taboo'?

 An Algerian-Jewish family


 How ready is Algeria to tolerate Jews? This article by Farah Souames from Open Democracy has been circulating and raises some good points. However, it also labours under a number of misconceptions. My comments are interspersed in bold:

In Algeria, like other countries of North Africa and the Middle East, there are red lines when discussing politics and religion. Some Algerian writers have bravely debated Jewish minority rights, but raising too many questions about Algeria’s Jewish minority is still taboo. This is because most people confuse Israel, Judaism and Zionism.


They certainly do. But even if they did not the Algerian state still discriminates against non-Muslims: the constitution grants Algerian nationality only to those with a Muslim father.

Algeria’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Mohamed Aissa, recently spoke of plans to reopen 25 synagogues closed down in the late 1990s, during Algeria's civil war. The news provoked some Algerian Muslims to protest. The minister, however, says Algerian Jews have a right to exist. Although welcome, the statement is ironic, because few in Algeria would openly acknowledge Jewish identity. Indeed, many observers claim that the Algerian Jewish community no longer exists.  

Correct.

Radical Islamists have reportedly led opposition to the minister’s plan, but their anger does not stem from Islam itself. Muslims in the Maghreb have a history of coexistence with other religions, as is true in other Middle Eastern countries. Instead, their intolerance is driven by recent history and politics.

For recent history and politics read "the Arab- Israeli conflict".

Muslims and Jews coexisted for centuries in Algeria until European clerics introduced“anti-Semitism.” French colonists offered Jews special treatment, allowing them to capitalize on new economic opportunities. In 1870, the famous Crémieux Decree granted French citizenship to Algerian Jews, elevating their status from “colonial subjects” to “French citizens.”Some Muslims felt betrayed, leading to the first significant rupture between the two communities. Later, Algerian Muslims accused Jews of failing to support the country’s war of liberation.

A revisionist account harking back to the 'myth of peaceful coexistence'. Firstly, French citizenship was imposed on the Jews of Algeria by France. Secondly, Muslims were also offered citizenship in 1865, but refused it.  To say that becoming French led Jews to capitalise on economic opportunities smacks of antisemitism. It is not true that Algerian Jews did not support the country's war of liberation. The Jews maintained neutrality for as long as they could - until anti-Jewish attacks by the FLN tipped them over to the French side.

 In Algeria, religious intolerance against Jews emerged from these processes of colonization and de-colonization, and from a war of independence that generated popular resentment of perceived injustice.  

Not true. Intolerance has a long pedigree in Algeria: French citizenship did allow Jews to escape their inferior 'dhimmi' status, earning them Muslim resentment.

 Today, Jews are like ghosts in Algeria; we hear about them living among us, but we never see them. Some say Jews still live in Algeria under strict surveillance, but most Algerians are confused: is there still a Jewish-Algerian community? 
And if so, is it safe to speak about it? Many suspect that the community exists, but fear that this is a matter of state security about which they should not comment. 

 In other words, those who speak of Jews could be accused of spying or abetting spies, a poor foundation for intercommunal relations.

 Jews are not the only victims of Algerian intolerance; there is also discrimination against Christians. An Algerian Muslim who converts to Christianity is despised because s/he has given up her faith to embrace the ex-enemy’s religion. As a result, even people who are not religiously devout are likely to threaten a convert with rape or death.

 At last, the author finally grapples with the real problem - religious bigotry towards non-Muslims.

 In neighboring Tunisia and Morocco, the last few thousand remaining Jews can practice their faith and send their children to Jewish schools. Most Tunisians and Moroccans – ordinary citizens as well as scholars and academics – speak openly of Jewish contributions to their countries. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Algeria, where people vandalized both Christian and Jewish religious symbols, including cemeteries and places of worship, after independence, and during the 1990s’ civil war. The Arab-Israeli conflict has of course deepened the gap between Algeria’s Jews and Muslims, and has undermined hopes of re-establishing a Jewish presence in the country. Unfortunately, many residents of Arab countries confound anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

The author bravely confronts Algerian antisemitism, but then spoils the message by her spurious distinction between 'good' (anti-Zionist) and 'bad' Jews.

Read article in full

How Algeria lost its Jews 

3 comments:

Dhansingh Gurung Gurung said...

Most of the People are knows Where is Everest Base Camp Trek is a top destination in the world because those trekkers are planning to hike if they
have enough for fitness and healthy and also enough budget first try 10 Days Everest Base Camp, Everest Base Camp trek 12 days, Everest Base Camp Trek 13 days,
Everest Base Camp Trek 14 days. these trip are depended budget and physical fitness. Because There are many route and most challenging path and passes above 5400 meters as chola, Renjola and kong mala.
Everest Base Camp Trek cost is not any type of designation trekkers choices. if you have just hired a guide and self-paying rest of the thing that
would cheaper but take full board packages then cost does higher. Everest Trekking Routes Organized as flexible time and custom Everest Base Camp Trek
Itinerary
for Everest Base Camp Trek Route. Because tour organizer has been over 20 years experience in this industry. only Kathmandu to Lukla
and Lukla to Kathmandu domestic flight ticket is expensive and rest of thing are compared to another trekking route as cheap Everest base Camp Trek.
These days most of Asian Country search on Internet as EBC Trekking that country are Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, honking, Indonesia, and China.

Sappa Lama Gomso said...

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one in every one of the big ranges that expand from Vara-Shikar (Annapurna Fang) towards Manaslu and Lamjung range that is roughly 60-70 kilometer of lateral distance. which has one peak over eight,000 meters, 13 peaks over seven,000 meters, and sixteen additional over half dozen,000 meters. The landscape of the region provides breathtaking sceneries. the first morning views of the mountains square measure majestic. The sunrise views from on the trail of the trek square measure breathtaking. The treks mix such a large amount of totally different landscapes and convey you, therefore, getting ready to the bottom of seven,000 and 8,000-meter peaks.Annapurna Base Camp trekking designed by Nepal Base Camp Treks is one in every of the foremost loved trekking destinations. throughout the trek except witnessing made cultural diversity, you'll additionally withstand remote farms still as villages occupied by Gurung ethnic tribes WHO square measure popularly celebrated everywhere the planet for his or her bravery. you'll be able to expertise the culture, previous traditions, and spiritual values of grunge individuals. To begin ten days Annapurna Base Camp, we are going to drive to Nayapul from Pokhara and walk right along the trail and keep on trekking downhill following a watercourse to Birethanti. Also, we are going to climb to Jhinu danda wherever we will get pleasure from tumbling within the natural spring. On the thanks to Dovan, we are going to be rewarded by the outstanding views of Mt. Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, and Huinchuli. Plus, we are going to pass Chomrong, an oversized Gurung village. we are going to additionally pass the tree-plant full of bamboo and bush trees beside the Modi watercourse and reach Donovan. Then we are going to walk for six hours to urge to Annapurna Base Camp lies at the elevation of four,095m via Machhapuchhre base camp that fantastically assaults the northern aspect of the very giant Mt. Machhapuchhre. Walking for around four hours we are going to reach Annapurna Base Camp that enthralls the North American nation with the putting views of the world’s tenth highest Annapurna I ( eight,091 m), Mt. Machhapuchhre Annapurna South, Huinchuli and additional. Trekking Guide Team offers a wonderful probability to travel for Annapurna Base Camp that is one in every of the foremost picturesque and exciting set within the heart of the nice Mt. Annapurna. we are going to cause you to feel the nice distinction if you choose to travel with North American nation since our good staffs and hospitable porters will certainly cause you to trek safe, comfy and unforgettable.

Sappa Lama Gomso said...

Everest Base Camp Trek is one of those journeys that create your vacation dreams return true. Hiking on the legendary foothills just under the mighty Mount Everest 8848m with exciting views of the master peaks will solely be found within the Everest Region. This celebrated trek is thought worldwide for its trailblazing routes & the landscapes speak to your senses. On this trip you furthermore Mera peak out at the celebrated Kala Patthar (5,600m/18,373ft) read purpose for a few grand direct views of the very best mountain in the world. Everest Base CampTrek additionally includes different celebrated eight thousand peaks like Mt mountain peak (8,516m /27,940ft), Makalu (8,485m /27,838 ft) Cho-Oyu (8,201m /26,906ft). The culture of this specific space is of nice notebook stuff & interacting with the native of us puts a lot of zest into your venturesome journey as you walk through the Khumbu region of the Asian country. This legendary path could be a psychological thriller for top & wild hikers World Health Organization want the tread the methods wherever legends walked before on their thanks to conquering mountain peak, some did some didn’t however the Everest Base Camp Trek path keeps those legends alive for many trekkers World Health Organization head to the present region. The trip begins with a stirring mountain flight to Lukla, one among the world’s highest mountains; & as shortly as you set down at that altitude, the remainder is history. Your hike takes you to the favored village city of Namche, referred to as the ‘gateway to the Khumbu’’ & from there on you rehearse quiet monasteries with the acknowledge Sherpa of us World Health Organization inhabit this region & their culture is price noting. On the way, we have a tendency to visit the Sagarmatha parkland, home to some rare fauna & flora, this additionally wherever we have a tendency to adapt for a few time. We head deep into the Khumbu hiking into the forest of shrub, birch trees & pine, with colorful villages wherever we have a tendency to square measure sincerely welcome by the Sherpa community. we have a tendency to square measure pleasantly stunned to return across a hospital-based mostly in Khunde and health post at Pheriche that shows this region not solely cares for the locals however also are able to look out of trekkers World Health Organization have altitude issues. Doctors square measure invariably at the post for aid treatment. The Everest Base Camp Trek is arduous however varied teahouses square measure found on the paths providing smart grubbed to shelter from the generally harsh climate. Our trek culminates at base camp so we have a tendency to create a path for Namche as we have a tendency to hike back to Lukla to rendezvous for our flight to Katmandu. we have a tendency to add an additional contingency day for inclement weather which will delay flights. It’s recommended to be pretty acceptable to undertake this journey; you only want some smart hiking exercise before doing this trip. And Nepal Base Camp Treks can do the remainder to allow you AN action-packed odyssey of a period.