Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Year in Review

Time for Point of No Return to take stock of the main events of the Year:

Je suis juif: This past year will be remembered as a bad year for the predominantly Sephardi Jews of France. The Charlie Hebdo and Kosher supermarket attacks of January 2015 took a particularly heavy toll of Tunisian-born Jews. Record numbers of French Jews  - 8,000 - are making aliya, but les Feujs are also coming to the UK.

Meanwhile, Spain granted citizenship to over 4, 000 Jews who could prove their Sephardi roots. A number have been Turkish Jews, who have been feeling the heat from President Erdogan's antisemitism, despite a  recent  warming of Relations with Israel.

This year Egypt revised its image of Jews for the better in its  Ramadan TV series, Iran put an end to school for Jews on Saturdays, and Hanucah lighting ceremonies were held for the first time in Bahrain and Turkey. Israel re-opened its embassy in Cairo. Wishful thinkers opened an Iranian embassy in Tel Aviv.

This year we lost the following greats: Sir Martin Gilbert, author of 'In Ishmael's House', Professor Robert Wistrich, authority on antisemitism, Joan Peters, author of 'From time immemorial', Nessim Dawood, translator of the Koran into English, Sir Naim Dangoor, businessman and philanthropist, chansonniers Richard Anthony and Guy Beart, actors Arieh Elias and Roger Hanin, Judeophile Egyptian playwright Ali Salem. Not forgetting the personal loss of our  regular commenter, Suzy Sultana Vidal, whose pithy comments on this blog will be greatly missed.

This year continued to be a bad year for  pluralism  in the Middle East despite the efforts of Steve Maman and Lord Weidenfeld to rescue Christians and Yazidis. It was a good year for those Yemenite Jews who managed to flee the civil war.

It was a good year for Israeli survivors of the Farhud who won 'Holocaust' reparations from the Israeli government.

The annual commemoration  of Jewish refugees from Arab countries on 30 November is achieving results.The Knesset's new lobby for the recovery of Jewish property from Arab countries laid the groundwork for a Knesset bill establishing an international compensation fund.

Best article of the year: travels of a tray.

This year Point of No Return gained still more readers, and we would like to thank all our faithful followers for your interest, your comments, your hat- tips.

Wishing you all a very HAPPY, HEALTHY and PROSPEROUS 2016, and see you in the New Year.


Sammish said...

To Maestro Blogger Bataween and all followers of PNR:JRAC, I wish all of you a good new "Gregorian" year. Shanah Tovah

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

It sounds better in Italian than English. Capodanno in Italian translates as "head of year" just about the same as Rosh haShanah.

Let me commend Bataween on her good work which no doubt played some role in the Israeli governmental decision to set a day for remembering the Jewish exodus from Arab lands.

Best Wishes and Shalom Emet to all supporters of PNR.

Niran Bassoon-Timan said...

Thank you Bataween for all the work through the last year and years before.