One-stop blog on Jews from Arab and Muslim Countries and the Middle East's forgotten Jewish refugees, updated daily
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Looking for Pakistani Bene Israel relatives
Following the emergence of a second self-identifying Jew in Pakistan - Arie Ben Samuel - Point of No Return has received two anonymous messages. We think both are from a Pakistani Jew now living in Cambodia. Like Ben Samuel, his family moved from Hyderabad during the 1947 war following partition. They continued to practise Judaism but disguised their identities as Muslims. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss in confidence.
A Bene Israel family
"Shalom, and may I kindly just ask if you know any of old Jews from
Pakistan? I'm son of a Karachi Bene Israel mother and a Muslim father and
my grandfather and his four brothers moved to Hyderabad from
Karachi after they failed to sell their property in Pakistan.
" I'm looking for
my mother's relatives and only the older generation know who was left behind
in Pakistan. I just beg you please to help me find my relatives as I need my children to grow up as Jewish. I'm not sending my daughter to
school for fear that she might get corrupt teaching of other faiths."
Shalom from Cambodia.
The second message reads as follows:
" Your mother might know my grandfather as well my mother too, they were
well-to-do and had a lot of property that they failed to sell and moved
to inner Sindh with a new identity as Muslin but practised Judaism,
Note my grandfather was one of five brothers. Please help!"
In just 50 years, almost a million Jews, whose communities stretch back up to 3,000 years, have been 'ethnically cleansed' from 10 Arab countries. These refugees outnumber the Palestinian refugees two to one, but their narrative has all but been ignored. Unlike Palestinian refugees, they fled not war, but systematic persecution. Seen in this light, Israel, where some 50 percent of the Jewish population descend from these refugees and are now full citizens, is the legitimate expression of the self-determination of an oppressed indigenous, Middle Eastern people. This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, which can never return to what and where they once were - even if they wanted to. It will attempt to pass on the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution. Awareness of the injustice done to these Jews can only advance the cause of peace and reconciliation. (Iran: once an ally of Israel, the Islamic Republic of Iran is now an implacable enemy and numbers of Iranian Jews have fallen drastically from 80,000 to 20,000 since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Their plight - and that of all other communities threatened by Islamism - does therefore fall within the scope of this blog.)