Saturday, January 05, 2013

2012: That was the year that was

 Danny Ayalon receives an award from Levana Zamir (president of the Association of Jews from Egypt in Israel)  for his work promoting rights and recognition for Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

Point of No Return's Review of the Year:

2012 will be remembered as the year when the issue of Jewish Refugees from Arab countries began to break into mainstream discourse. Years of effort to raise the question of the rights of Jews driven out of the Arab and Muslim world are finally beginning to bear fruit. For the first time ever, the BBC World Service aired a two-part radio programme on the Jewish exodus from Arab countries.

As the Arab Spring continued to take its toll on non-Muslim communities,  remnant Jewish communities in Arab countries suffered rising Islamist antisemitism. There were murders of Jews in Yemen, Morocco and Iran. Tunisia saw unprecedented Islamist incitement and, by the end of the year two synagogues ransacked in Sfax.

Man of the Year: Danny Ayalon

Point of No Return's Man of the Year is unquestionably Israel's deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon. Although a question mark now hangs over his future after the 22nd January elections, Ayalon never ceased to push his campaign for Jewish refugee rights. In September, the Israeli Foreign Ministry held a conference in Jerusalem  and 10 days later a high-profile meeting at the UN in New York.

The topic of Jewish refugees created a storm of controversy in the leftwing and Arab press.

Concurrent lobbying efforts by Justice for Jews in Arab Countries resulted in a bill introduced in the US Congress: if passed it would legally oblige the US government to treat Jewish refugees equally with Palestinian refugees.

Bravest non-Jew of the Year: Mawlud Afand

The young editor of the Israel-Kurd magazine was believed to have been abducted by Iranian agents on 8 June. He has not been seen since.

Wiji Bohme Shomary, Syrian authoress of Why antisemitism is a big problem in the Arab world, Berber film maker Kamal Hachkar, Nabil al-Hadairi, champion of the rights of Iraqi Jews, and  sympathetic Copt  Maikel Nabil Sanad.

Top posts of 2012

1. 74-year- old Fez Jew beaten with a hammer
2.Alexandria synagogue comes to Tel Aviv
3. Will Aisha Ghaddafi seek asylum in Israel?
4.Will Jews be able to visit post-Ghaddafi  Libya?
5. Sephardim can get automatic Spanish nationality
6. Let's reframe the Israel debate
7.Whatever happened to the Jews of Pakistan?
8. Israel must expose Arab plan to 'cleanse' Jews
9. Farewell to historian David Littman z"l
10. Peter Beinart blackens 'white' Eli Yishai 

Notable  Anniversaries
100 years since the Fez massacre
65 years since the Arab League draft law, a blueprint for persecution 
65 years since major anti-Jewish riots break out
50 years since the exodus of Jews from Algeria

Scoop of the Year
Among other exclusives Point of No Return broke the news story that for the first time in 2,000 years, no High Holiday services would be held at the Nebi Daniel synagogue in Alexandria.

Most bizarre article
My barmy barmitzvah in Abu Dhabi

Book of the year
Juifs en pays arabes: le grand deracinement by Georges Bensoussan

My thanks to all those who tipped me off about interesting articles and made worthwhile comments. Above all, thanks to all Point of No Return's readers - its raison-d'etre. 


Anonymous said...

Why is the world centered on us Jews.
Very good summing up of the past year.
Thanks and may the next year show better things for us!
Sultana latifa

Sylvia said...

Thank you for everything you do Bataween, for this interesting and informative site and for your extraordinary work in the service of truth.

Yasher Koah!

bataween said...

Sultana and Sylvia
Thank you both for your kind words, great wisdom and loyal support!

Anonymous said...

You are doing a sterling job by focussing on our history, concerns and quest for justice and recognition. Well done and please continue this excellent coverage.