Writing in the New York Times, Michael David Lukas has been searching out traces of a lost Jewish presence in Tunisia, Egypt and other places. So far, so very romantic. But as Elder of Ziyon points out, not once does he mention why these Jews left - the result of Muslim antisemitism.
Exterior of the Ben Ezra synagogue, Cairo
"He ends off the article this way:
It might be difficult to find the traces of Jewish history in Kolkata or Cairo or Baghdad or Fez. And it might be difficult to imagine that now-vanished world in which Jewish bakers lived side by side with Muslim doctors, Armenian tailors and Zoroastrian jewelers.Not once in the article is the reader given any context as to why the Jews who had lived in these places for so long suddenly disappeared.
But that’s all the more reason to search out those places. In visiting these semi-abandoned cemeteries and synagogues, in seeking out the remnants of this mostly forgotten past, I’ve tried, in my own small way, to pay my respects to the dead and to remember that lost world in which they lived.
The taboo of mentioning the obvious fact of Muslim antisemitism - especially after Israel was reborn, but also throughout history - is simply too strong.
Instead of being ethnically cleansed, the Jews who attended these synagogues just magically disappeared."
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