Will Mideast Christians Share the Fate of the Region’s Jews?

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The modern Jewish state was founded in order to give the Jewish people a home and a haven in a historically unfriendly Middle East. This was necessary due to decades and centuries of violence and persecution. But now, Dr. Edy Cohen writes at JNS, we must look at that history of persecution to see what the region holds for its persecuted Christians, as well:

A look at developments in the Middle East in recent decades gives the clear impression that the region is becoming “cleansed” of minorities, especially the Christians who have inhabited it for millennia.

The process is reminiscent of that which befell the Jews of the region, who had to flee their homes amid pogroms and persecution during the 20th century, especially after the establishment of the State of Israel and its victories over its Arab enemies.

It was in Morocco, where several thousand Jews have remained, that the first 20th-century massacre of Middle Eastern Jews occurred—in Fez, on April 17, 1912, after Sultan Mulai Abd al-Hafid signed a treaty that turned Morocco into a French protectorate.

For the Moroccan people, this handing of the reins to a Christian ruler was an act of betrayal. Unable to attack the French, the Arab mob opted to attack Jews and their property. Fifty-one Jews were murdered and many homes looted.

On Aug. 3, 1934, a Jewish tailor in the Algerian town of Constantine cursed the Muslims and insulted Islam while drunk. The result: pogroms that killed 25 and wounded 38 local Jews.

In June 1941, the Farhud broke out in Baghdad. About 200 Jews were murdered and thousands wounded by their Arab neighbors. Jewish property was looted, and many homes were set ablaze.

Four years later, on the anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, large numbers of Arabs took out their frustration over Nazi Germany’s defeat by perpetrating pogroms in several Arab countries. In Egypt, 10 Jews were killed and about 350 wounded during Muslim Brotherhood riots…

Tags: Christians Edy Cohen Islam Jews JNS Middle East Unrest Terrorism

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