Who is an Arab Jew? by Albert Memmi

Who is an Arab Jew? by Albert Memmi – The other Jews, those “terrible European usurpers”, will also be sent back “home” – to clear up the remains of the crematoria, to rebuild their ruined quarters, I suppose. Aneu.startpage.com_2016-10-08_22-39-14.pngd if they do not choose to go with good grace, in spite of everything, then a final war will be waged against them. On this point, the Head of State was very frank. It also seems that one of his remarks deeply impressed those present: “Are you not Arabs like us – Arab Jews?” What lovely words! We draw a secret nostalgia from them: yes, indeed, we were Arab Jews- in our habits, our culture, our music, our menu. I have written enough about it. But must one remain an Arab Jew if, in return, one has to tremble for one’s life and the future of one’s children and always be denied a normal existence? There are, it is true, the Arab Christians. What is not sufficiently known is the shamefully exorbitant price that they must pay for the right merely to survive. We would have liked to be Arab Jews. If we abandoned the idea, it is because over the centuries the Moslem Arabs systematically prevented its realization by their contempt and cruelty. It is now too late for us to become Arab Jews. Not only were the homes of Jews in Germany and Poland torn down, scattered to the four winds, demolished, but our homes as well. Objectively speaking, there are no longer any Jewish communities in any Arab country, and you will not find a single Arab Jew who will agree to return to his native land. I must be clearer: the much vaunted idyllic life of the Jews in Arab lands is a myth! The truth, since I am obliged to return to it, is that from the outset we were a minority in a hostile environment; as such, we underwent all the fears, the agonies, and the constant sense of frailty of the underdog.

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