Wednesday, April 26, 2023




AP reported on the Egyptian and other Arab states' reaction to Israeli independence in 1948: "The weekly Akhbar el Yom said 600 persons, mostly Zionists, were rounded up and sent to concentration camps."

Yes, only three years after the Holocaust, Jews were being rounded up again. Reports of Jews in Egyptian and Iraqi concentration camps trickled into the media during 1948.

In August, 18 French Jews who were interned started a hunger strike after efforts by France to free them were fruitless. At the time it was estimated that 3,000 Jews were imprisoned in these camps. British Jews in Egypt were also arrested without charge. (The French internees were finally released in September.)

A large number of Jews, most of whom were born in Egypt and whose families have lived there for generations, were ordered to leave the country this week-end or “face the alternative of imprisonment in desert concentration camps,” the American Jewish Committee reported in a telegram to Acting Secretary of State Herbert C. Hoover, Jr.

The Committee disclosed that leaders of the Jewish Communities of Cairo and Alexandria “have already been placed in concentration camps.” At the same time, it reported that the property of Jews in Egypt has been seized as “enemy property” and placed under the custodianship of the Egyptian government.

And that wasn't the worse thing for Egypt's Jews. They were being murdered in the streets.

22 Jews were killed in a June bombing in the Karaite Jewish quarter of Cairo. 19 more were murdered by another bomb in the main Jewish quarter of Cairo in September. Four Jewish-owned department stores were bombed in July and August.

JTA reported this horrific testimony:

The situation of the Jews in Egypt was termed today as "highly alarming" by a Frenchman who returned from Cairo and gave the first detailed and uncensored report of the pogroms, mob violence, mass looting and terrorism which is now taking place throughout Egypt against the Jewish population.

Egyptian mobs, he revealed, killed three rabbis by splitting their throats, after dragging them into a Cairo slaughter house. He estimated that at least 150 Jews had either been killed or had "disappeared" in Cairo incidents during the last four weeks. A substantial number of Jews had been wounded, he said. The pogroms and anti-Jewish terrorism are tacitly encouraged by the passive attitude of the Egyptian Government, he charged.

The gravest single incident, he reported, occurred on July 20 at one of Cairo’s chief street car junctions, in Malika Farida Placo. An organized group of Egyptians ejected all the European passengers from several trolleys. All passengers suspected of being Jews were savagely killed on the spot, and many had their eyes pierced or were knifed, while non-Jews and Europeans were robbed of all cash and belongings. The police made no effort to intervene, the French visitor emphasized.

Of the large number of Jews in Cairo who have been wounded, he continued, 120 are now undergoing treatment in the Jewish hospital there and an unannounced number are in government or private institutions. Scattered incidents of knifing of Jews are repeatedly reported in various parts of the Egyptian capital, he said. The killing of three rabbis in the slaughter house took place on July 21, he reported.
I haven't seen verification of the specifics, but there are many reports of pogroms in Egypt against Jews and scores were known to have been killed.

Then, as now, the excuse given for antisemitism was "Zionism." Yet then as now, they were attacked because they were Jews.





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