There Are No Jews in Tahrir Square


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You will find no Jews in Tahir Square.  Or in Mansoura, where Grandfather Wahba had a drug store.  I scan the architecture on CNN looking past the screaming demonstrators. I want to see Egypt, Dad’s Egypt, and imagine what he would be saying about the situation today; almost four years since he died.

Egypt is in the news and how I miss my father.

I see “Rioting in Mansoura, Cairo, Alexandria,” flash on the news. Cities that were home to my dad, at different points in his life.  Born to an old Egyptian family in Mansoura, “the Wahbas were real (not transplants from another country), Egyptians” he bragged. They were indigenous to the land, originally farmers, peasants, in Midghram.

When President Obama spoke in Cairo he didn’t ask, “Where are your Jews”? Once not so long ago Egyptian Jews were an integral part of  Egypt’s infrastructure. Obama did mention the Copts (Egypt’s Christians,) another indigenous group who suffer discrimination and he asked for “tolerance”.
ASK WHERE ARE THE JEWS WHO LIVED HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS I wanted to break through his eloquence. But yelling at the TV is not my style.

And now I shall deliver some mostly ignored facts and have my own Tahir Square experience:

In 1948 there were 75,000 Jews in Egypt After the expulsion in l956 during Nasser’s reign, most of Egypt’s Jews were forced to flee. My grandfather had to sign a document saying he would never return. A variety of creative humiliations accompanied the confiscation of any property.  Nothing of monetary value was allowed out with their one suitcase of clothing.

Penniless, the majority of Egyptian Jews ended up in transit camps in Israel.

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  • leib

    Any negotiations for compensation with Palestinians and Israel should include compensation for Jews of Arab lands.

  • Maged Kamel

    It is unfair. I agree that the jews of Egypt paid the price and it was a very stupid move from Egyptian government to throw its own sitizens out of the country. I sympethise with you, it is really a sad part of Egypt history.__But please complete the story by saying that in 1954 Isreal sent its agents and collaborated with jews inside Egypt to bomb and kill in different places in Cairo to destabilize the new regim in front of the west. ____And again in 1956, isreal attacked Egypt and took parts of sinai. So, please blame Isreal too for what happened to your family.__

    • MixMChess

      Actually, Egypt provoked military action in 1956. Egypt had maintained a state of belligerency with Israel after the armistice agreement was signed. Egypt first closed the Suez Canal in 1949 despite complaints by the UN. In 1955, Egypt began to import arms from the Soviet Union to rebuild its arsenal for a confrontation with Israel. At the same time, Egypt began to employ terrorist fedayeen to carry out attacks inside Israel against civilian targets. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser said this about the fedayeen terrorist attacks:

      "Egypt has decided to dispatch her heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam and they will cleanse the land of Palestine….There will be no peace on Israel’s border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel’s death."

      In 1956, Nasser cut of all shipping to Israel in the Gulf of Aqaba. Nasser also signed an agreement with Syria and Jordan placing Nasser in command of all three armies with the intent to attack Israel:

      "I am not solely fighting against Israel itself. My task is to deliver the Arab world from destruction through Israel's intrigue, which has its roots abroad. Our hatred is very strong. There is no sense in talking about peace with Israel. There is not even the smallest place for negotiations."

      The blockade of the Suez Canal and Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, combined with the increased fedayeen attacks and the bellicosity of Arab statements, prompted Israel, with the backing of Britain and France, to attack Egypt in 1956.

    • XMuslim

      Gamal Abdel Nasser had to spread lies about Israel in order to justify destroying Israel. There are Arab Israeli citizens who collaborate with the Arab world but Israel did not respond by kikking them all out. There are many Muslims in America who are Muslim Brotherhood and want to destroy the US constitution and bring sharia. They are Muslim collaborators living in America who are loyal to Al Qaeda, but America did not respond by shipping all Muslims out side of the US. Maged, you are buying Nasser's excuses for what happened to the Jews at the hands of Egyptians.

  • HOOAH

    But were these attacks by Israel on Egypt part of a legitimate war? It sounds like it may have been.

    Were the Israelis attacking legitimate Egyptian "MILITARY" targets? And keep in mind that Israel and Egypt were at war?

    • massaraksh

      The fact that several Egyptian Jews were recruited by Israeli intelligence and even set off a couple of explosions where nobody died and damage was negligible, doesn't justify the collective punishment meted out to the whole Jewish population in Egypt. Just imagine the hue and cry if Israel expelled all Israeli Arabs b/c many of them supported (and still actively support!) Israel's enemies from PLO to Hezbollah. One should also note the deafening silence of the Western Left when it comes to the Jewish victims; the same people start frothing at the mouth whenever the subject of the Palestinian refugees comes up.

  • massaraksh

    God works in mysterious way – in a rather perverse way, the expulsion of the hundreds of thousands of Arab Jews from the lands they lived in for thousands of years and long before the Muslim barbarians showed up, helped to populate Israel and made her strong. The fact that the Arabs got away with this crime is an abomination, but nobody should be surprised.

  • Steve

    Let me add just a little.
    Add to these ME countries other countries from which Jews were expelled or pushed out:
    Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe – Poland, Former USSR (15 countries), Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, so on and so forth….where is CNN or at least Christiane Amanpour documentary about it with her sad, sad, sad voice?

  • Fred Dawes

    where are the Jews in all muslim counties and other nation states, two word's, mass, slaughter.

  • Dovid Primack

    Another country not mentioned is Jordan, as well as Judah and Shomron, where Jews were expelled even before 1948, in 1929 (Hebron) and throughout the region from 1936-1939. The moral of the story is, if you get refugees and you want world sympathy, keep them rotting in camps. Don't find jobs and homes for them. Don't help them to adjust. Israel did that to its 800,000 to 1,000,000 Sephardic refugees, and as a result, nobody remembers that they ever existed, except the State of Israel and themselves. If you let them rot in refugee camps, then the whole world will clamor for their repatriation, even more than 50 years after the fact, and they get regular subsidies from UNRWA.

  • JesseCollinsii

    Good report, Madam. And good for your fine father. I'm sorry for his passing and your loss of a very valuable person.

    Keep fighting! And tell more people what you have told us few here.

    Jesse W. Collins II

  • GuyRR

    The only other people ignored by the media and the Left are the Armenians. Guess why? They were killed by the Turks. Do we see a trend here? If the victim is a Jews nobody cares, if the murderer is a Muslim nobody cares, the result is called Israeli Arab conflict! My grandparents died in Auschwitz, the only people I ever felt real deep sympathy for after studying history and traveling were the Armenians. I visited Cambodia and many countries in Africa but none of them are a match to what the Turks and later the Nazis did, although I must admit they try very hard.