Jews in Arab Countries

The Great Uprooting

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Georges Bensoussan
Studies in Antisemitism
  • Bloomington, IN: 
    Indiana University Press
    , March
     552 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


In this new history, French author Georges Bensoussan retells the story of what life was like for Jews in the Arab world since 1850. During the early years of this time, it was widely believed that Jewish life in Arab lands was peaceful. Jews were protected by law and suffered much less violence, persecution, and inequality. Bensoussan takes on this myth and looks back over the history of Jewish-Arab relations in Arab countries. He finds that there is little truth to the myth and forwards a nuanced history of interrelationship that is not only diverse, but deals with local differences in cultural, religious, and political practice. Bensoussan divides the work into sections that cover 1850 to the end of WWI, from 1919 to the eve of WWII and then from WWII to the establishment of Israel and the Arab Wars. A new afterword brings the history of Jewish and Arab relations into the present day. Bensoussan has determined that the history of Jews in Arab countries is a history of slowly disintegrating relationships, increasing tension, violence, and persecution.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Georges Bensoussan is a historian and for many years served as the Editorial Director of the Shoah Memorial in Paris, France. He is author of a number of notable works on modern Jewish history, including Une histoire intellectuelle et politique du sionisme. 1860-1940 [An intellectual and political history of Zionism, 1860-1940] and Les Juifs du monde arabe. La question interdite [The Jews of the Arab world: the forbidden question].


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