In his book Refugees or Migrants: Pre-Modern Jewish Population Movement (reviewed in Mosaic here), the medievalist Robert Chazan argues that for much of history Jews were more likely to leave their homes in exile not because of expulsions, or to flee violent persecution, but to seek new economic opportunities. One of the many examples Chazan cites is the wave of massacres of Jews in Ukraine—then part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth—carried out by the followers of the Cossack leader Bodgan Chmielnicki in 1648 and 1649. While the violence inflicted on Jews during the Chmielnicki uprising and the subsequent period of unrest would not be matched until the Holocaust, Chazan notes that the affected communities quickly reconstructed themselves.
The Great Jewish Refugee Crisis of the 17th Century
For Sudan, Peace with Israel Marks a National Turning Point
For decades, Sudan has not only been a safe haven for terrorists and an ally of such unsavory regimes as Iran and Qatar, it has also suffered from poverty, a bloody civil war, and a despotic Islamist regime. Its recent decision to make peace with Israel follows on the heels of—and flows from—the end of this long period of misrule. Jonathan Schanzer comments: