The Bosnian-Muslim Family Who Saved Jews from the Nazis—and Who Were Later Rescued in Return

June 21 2022

Sabina Vajraca, a U.S.-based director and former refugee from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, recently released a short film titled Sevap/Mitzvah (“A Good Deed”). It is based on the life of Zejneba Hardaga, a Muslim woman who helped hide a Jewish family, the Kabiljos, during World War II and later helped them escape Nazi-occupied Sarajevo for Israel. As Daria Sito-Sucic notes, the good deed was returned half-a-century later, when the Kabiljos helped Hardaga flee Bosnia’s embattled capital and find refuge in the Jewish state.

The Hardagas were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli Holocaust museum Yad Vashem, based on testimony provided by the Kabiljo family. The honorific is awarded to non-Jews who helped Jews escape persecution in the Holocaust.

“Zejneba Hardaga is the first Muslim woman in the world who was recognized as Righteous Among Nations,” said Eli Tauber, a member of the Sarajevo Jewish community. Tauber, who wrote a book about 54 Bosnians who were honored as Righteous for saving Jews during the World War II, said that Hardaga also helped his grandparents leave Sarajevo at that time.

“She gave my grandmother a veil and pantaloons to disguise herself as a Muslim woman, . . . and gave my grandfather the money to buy tickets and run away from Sarajevo,” he recalled.

Read more at Reuters

More about: Bosnia, Holocaust, Holocaust rescue, Righteous Among the Nations


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria