Down the Middle East Memory Hole

Most of the people in the Middle East have no idea that Jews once lived among them—virtually all signs of Jews there have been erased. How did this come to happen?

The courtyard of the Great Synagogue of Aleppo, as depicted in a detailed model. Beit Hatfutsot, Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv.
The courtyard of the Great Synagogue of Aleppo, as depicted in a detailed model. Beit Hatfutsot, Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv.
Response
André Aciman
June 8 2014

As the grandson of an Aleppan Jew, I needed to be reminded of what happened to Jews in two of the most ancient capitals of Middle Eastern Jewry—Aleppo and Baghdad—in the wake of the 1947 UN vote to partition Palestine.Matti Friedman accomplishes this very strongly in the opening section of his essay, “Mizrahi Nation.” By invoking events in present-day Syria, he also allows us to imagine what massacres would have resulted today had Syria’s remaining Jews not fled Hafez el-Assad’s viciously anti-Semitic regime. 

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: Israel, Matti Friedman, Middle East, Mizrahi Jewry, Zionism