Yitbach el Yahud

Islamic fundamentalists are preaching “Itbach el Yahud,” slaughter the Jews, cries my parents lived with in their native Egypt and Iraq.Today Jews in France are fair game for radical Islamists.Vows to destroy Israel crowd the Internet.

The world is not paying enough attention.

Today I live in a country where our leaders cannot link “political Islam” with “terrorism” or “Islamic” with “terrorist.” Abbas and Fatah are seen as “moderate,” unbelievable deals are made with Iran and its vile ayatollahs we keep trying to turn into our new best friends.

Murderous gangs like Hezbollah and Hamas are portrayed as freedom fighters, and yitbach el Yahud goes unnoticed?

The destruction of 2,500 years of ancient Jewish life in the Middle East and North Africa is not enough for these nations who are Jew-free today.

I understand how for those who have not directly experienced the hit it is “hard to believe.”

My parents lived it. They watched their ancient Jewish communities in Iraq and Egypt disintegrate.

My grandmother, who grew up free in Singapore did not believe it, could not believe it, when she moved to Baghdad as a young bride. She was “modern,” she scoffed at how the Baghdadi Jews cowered in fear, “they were like mice!”

She found out the hard way. It wasn’t just the thugs on the street who cursed and threatened Jews.

“I didn’t know (how much they hated us),” she said remembering sitting quietly like a mouse herself, the only Jew, at her well placed friends’ dinner party. The guest of honor was no other than the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini himself.

She sat there stunned, afraid, sick to her stomach as he ranted about the Jews. He promised Hitler would deliver not only in Europe but the entire Middle East and North Africa.

Later, her friends tried to comfort her with how she was “not like the other Jews.”

Anyway, all it would take was a simple conversion. Right?

For some reason, most of us Jews don’t convert out.

The Great Suffering of the Shoah did not rid the planet of Jews; it propelled the concretization of our ancient dream, of self- determination, of Israel.

The Holocaust was not enough to cure anyone of anti-Semitism.

The left holds on to its anti-Zionist narrative, betraying a fatal disconnect.

The Arabs are not “paying for Europe’s sins,” they have plenty of sins against Jews of their own. They destroyed our lives and our history. The majority of Jews ethnically cleansed from Arab lands and now stateless, settled in Israel. More than half of the Jewish population of Israel are Mizrahim, Jews from all over the Middle East and North Africa and their descendants.

For the Arab/Muslim nations it was not and is not enough to expel 850,000 Jews from all over the Middle East and North Africa, completely destroy entire Jewish communities predating Islam, after traumatizing them with hangings, impossible laws and pogroms.

They are riveted by the insult of seeing the dirty Jew/Israel in their midst .

In 1947 after Partition, the Arab nations waged its first full-scale war on Israel. Israel had no IDF, no trained “army” or enough weapons to fight the onslaught. Vowing to “drive the Jews to the sea,” they failed. More than once.

For the Arab nations Israel is the ultimate thorn in their side. Getting rid of Israel is virtually the one issue they unite on. If this is not a sickness, I don’t know what is.

Imagine your most hated former native, your citizen, your denationalized and cast out, imagine wiping out their 2,500 year old culture, imagine the population they once controlled under Dhimmi (think Jim Crow) laws, now thriving next door.

Imagine my mother watching the Shia merchant in Basra washing his hands after doing business with her father, the Jew.

Failing to win by “conventional” methods in war, the Islamic Arab nations without enough pushback from the rest of the world, fuel Palestinian terrorism and kills its own to destroy Israel.

Putting their own people in eternal misery, they cultivate and corner their own to be blown up as sacrifices for one reason alone: yitbach el Yahud.

We cannot pretend it away or sit quietly like mice.

About the Author
Rachel Wahba is a San Francisco Bay Area based writer, psychotherapist and the co-founder of Olivia Travel. An Egyptian-Iraqi Jew, Rachel was born in India and grew up stateless in Japan. The many dimensions of her exile and displacement are a constant theme in her professional work as well as her activism as an advisory board member for JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa).
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