Jewish Property Claims Against Arab Countries

Michael R. Fischbach

Columbia University Press

Jewish Property Claims Against Arab Countries

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Pub Date: August 2008

ISBN: 9780231135382

376 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00£49.95

Pub Date: August 2008

ISBN: 9780231517812

376 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $59.99£49.95

Jewish Property Claims Against Arab Countries

Michael R. Fischbach

Columbia University Press

In the twenty years that followed the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, 800,000 Jews left their homes in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Morocco, and several other Arab countries. Although the causes of this exodus varied, restrictive governmental measures and an outburst of anti-Semitic feeling during and after the war were major factors. Some of these "Mizrahi" Jews, most of whom were not active Zionists, were forced to leave behind property of great financial and ancestral value-property that was sometimes seized by the governments of the countries they fled.

In this book, Michael R. Fischbach, who has dedicated years to studying land and property ownership in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, reconstructs the circumstances in which Jewish communities left the Arab world. Conducting meticulous and exhaustive research in the archives of Washington D.C., Jerusalem, London, New York, and elsewhere, Fischbach offers the most authoritative estimates to date of the value of the property left behind. He also describes the process by which various actors, most importantly the State of Israel, linked the resolution of Jewish property claims to the fate of Palestinian refugee property claims following the 1948 war.

Fischbach considers the implications of contemporary developments, such as America's invasion of Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and Libya's attempt to shed its international pariah status, which have impacted pending claims and will affect claims in the future. Overall, he finds that many international Jewish organizations have supported the link between the claims of Mizrahi Jews and those of Palestinian refugees, hindering serious efforts to obtain restitution or compensation.
An excellent in-depth piece of research into the Jewish assets issue. Moshe Gat, The Journal of Israeli History
It combines the best qualities of persistence and detachment in the research process and moral committment and empathy in presenting and evaluating the evidence gathered from research. Joel Beinin, American Historical Review
This book is a must-read for anyone dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it is particularly relevant for Jews from the Arab and Muslim world, for whom it will provide useful and up-to-date data and a deep understanding of the issue. Sami Shalom Chetrit, Journal of Palestine Studies
An important contribution to the study of Middle Eastern and North African Jews as well as to minorities studies, Israeli politics, and Jewish organizations. Jewish Book World
List of Tables
Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration
Introduction
1. The Loss of Jewish Property in the Arab World
2. Jewish Claims in the Context of the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the Peace
3. The Status of Jewish Property Claims Today
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Web Features:

Book Prize

About the Author

Michael R. Fischbach is professor of history at Randolph-Macon College. His Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict received Honorable Mention at the first annual Benjamin L. Hooks Outstanding Book Award Contest. He is also the author of State, Society, and Land in Jordan and The Peace Process and Palestinian Refugee Claims: Addressing Claims for Property Compensation and Restitution, and the editor-in-chief of The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa.