The forgotten Jew

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The article “Letter from a forgotten Jew” is worth reading for Indian Muslims in conjunction with the article “How to exterminate Muslims in India.” 

 The following three paragraphs gave me the chills and guilt.

 Now there are no Jews left to speak of, nor are there even monuments, museums, or other visible reminders of our presence on Iraqi soil for twenty-six centuries.

 2,600 years are erased, wiped out, as if they never happened. Can you put yourself in my shoes and feel the excruciating pain of loss and invisibility?

 I was never allowed to return. I never recovered the assets I had left behind in Libya, despite promises by the government. In effect, it was all stolen — the homes, furniture, shops, communal institutions, you name it. Still worse, I was never able to visit the grave sites of my relatives. That hurt especially deeply. In fact, I was told that, under Colonel Muammar Qaddhafi, who seized power in 1969, the Jewish cemeteries were bulldozed and the headstones used for road building.

 You may disagree with some of the author’s narrative like the Arab persecution was highlighted while Europe was lowlighted. The fact remains that Jews have suffered throughout history. The stinky majoritarianism has been brutal to the minorities. The religious (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Atheists, Buddhists), ethnic, and other majorities have been cruel to the minorities. As an Indian Muslim, it worries me about the Muslim and Christian minorities in India. 

The answer is not piecing the nations into holy lands. The problems will not disappear, and the newer situation of ethnic minorities will surface, as in Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, and other countries within the same religious group. 

 I hope you feel empathy towards the Jews while not losing it for the Palestinians. The writer David Harris wrote it from his perspective, which I respect and fully empathize with and support Israel’s right to exist without losing the rights for the Palestinians. 

 Until after the Second World War, most nations were ruled by dictators, monarchs, and tyrants, with a few exceptions. The public had no say in it. But now, we have a chance to elect responsible governments by the people for the people, and that hope is shattered with Putin, Trump, Modi, Erdogan, and others. 

Our integration theories being the best answer, do not work either. The Jews were well integrated into all the lands they lived in yet, they suffered. However, I am optimistic, and we cannot fail ourselves and give up. We have to continually attempt to bring about the change through respecting the otherness of the other. Martin Luther King, Jr’s words give me hope, “The arc of the moral universe, howsoever long, eventually “bends towards justice”.

 The guilt I feel is why are we relatively secure in America, while others around the world are not. 

We all may agree that if there is justice to every human, the nations and communities will do well and sustain themselves without strife.  

Mike Ghouse 

Letter From A Forgotten Jew
The Times of Israel
By David Harris
June 22, 2021

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