On April 18, our CAMERA Fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Max Heller hosted a screening of The Forgotten Refugees on his campus.
The documentary film reveals the story of the approximately 700,000-1,000,000 Jews who were persecuted and expelled from the Arab and Muslim countries in which they lived during and after the founding of Israel. These Jews were forced out of their homes, and were made to abandon millions of dollars in property and possessions to illegal confiscation by their host countries. Many Jewish refugees made their way to Israel and were absorbed, but the truth of their expulsions is infrequently discussed in media.
As Max wrote, “I wanted to open students’ eyes to a side of the [Arab-Israeli] conflict that is often neglected, which is the fact that there are Jewish refugees [from Arab and Muslim countries] living around the world. Much is made of Palestinian refugees in Israel, but few people pay attention to the fact that many Jews lived around the world under brutal conditions.”
Max screened the film to 30 interested students, many of whom had never attended an Israel-related event before. After the screening, the students heard from an Israeli journalist and author, Ben-Dror Yemini, who spoke via Skype about his family’s exodus from Yemen. Max reported, “Students were highly engaged in the film and listened intently to Ben-Dror’s story. Many were genuinely surprised that this Jewish refugee issue even existed.”
Watch the documentary below or order a high quality DVD here: