For many people, there is a basic assumption that Arabs are anti-Israel and Israelis are anti-Arab. This is a huge exaggeration. What people often do not realize is that Jews lived in Arab lands for centuries before the State of Israel existed. Coexistence was not wonderful, and the Arabs always had the upper hand. But the Jewish people figured out how to be productive second class citizens. In 1948, everything changed.
The emergence of the Jewish State was a huge game changer for the approximately 2 million Jews in Arab Lands. There were Jews in Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. Between the years of 1948 and the early 60’s, nearly 1.5 million Jews would transplant and move from these countries to Israel. This would more than triple the young country’s population in around one decade. There were food shortages in Israel for years. Jews from Arab Lands suffered the most. They had comoe from a country where they may have been second-class citizens among the Arabs. But within their Jewish brethren, they were proud, devout, and steeped in tradition. Then, they suddenly found themselves in a modern country that was uite anti-traditional, rather socialist, and who looked down upon them as second class citizens.
The melting pot for most of the Jews of Arabs Lands was the Israeli Army. That is where their children found a place to shine and gain some respect. It happened gradually, but by the 60’s and 70’s, the Jews from Arab Lands had largely risen to high-level command positions across the entire Army (except for the Air Force). One of the things that made these Jews uniquely qualified to shine was their knowledge of Arabic. Their parents nearly all spoke Arabic fluently. But more importantly, it was their understanding of the Arab mentality. This was the game changer and allowed them to fill key positions within the Israeli intelligence ranks.
Now that things seem to be going in the right direction in terms of Arab countries turning to Israel and agreeing on a peaceful future, more voices of Arabs who understand the true narrative of the Middle East are needed to speak up. This Arab knows his history. If there was ever a nation that was subjugated in the Middle East throughout the centuries, it is the Jewish nation that lived under Arab rule until the formation of the State of Israel.