By Karmel Melamed

The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles

March 31, 2013

Earlier this month perhaps one of the most important efforts to document the tragic loss of life and property that Jews from North Africa and the Middle East experienced during the 20th century took placed here in Los Angeles. Members of the San Francisco-based “Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa” (JIMENA) gathered at local Sephardic synagogues to video interview 10 L.A. area Jews who escaped their native lands in North Africa and Iran when those countries had turned violently against their Jewish populations during the last century. While the world has been obsessed with the “right of return for Palestinian Arabs” that were supposedly “exiled” in 1948 and 1967 from Israel, no one seems to care about the near 1 million Jews expelled from Arab lands during the same period. What about the loss of property, finances and life Jews from these Islamic lands and Iran suffered? What about the thousands of Jews who were forced to leave their assets behind in Iran or had their assets confiscated  by the new Islamic regime in Iran after 1979? Who is speaking out on their behalf and speaking up for justice for their right of return? The answer is simple; JIMENA!

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