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The Silent Exodus
The Silent Exodus
Actor: Pierre Rehov
Director: Pierre Rehov
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2009     1hr 0min

The story the world doesn't want told: the courageous journeys of more than 1 million Jews expelled from Arab nations after the birth of the modern state of Israel in 1948.


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Movie Details

Actor: Pierre Rehov
Director: Pierre Rehov
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, History
Studio: SISU Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Myth debunking at its best
Alyssa A. Lappen | Earth | 03/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Through historical news clips and films, this exemplary 2004 documentary sheds light on a very thorny question raised by pundits' frequent claims that, from medieval times through the early 20th century, life was vastly better for Jewish residents of the Arab and Muslim Middle East than for those in Christian Europe.

Namely: if that were true, why in 1939, did less than one percent of the world's 17 million Jewish people live in the Arab and Muslim Middle East, against more than 40 percent in Christian Europe?

Evidently, life for 1.5 million Jews in the Muslim Middle East wasn't so much better than for the majority who lived in Europe, after all. In general, it may have been worse.

Here available for the first time to a large public audience, for example, are black and white films of the hundreds of naked bodies of Jews murdered and piled in wagons in circa 1911 Morocco.

Here too are interviews with several surviving victims of the June 1, 1941 Farhud (pogrom) against Iraqi Jews. Houses were destroyed, shopkeepers bludgeoned to death (in the head), homes and synagogues burned, and women and girls raped. In one particularly disturbing interview, a woman describes her gang rape, as a 12-year-old girl, by Muslim men who verbally expressed during the act their delight to destroy the dignity and virginity of a Jewish girl.

Viewers witness mobs of Arabs rallying, parading and screaming for Jewish blood, the merciless hangings of innocent Jewish men--simply for being Jewish--and the conflagrations that destroyed Jewish homes, businesses and houses of worship.

Here are also gathered films of impoverished Jews, clothed in rags and flimsy sandals, trudging through the desert to escape the massive pogroms launched against Middle Eastern Jews following the 1948 establishment of Israel.

This remarkable set of film archives, and documents, gathered in a comprehensive form explain a great deal--as do the accompanying interviews with Islamic scholars.

For thousands of years, a relative handful of surviving Jews were scattered through Aden, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Iran. They were few largely due to religious ideology and teaching that encouraged the persecution of non-Muslim minorities, and especially Jews. Indeed, apart from Yemen (where Jews were also mercilessly exiled to barren deserts for a time) the vast majority of Arabia's Jews were expelled or murdered during the time of Mohammed, and at his command.

In short, this film provides important evidence that the exodus of 1.5 million forgotten Jewish refugees from the Arab and Muslim world began long before Israel's creation--and was largely fueled by ancient sectarian hatred.

How dare the dhimmis, who for centuries had paid head taxes merely for the right to breathe, and whose testimony had been considered unlawful by every court, establish a democratic government of their own, granting them justice and equal rights?

Until the destruction of 6 million Jewish people in the Nazi Holocaust, at least 8 million Jews lived in Europe--and only about 1.5 million in the Arab Middle East.

After seeing this film, one asks an important, and previously obscured question: If tolerance in the the Muslim world was so much greater--Why so few?

--Alyssa A. Lappen"
A documentary about the 1,000,000 neglected Mizrahi Jewish
Rory | 02/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Pierre Rehov's film tells the story of 1,000,000 Middle Eastern (Mizrahi) Jews who were compelled to leave Arab countries and became refugees. Most of them went to Israel. These Jews predated both Islam and Christianity, and have had a contiguous presence in the Middle East for thousands of years. Yet throughout history they suffered under Arab rule (some periods were worse than others). Eventually these Jews left-- most went to Israel.

Rehov's documentary explores the rise of Islamic radicalism and Arab nationalism which made life for Mizrahi Jews unbearable. There are firsthand accounts from Middle Eastern Jews from various Arab countries who experienced and witnessed persecution. The film is extremely useful to anyone who wants a fair and comprehensive view of the Israel-Arab conflict.

Today, fewer than 3,000 Jews remain in Middle Eastern lands, many living in poverty. They also often find themselves the recipients of religious hate-crimes. My father's family was from Iraq where the population of Babylonian Jews numbered at over 150,000. Today there are 7 Jews remaining. Middle Eastern Jewish communities have been totally ethnically cleansed and have received scant attention from international human rights groups (there hasn't even been a single UN resolution addressing the plight of Mizrahi Jews). It is shameful.

As a daughter of Middle Eastern Jews, I am very inspired by Pierre Rehov's comprehensive work on this subject.
Truth exposed
Robert | CHICAGO, IL USA | 04/24/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"We always hear about the Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war. Yet we never hear about the 1 million Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries following that war (nor about their plight as second class "non Muslim" citizens for centuries prior to that event). It goes a long way to explain why a two State option is the only solution for the Middle East. Muslims do not wish to share their country with non believers, and through the simple math of birth rate, they would become the majority of any other option. More importantly, Jewish refugees were accepted and absorbed by their new country.They lost everything, were able to rebuild and are looking neither for compensation nor to return. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are still struggling in their refugee camps. Talk about Arab solidarity...."