[Marxism] Counterpunch article

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 5 12:20:09 MDT 2013

On 4/5/13 2:08 PM, Robert Weiss wrote:
> Mr. Proyect--
> I was reading your Counterpunch article on the Turkish/Greek ethnic
> cleansings of the 20th century and was puzzled by this statement towards
> the end:
> "a population exchange agreement that followed the patterns of
> India-Pakistan and Israel-Palestine (the last exchange of course taking
> place in a unilateral direction.)"
> Here
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_and_Muslim_countries>
> is a Wikipedia article about the migration (some forced or threatened,
> some not, as with Palestinian emigration) of Jews from Muslim lands to
> Israel.  I have seen similar reports in other places, so I don't think
> it exhibits Wikipedia's sometimes partisan outlook.
> If I have mistaken your meaning, in what way did I/P population exchange
> take place in just one direction?
> R. M. Weiss

I wanted to keep my article to a manageable length so I didn't feel it 
necessary to expound on this but here is what I was driving at. It is 
lifted from an article I wrote in December 2008:

This year’s African Disapora Film Festival featured two films that were 
related thematically. Both “A Night in Morocco: Where are you going 
Moshe?” and “Waalo Fendo: Where the Earth Freezes” take as their subject 
matter the abandonment of rural villages under duress. If Oliver 
Goldsmith’s 18th century Irish village was being emptied by the forces 
of capitalism in its infancy, these two movies describe a similar 
process being driven by the same system now in its senility.

Moroccan director Hassan Benjelloun describes how Jews were pressured by 
Zionists into emigrating to Israel in 1963, two years after the death of 
King Mohammed V left the country in an uncertain state. His film is set 
in the small village of Bejjad, where the Jews enjoy warm and cordial 
relations with their Muslim neighbors. The only threat to their 
well-being comes from an ascendant group of fundamentalists who are 
anxious to close down the only bar in town that is run by Mustapha, an 
easy-going Muslim who enjoys serving alcohol to his patrons while they 
enjoy musical performances by local talent, including Moshe, an elderly 
Jew who plays the oud and sings in his native language: Arabic.

After Mustapha is hauled before the local sharia, he defends himself by 
referring to a Moroccan law that allows the sale of alcohol to 
non-Muslims, which Bejjad has in ample number at least for the time 
being. However, as each busload of Jews departs for Israel, Mustapha’s 
anxiety increases. His only hope is to convince Moshe to remain in 
Bejjad, a feasible project given the oud player’s affection for his 
Muslim friends and neighbors.

While Moshe spends each night hanging out at Mustapha’s bar having a 
good time, the Bejjadi émigrés are not having such an easy time in 
Israel. They have trouble finding jobs since there is discrimination 
against Sephardic Jews. They also insist on preserving their Moroccan 
customs. In one of the movie’s many shrewdly observed comic moments, the 
Bejjadis are sitting around a bonfire late at night learning Israeli 
folk songs after having spent a day in a classroom learning Hebrew. 
After their Zionist group leader launches into “Hava Nagila”, a Zionist 
anthem, they stand up and begin to do native Moroccan dances and singing 
their own songs in Arabic.

full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/the-deserted-village/

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