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Mizrachi Jews and Zionism

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Sivan 2, 5781
Question
Everyone knows about the expulsion of Mizrachi Jews from Arab lands after Zionism took of on the world stage. Before this, many of them were killed as revenge against the Zionists. As Zionism was pursued further, its leaders were aware of the fact that these Jews were in mortal danger. Is the blood of these Jews on their hands?
Answer
As we wrote previously to a similar question, the Zionist movement was unquestionably the largest Jewish life-saving movement in the last 2,000 years. Accordingly, all of the Jews should have participated, especially the Jews in the Mizrachi countries where, as you wrote, they were in immediate danger, and in fact, they correctly made aliya and joined the IDF, saving not only their lives but the lives of millions of Jews of that, and subsequent, generations: "Historically, the British refusal to allow Jews to enter the Land of Israel, did (!) put them into mortal danger, by forcing them back to Europe, and many were murdered in the Holocaust. Also the anti-Semitic British prevented the Jews from protecting themselves from the Arabs attacks, which was an additional mortal danger. The halacha is clear: it is obligatory to fight those who cause Jews to die, based on Milchemet Mitzva, the law of Rodef, and "Thou shall not stand by your brother's blood" (Shulchan Aruch, Ch. M. 426; Or. Ch. 330; Sefer HaChinuch 600). In addition, throughout the Tanach and Jewish history, Jews went to war, inevitably killing and also giving their lives, for the sake of liberating the Land of Israel, that she should be under Jewish rule (including the Maccabees and R. Akiva's Bar Kochva rebellion which were even after there were no longer Urim v'Tumim, see Rambam Hil. M'lachim u'Milchamotehem 11, 3). Accordingly, Jews were not only allowed, but obligated to declare war (and come on aliya to fight) against the British and the Arabs."
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