Out­sider in the Promised Land: An Iraqi Jew in Israel

Nis­sim Rejwan Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas Press
  • Review
By – October 26, 2011

This is the sec­ond vol­ume of the mem­oirs of a Jew who grew up in Bagh­dad and immi­grat­ed to Israel; the first vol­ume was enti­tled The Last Jews in Bagh­dad: Remem­ber­ing a Lost Homeland. 

This book is more than a rec­ol­lec­tion. By weav­ing a col­lec­tion of essays and let­ters with prose and his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive, Rejwan uncov­ers and then address­es some of the deep­est wounds and weak­ness­es of mod­ern Israel. He takes a deep and reveal­ing look at racism — not racism the way we in the Unit­ed States under­stand it between blacks and whites, but the racism that exists between Jews of Arab lands and the Jews of Europe. The author push­es the enve­lope. He uses quotes and cites many exam­ples to show that time after time the estab­lished ech­e­lon of Israel was exclu­sive­ly Euro­pean, leav­ing no place for a tal­ent­ed Jew from Baghdad.

Nis­sim Rejwan is a deter­mined, per­sis­tent and tal­ent­ed man. Despite the odds, this out­sider found his place in the promised land. The con­tri­bu­tion he made will pave the way for oth­ers who follow. 

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

Discussion Questions