Lyn Julius, the British-born daughter of Iraqi Jews, advocates for the rights of Jews from Arab countries, particularly through her journalistic work and her new book, Uprooted. Her aim with this book is to equip readers with knowledge about Jewish life in Arab countries, the causes for their departure, and the fight to be recognized as Jewish refugees. In addition to the text, the book includes appendices, a bibliography, an index, maps, and numerous photographs.
In surveying Jewish life in the Arab world, Julius emphasizes the lower status of Jews as dhimmis and focuses on maltreatment by the authorities and the Muslim society. Regarding modern times, she stresses the impact of Nazism on the Arab world and the Jewish suffering that resulted in several Arab countries. She also deals with Arab antisemitism and the impact of Arab nationalism on the Jews. A major topic is the reasons for the departure of Jews from their Arab homelands and why they should be recognized as refugees. Julius examines the treatment of the Palestinian refugees, who are internationally recognized as refugees and are themselves and their children kept in refugee status, contrary to the status of Jews from Arab lands, who settled in Israel and the West and reconstructed their lives as fully integrated citizens. The appendices provide data on the Jews in Arab countries and testimonies of their suffering and escape.
Readers should be sure to carefully examine the text: while the bibliography includes numerous scholarly works, the book itself relies heavily on the media and various blogs; negative interpretations, hostility and discrimination are emphasized, while positive experiences are depicted as exceptions or manipulations. Nevertheless, the book discusses important issues and includes valuable data, testimonies, and photographs.
Uprooted can be especially useful for those engaged in discussions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in particular on the issue of the Palestinian refugees: it provides ready answers to those glorifying the status of Jews in the Muslim World, details the reasons for their departure, and describes efforts to reconstruct their lives later on.