Mordechai Kedar

Middle East Historian

Appears in these episodes:

On this day, we remember the horrific Arab-Nazi pogrom inflicted on the Jewish citizens of Baghdad on June 1–2, 1941—The Farhud.

This violent dispossession was the beginning of the Nazi-style process of persecution and exclusion that would conclude with the expulsion of Iraqi Jews and the end of the 2,700-year-old Iraqi Jewish community. Rabbi Elie Abadie, senior rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates, and Middle East scholar Mordechai Kedar join Edwin to explore whether this can happen again—and the two most likely places.

[Ed. note: We asked the question: Where next? Our prediction of “Israel” proved to be tragically accurate when, on October 7, 2023, at the end of Sukkot, Hamas massacred some 1,400 individuals in Israel.]

The annual commemoration, observed worldwide, was inaugurated by author Edwin Black and proclaimed on June 1, 2015, at United Nations Headquarters in a globally live-streamed event.

Yom HaGirush, November 30, commemorates the coordinated expulsion of Jews from Arab nations. After the 1948 founding of the modern state of Israel, most Arab nations followed the Nazi model of dispossessing and expelling their Jewish populations, planning to overload Israel’s ability to take them in. Some 850,000 men, women, and children were ejected—often with only the clothes on their backs. Many have forgotten. We have not. Mideast scholar Mordechai Kedar and Gulf States Senior Rabbi Elie Abadie join Edwin.

For generations, the Arabs of Jewish Palestine denied they had any national identity and that any Palestinian people existed. They rejected the Peel Commission offer of two states. In 1948, the Arabs invaded. Jewish land was stolen—and Arabs voted at the Jericho Conference to be citizens of Jordan. In 1964, with help from the Soviet KGB and escaped Nazis, Arabs expropriated the Palestinian identity. They convinced a world. Middle East historian Mordechai Kedar and Israel historian Rabbi Yotav Eliach join Edwin.

For generations, the Arabs of Jewish Palestine denied any national identity. In 1948, the Arabs invaded. Jewish land was stolen—and Arabs voted to be citizens of Jordan. In 1964, the Arabs expropriated the Jewish Palestinian identity. In the 1990s, the Oslo Accords mapped out a two-state solution. Since then, every peace breakthrough has been rejected by the Arab Palestinians. Is a two-state solution still viable? Middle East historian Mordechai Kedar and Hudson Institute Foreign Policy Fellow Josh Block join Edwin.

Israel and the UAE announced on August 13 that they had come to an historic peace agreement, the Abraham Accord. Since then, the Gulf State of Bahrain has joined the expanding the peace initiative. All three nations have established full diplomatic relations and signed treaties on September 15 at the White House. More countries are readying their recognitions, and President Donald Trump has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who personally visited Bahrain, Jonathan Tobin, editor-in-chief of JNSZalmi Unsdorfer, chairman of Likud UK, Joshua London of JINSAMordechai Kedar, Arab scholar and lecturer, and other key Mideast experts join Edwin to explain the background and to explore the possibilities for the future.