To commemorate Jewish refugees from Arab countries, popular Israeli Band Radio Baghdad, which is currently on a tour of India, performed pieces from the great repertoire of Iraqi classical music here on Monday. Based in Tel Aviv Israel, the band members include vocalist-percussionist Aviv Badri Ezra, violist-vocalist Johanna Riethmueller and oud player-vocalist Yaniv Mazel.
Speaking at the event, Israeli Ambassador to India, Naor Gilon said, “We remember the issue of the Jewish refugees coming from Arab countries. There were ups and downs in the way they were treated. Then, Israel decided to commemorate the legacy of the Holocaust of the Jews from Arab and Muslim countries. We decided also to do today to speak about the Arab people who came from Arab countries. The day that was dedicated is November 30.”
“In the 20th century, when the State of Israel was established from the time the Jewish Zionist movement started to be relevant, the first Jews escaped to Israel in 1880-82 but the big surge of Jews began in the 20th century,” he added.
November 30 has been designated as the official date on which the fleeing or expulsion of Jews from Arab and Islamic lands is commemorated in Israel and throughout the Jewish world.
“Not many people know that Jews have lived for many centuries in the Muslim & Arab world. When Israel started reforms, pressure started on these people where they lived in most of the countries and many of them lived willingly, some under the pressure of riots against the Jews in different countries. The number of Jews left was 850,000 people while the number of Palestinians that everyone is speaking about as refugees was 650,000. The reason that we touched on this fact is lack of awareness,” the Israeli ambassador added.
The band performed pieces from the vast repertoire of Iraqi classical music.
They performed for the fi
rst time in India in October 2022 at the Ziro Festival of Music.