2 hrs 24 min

Being Jewish, being Arab in "When We Were Arabs" by Massoud Hayoun LE BREAKDOWN With Yasser Louati

    • News Commentary

Reclaiming Arabness in "When We Were Arabs", Guest: Massoud Hayoun

“I am a Jewish Arab. For many, I’m a curiosity or a detestable thing. Some say I don’t exist, or if I did, I no longer do.” This how Massoud Hayoun, a Los Angeles based journalist begins his book titled “When We Were Arabs” (The New Press). Admitting that the book puts him in the position of an “enfant terrible”, Massoud explains his reasons for writing it through the lives of his late grand parents Oscar and Daida Hayoun who left Egypt and Tunisia but never stopped reminiscing about their lives in the Arab world. In a beautifully written fashion, filled with flashbacks, historical facts and a profound sincerity in a quest for identity, the author exposes what went wrong under the colonial era in combination with the zionist project and how Arab Jews were “divorced” from their arabness. “Zionists made sure to divorce us from our home countries to the point of turning us into national security threats for them” Asked on why such stories that seem far from being isolated are not told nor transmitted, Massoud Hayoun answers that “those stories are diminished because of their revolutionary potential”. Indeed, Jewish community leaders had done their part in refusing the French colonial administration’s attempts to peel off arabness from Arab Jews in the colonies but lost the battler after multiple generations went through the white education system outsourced to the “Alliance Israelite” in charge of colonial subjects. But once the new “francisés” looked up to France as the center of civilisation, the disillusionment was immense when they decided to follow France after she left her North African colonies. Once in France, Arab Jews from Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco had to face hostile long established european jewish communities and a racist society they were not prepared to deal with. What is left of Arabness in Arab Jewish communities? Not much if we were to rely on the mainstream narrative. But as Massoud Hayoun explains it in this in episode of Le Breakdown, some descendants of Arab Jews whose parents established themselves in the West and in occupied Palestine, are starting to ask for the conversation to be had. “If anyone should pay reparations to the families that were forced from their homes in arab nations, it is israelfor making their conditions unliveable. The effects on my family were catastrophic” Being beautifully written does not dilute any of the bold stances taken by the author. Page after page, he tackles colonialism, white supremacy, zionism, antisemitism in the West and anti-Jewish sentiment in the Arab World and how “being Arab is a choice”. This episode of Le Breakdown further explored how white supremacy weaponizes anti-Jewish sentiment to denigrate arabness and demonize arab societies and how anti-Jewish attacks in the West are never weaponized to seperate western Jews from their Western identities. From Tunisia to Egypt, from occupied Palestine to France, Massoud Hayoun shed light on the tragedy of “deracinement” and th devastating effects of Jewish intellectuals who play into the hands of white supremacy as is the case for people like Eric Zemmour in France. Credit Music Beatz Curry Jiem EB Music Beat Junkie


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Reclaiming Arabness in "When We Were Arabs", Guest: Massoud Hayoun

“I am a Jewish Arab. For many, I’m a curiosity or a detestable thing. Some say I don’t exist, or if I did, I no longer do.” This how Massoud Hayoun, a Los Angeles based journalist begins his book titled “When We Were Arabs” (The New Press). Admitting that the book puts him in the position of an “enfant terrible”, Massoud explains his reasons for writing it through the lives of his late grand parents Oscar and Daida Hayoun who left Egypt and Tunisia but never stopped reminiscing about their lives in the Arab world. In a beautifully written fashion, filled with flashbacks, historical facts and a profound sincerity in a quest for identity, the author exposes what went wrong under the colonial era in combination with the zionist project and how Arab Jews were “divorced” from their arabness. “Zionists made sure to divorce us from our home countries to the point of turning us into national security threats for them” Asked on why such stories that seem far from being isolated are not told nor transmitted, Massoud Hayoun answers that “those stories are diminished because of their revolutionary potential”. Indeed, Jewish community leaders had done their part in refusing the French colonial administration’s attempts to peel off arabness from Arab Jews in the colonies but lost the battler after multiple generations went through the white education system outsourced to the “Alliance Israelite” in charge of colonial subjects. But once the new “francisés” looked up to France as the center of civilisation, the disillusionment was immense when they decided to follow France after she left her North African colonies. Once in France, Arab Jews from Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco had to face hostile long established european jewish communities and a racist society they were not prepared to deal with. What is left of Arabness in Arab Jewish communities? Not much if we were to rely on the mainstream narrative. But as Massoud Hayoun explains it in this in episode of Le Breakdown, some descendants of Arab Jews whose parents established themselves in the West and in occupied Palestine, are starting to ask for the conversation to be had. “If anyone should pay reparations to the families that were forced from their homes in arab nations, it is israelfor making their conditions unliveable. The effects on my family were catastrophic” Being beautifully written does not dilute any of the bold stances taken by the author. Page after page, he tackles colonialism, white supremacy, zionism, antisemitism in the West and anti-Jewish sentiment in the Arab World and how “being Arab is a choice”. This episode of Le Breakdown further explored how white supremacy weaponizes anti-Jewish sentiment to denigrate arabness and demonize arab societies and how anti-Jewish attacks in the West are never weaponized to seperate western Jews from their Western identities. From Tunisia to Egypt, from occupied Palestine to France, Massoud Hayoun shed light on the tragedy of “deracinement” and th devastating effects of Jewish intellectuals who play into the hands of white supremacy as is the case for people like Eric Zemmour in France. Credit Music Beatz Curry Jiem EB Music Beat Junkie


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Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/lebreakdown/message

2 hrs 24 min