In 1945 there were more than 870,000 Jews living in the various Arab states. Many of their communities dated back 2,500 years. Throughout 1947 and 1948 these Jews were persecuted. Their property and belongings were confiscated. There were anti-Jewish riots in Aden, Egypt, Lybia, Syria, and Iraq. In Iraq, Zionism was made a capital crime. Aproximately 600,000 Jews sought refuge in the State of Israel.(1) They arrived destitute, but they were absorbed into the society and became an integral part of the state. In effect, then, a vertible exchange of populations took place between Arab and Jewish refugees. Thus the Jewish refugees became full Israeli citizens while the Arab refugees remained "refugees" according to the wishes of the Arab leaders.
1. Howe & Gershman, op. cit., p. 168.