During the period a number of anti-European or anti-French protests extended to include anti-Jewish manifestations, such as in Casablanca, Oujda and Fes in 1907-08 and later in the 1912 Fes riots.The situation in colonial Libya was similar; as for the French in the other North African countries, the Italian influence in Libya was welcomed by the Jewish community, increasing their separation from the non-Jewish Libyans.
Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula were invited to settle in various parts of the Ottoman Empire, where they would often form a prosperous model minority of merchants acting as intermediaries for their Muslim rulers.
In the 19th century, Francization of Jews in the French colonial North Africa, due to the work of organizations such as the Alliance Israelite Universelle The French began the conquest of Algeria in 1830.
The following century had a profound influence on the status of the Algerian Jews; following the 1870 "Décret Crémieux", they were elevated from the protected minority dhimmi status to French citizens of the colonial power.
Morocco, which had remained independent during the 19th century, became a French protectorate in 1912.
A further 200,000 lived in Pahlavi Iran and the Republic of Turkey.
The first large-scale exoduses took place in the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
The history of the exodus has been politicized, given its proposed relevance to the historical narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
When presenting the history, those who view the Jewish exodus as analogous to the 1948 Palestinian exodus generally emphasize the push factors and consider those who left as refugees, while those who do not, emphasize the pull factors and consider them willing immigrants.
Prior to the creation of Israel in 1948, approximately 800,000 Jews were living in lands that now make up the Arab world.
Of these, just under two-thirds lived in the French and Italian-controlled North Africa, 15–20% in the Kingdom of Iraq, approximately 10% in the Kingdom of Egypt and approximately 7% in the Kingdom of Yemen.
While there is no concrete evidence of him actually taking any actions to defend Morocco's Jews, it has been argued that he may have worked on their behalf behind the scenes.