Thursday, November 08, 2007

Melanie weighs in on behalf of Jewish refugees

Writing in her blog diary, Melanie Phillips, one of Britain's leading journalists, highlights the double standard at play whenever Middle East refugees are discussed. Although she has mentioned Jewish refugees before this is the first time that she has focused so dramatically on the issue. (With thanks: Hanna)

"Meanwhile, as Mahmoud Abbas continues to insist on the ‘right’ of Palestinian ‘refugees’ to live in Israel (thus destroying its identity and purpose as a Jewish state) despite the creation that he is demanding of a Palestinian state (the anomaly that in itself exposes the real agenda here as not two states at all but the destruction of the Jewish nation state of Israel) a group in the US has launched a campaign to draw attention to the Jewish refugees from Arab lands — the 800,000 Jews who were ethnically cleansed from their often ancient homes in Arab countries in the years after 1948. For if the families and descendants of those Arabs who fled the newly formed state of Israel are considered to have the ‘right’ to their ancestral homes, then how much more true is this of those Jews who were forced out of Arab countries? By the same reckoning, they should have their 'homes' back too. So where is the international outcry on their behalf? Surely this can't be evidence of -- gasp -- double standards where Israel is concerned?

"The group’s director, Stanley Urman, said on Monday that it had unearthed evidence of collusion among the Arab nations to persecute and exploit their Jewish populations:
To back the claim, the group had reproduced copies of a draft law composed by the Arab League in 1947 that called for measures to be taken against Jews living in Arab countries. The proposals ranged from imprisonment, confiscation of assets and forced induction into Arab armies to beatings, officially incited acts of violence and pogroms. Subsequent legislation and discriminatory decrees enacted by Arab governments against Jews were ‘strikingly similar’ to the actions laid out in the draft law, Urman said.

In January, 1948, the World Jewish Congress submitted a memo with the text of the draft to the UN's Economic and Social Council. It accompanied the submission with a warning that ‘all Jews residing in the Near and Middle East face extreme and imminent danger.’ At a meeting two months later, however, Charles Malik, the Lebanese ambassador and president of the council, succeeded in a parliamentary maneuver that ended consideration of the memo. Though the event drew news coverage at the time, it had gone unnoticed since.
"Indeed, who in the west now knows about these forgotten Jewish refugees? Who cares? They were driven out of their Arab homes by state persecution. Yet virtually no-one in the west has heard about this because these refugees were absorbed, mostly into Israel, without any fuss. Most of the Arabs who fled Palestine, by contrast, did so not because they were pushed out but because they were told to flee by those Arab states which were confident that within a short space of time they would have destroyed the newly reconstituted Israel (many Arab sources have attested to the truth of this, as you can read here).

"They were then deliberately kept in squalid ‘refugee’ conditions by those same Arab states which refused to absorb them in order to present them as victims of Israel — a ploy whose success in poisoning the western mind has exceeded their wildest expectations, and which has ensured that anti-Jewish terror has been swelled by a ‘peace process’ founded upon a monstrous lie — of which the Annapolis farce is but the latest example."

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