Ben Harris reports in JTA News:
NEW YORK (JTA) -- Organizers of a major conference on behalf of Jewish refugees from Arab countries were told by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that any discussion of the issue was premature.
In a recent letter to leaders of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, which organized the conference here Monday, Olmert said it was premature to raise the refugee question now. But he gave assurances that when the issue is eventually put on the table, Israel would "reaffirm its commitment to resolving the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries as well."
Olmert's letter, dated Oct. 8 and obtained by JTA over the weekend, came as Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, an advocacy coalition of 72 groups, was preparing to unveil documentation showing how Arab states conspired to persecute their Jewish citizens. In the aftermath of Israel's creation, hundreds of thousands of Jews fled Arab lands where they had lived for centuries, a total roughly equivalent to the number of Palestinian refugees that fled or were driven from Israel.
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This is blogger Ami Isseroff's reaction:" Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is cautioning advocates of Jewish refugees from Arab countries that any discussion of the issue is premature. "Premature relative to what?? Palestinian Arabs have been busy impressing their claim on the world for 60 years. When exactly does Olmert think it will be the right time to raise this issue??