Sunday, December 16, 2012

The unbearable silence about Jewish refugees

 This map has been circulating on the internet lately. Some of the figures are not quite accurate, but the principle is correct.

It is high time to end the world's unbearable silence and unwillingness to consider the question of Jewish refugees, and to treat them as part of a final Middle East peace settlement, argues Michael Curtis in  the Gatestone Institute journal (with thanks: Michelle, Eliyahu):

In the 20th century, both before and after the creation of Israel, in a number of Arab countries Jews were threatened -- physically, economically, and socially. Jews there experienced riots, mass arrests, confiscation of property, economic boycotts, and limits on employment in many occupations. They also endured limits on admission to colleges, and on personal movement, as well as pogroms which occurred in Libya, Syria, Morocco, and especially Iraq, where in the space of two days in June 1941, in Baghdad, a pogrom, known as the Farhud, took place: under the pro-Nazi regime of Rashid Ali al-Gaylani, 179 Jews were murdered and 600 injured by rioters.

In Libya, in 1945, rioters in Tripoli killed more than 140 Jews. A number of other Arab countries saw Jews murdered, kidnapped, and in general encounter discrimination, expulsion, and exclusion from citizenship.

The Arab League countries decided to take away the citizenship of their Jews. Iraq deprived its Jews of their citizenship in 1950, and of their property in 1951. Egypt and Libya issued laws that "Zionists" were not nationals. They disregarded Jews having lived in those countries for more than a thousand years before the birth of Muhammad in 570, and the emergence of Islam in the 7th century.

With the creation of Israel in 1948, Jews in Arab and Islamic Middle East countries experienced spoliation, organized discrimination, violence, attacks and pogroms.

Libya in 1961 deprived the less than 10% of the Jews who had remained there of their citizenship, as did Algeria in 1962. Iraq seized the property of Jews. As a result, Jews began leaving, were driven out, or were brought out.

By the mid 1970s almost all Jews -- more than 850,000 -- had left those countries. According to figures and analysis provided by "Justice for Jews from Arab Countries," and by Stanley Urman, its executive vice president, the largest numbers came from Morocco (265,000); Algeria (140,000); Iraq (135,000), and Tunisia (105,000). Almost all of the 55,000 Jews living in Yemen were taken to Israel by the air operation, "Magic Carpet." About 130,000 Jews were airlifted from Iraq to Israel.
Today, fewer than 4,500 Jews remain in Arab countries. Israel absorbed and integrated 600,000 of the more than 850,000 who left.

It is high time to end the virtual silence and unwillingness to consider the question of Jewish refugees, and to recognize that they should be part of any final resolution of the Middle East refugee problem. The crucial United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22 1967 mentioned that a comprehensive peace settlement should include "a just settlement of the refugee problem." It was Arthur Goldberg, the U.S. representative to the UN largely responsible for drafting the Resolution, who clarified that the language referred "both to Arab and Jewish refugees, for about an equal number of each abandoned their homes as a result of the several wars."

The implication was that any arrangements made would apply to all -- not only Arab -- refugees in the Middle East.

This point of view is reflected in both bilateral and multilateral agreements. The Camp David Framework for Peace in the Middle East of 1978, Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979, the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty of 1994, the Madrid Conference of 1991-92, and the Israel-Palestinian Agreements beginning in 1993, including the Declaration of Principles of September 1993 and the Interim Agreement of September 1995, all articulated similar language.

Similarly, the UNHCR announced on two occasions, in February 1957 and in July 1967, that Jews who had fled from Arab countries "may be considered prima facie within the mandate of this office," thus regarding them, according to international law, as bona fide refugees.
In any settlement, the property abandoned by Jews would need to be taken into account. Calculation of this, although not easy, has been assessed as some $300 billion; and Jewish-owned real estate -- about four times the size of Israel -- at about $6 billion.

The international community is long overdue, in dealing with the Palestinian refugees, to see that equity prevails. It should be conscious of the rights of Jewish refugees, who, as a result of Arab and Islamic behavior, have suffered by being deprived of rights and property. The international community should also call for redress for these descendants. Some form of compensation is due the Jewish refugees; and discussion of it should be part of final status talks in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Read article in full

3 comments:

Sylvia said...

The « International community” is not to be blamed for ignoring the plight of the Jews from Arab and Muslim lands, we are. We are to blame for allowing propagandists and Ashkenazo-centrists to move Sephardim from view, to delete them from Jewish debate, to dehumanize them and erase them from history and from consciousness.

A small example that comes to mind is a “primer” describing immigration groups to Israel recently produced by “Jewish Voice for Peace” – that’s the anti-Zionist arm of the Reconstructionist Movement.
Here is their “history” of Jewish immigration to Israel.

Many Jews fled harsh persecutions in anti-Semitic Europe especially the Nazi Holocaust.
Zionists encouraged massive immigration to British Palestine, at that time a British colony, where Jews had an age-old connection and where small communities have long existed among indigenous people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y58njT2oXfE

It should be noted that the authors of the above are not the Admors of the Emmanuel Slonim community. No, our oppressors are American “liberal Jews” who claim the title of “defenders of the oppressed”, those erasing us from existence call themselves the “champions of diversity”.

Anonymous said...

I am very much afraid that this aggressive email will lead us nowhere! We have enough enemies outside our religion, and it is sad to see the fights amongst us
sultana

Sylvia said...

Whos is aggressive? Those "Jews" have taken the lead in the Boycott divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

They are tireless delegitimizers and demonizers of Israel and debasers of Judaism.

Their top clerics are the founders of the "Fast for Gaza" campaign, but have not a word of compassion for those Sderot children killed by rockets.

They are the people who pressured the Presbyterian and Methodist churches in America to divest from Israel and even received an award for it.

They will not mention the Jews of Arab countries - let alone call them refugees - because mentioning them would be Islamophobic since it might reflect negatively on Muslims.

They are trepidating with anticipation of the demise of Israel.

Take a look at their website.
http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/

Admettons-le: nous avons été bien dressés.