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Everyone talks about Palestinian refugees, what about the Jewish refugees of the Arab world?

The nightmare of dispossession that was destined to afflict some 870,000 Jews across the Arab world - forced out or expelled with just the shirts on their backs.
Not only have few Jewish refugees ever received compensation, but their plight has never been internationally recognized. Yet, between 1948 and 1972, more Jews in the region became refugees than Palestinians (who numbered 711,000 ), and they lost some 50 percent more in assets.
But when all's said and done, if Israel were to concede an independent Palestinian state, and if agreement were reached on borders, settlements and even Jerusalem, peace negotiations would still founder on the immovable rock of the Palestinian "right of return." Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed the "right of return" in a Jordanian newspaper interview in September 2011. Even Fatah "moderates" will not give up their "right" to Arabize Israel by flooding it with the four million descendants of Palestinians, who, under the aegis of the UN Works and Relief Agency, are uniquely permitted to pass on their refugee status from generation to generation.

This is how Ayalon's Jewish refugees initiative will promote peace - by making both sides recognize that a permanent exchange of roughly equal numbers of refugees took place.

One might argue that no linkage is possible - one refugee problem has been resolved, the other has not. But the non-resettlement of Palestinian refugees is an abuse of human rights. Palestinians need to follow the model of successful Jewish refugee resettlement by being allowed to acquire full citizenship in a Palestinian state or in their host Arab countries, instead of being fed the vain hope of a "right of return" to Israel, a country that most "refugees" have never seen. The international fund would also be used to finance the rehabilitation of refugees in host countries.



By Lyn Julius, 27.04.12




Refael Bigio remembers the moment in 1962 that the regime of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser seized his family's property. Police had cordoned off the Bigio bottling plant at 14 Aswan Street in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis. A policeman barked at Bigio and his father: "Hand over the keys!"

The nightmare of dispossession that was destined to afflict some 870,000 Jews across the Arab world - forced out or expelled with just the shirts on their backs - had caught up with the Bigio family. Ever since, the Bigios have been engaged in a long-running battle for restitution. Believing they could not get justice in an Egyptian court, their fight has pitted them against the mighty Coca-Cola corporation in the U.S. courts. This week, the family is girding its loins for the next legal round.

Not only have few Jewish refugees ever received compensation, but their plight has never been internationally recognized. Yet, between 1948 and 1972, more Jews in the region became refugees than Palestinians (who numbered 711,000 ), and they lost some 50 percent more in assets, according to economist Sidney Zabludoff. Some 200,000 sought sanctuary in the West, but the majority found refuge in Israel.

The Bigios must have felt alone in a David-versus-Goliath fight for justice - until just before Passover. That's when Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon announced a sea change in Israeli foreign policy. Henceforth, the Jewish refugee issue would be raised in every peace-based negotiation with Arab states and Palestinians. Israeli embassies will lobby parliaments to adopt resolutions recognizing the refugee status of Jews from Arab countries. Israel is proposing that both sets of refugees be compensated, based on the value of their assets at the time they became refugees, from an international fund.

Many will wonder - with Israeli-Palestinian peace talks going nowhere fast - why throw another spanner in the works? When he was justice minister in 2000, Yossi Beilin of the Meretz party dismissed the subject of Jewish refugees as a distraction from the land-for-peace Oslo agenda, and closed down the unit that collected data on Jewish property in Arab countries. In any case, he reasoned, refugees were a final-status issue, to be resolved far into the future.

Why, after years of neglect, has Israel now decided to dust off the cobwebs?

No doubt successive governments saw Jews from the Muslim world as Zionist immigrants, not refugees. Singling out Jews from Arab countries would have obstructed their successful assimilation out of the transit camps into the great Israeli melting pot. A public fuss might also have impeded quiet efforts to get hostage remnants out of Arab countries (the rescue of Syrian Jews was still going on until the 1990s ).

The primary reason why the Foreign Ministry has balked at raising the topic of Jewish refugees, however, is that the government feared bringing the Palestinian refugee issue to the fore. But even as Israel has remained silent, the Arab side has never ceased raising the Palestinian refugee issue.

Some believe the Palestinians cannot be held responsible for what happened to the Jewish refugees. But Ayalon argues that the Arab League states, which instigated the 1948 war against Israel, were responsible for creating both sets of refugees.

But when all's said and done, if Israel were to concede an independent Palestinian state, and if agreement were reached on borders, settlements and even Jerusalem, peace negotiations would still founder on the immovable rock of the Palestinian "right of return." Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed the "right of return" in a Jordanian newspaper interview in September 2011. Even Fatah "moderates" will not give up their "right" to Arabize Israel by flooding it with the four million descendants of Palestinians, who, under the aegis of the UN Works and Relief Agency, are uniquely permitted to pass on their refugee status from generation to generation.

This is how Ayalon's Jewish refugees initiative will promote peace - by making both sides recognize that a permanent exchange of roughly equal numbers of refugees took place.

One might argue that no linkage is possible - one refugee problem has been resolved, the other has not. But the non-resettlement of Palestinian refugees is an abuse of human rights. Palestinians need to follow the model of successful Jewish refugee resettlement by being allowed to acquire full citizenship in a Palestinian state or in their host Arab countries, instead of being fed the vain hope of a "right of return" to Israel, a country that most "refugees" have never seen. The international fund would also be used to finance the rehabilitation of refugees in host countries.

True, the situation is not symmetrical. Jewish refugees do not wish to return to a hostile and unsafe environment in Arab states. But alone of all refugees, Palestinians in the Arab world have been denied the humanitarian solution they deserve. Jordan has been turning away Palestinian refugees fleeing the current turmoil in Syria - in only the latest example of a cruel and cynical policy.

The issue of Jewish refugee rights is not a spanner in the works. It remains a key, unresolved human rights issue. Since February 2010, governments of all political stripes have been bound by a Knesset law committing them to secure compensation for Jewish refugees in any peace deal. The 52 percent of Israel's Jews who descend from refugees forced out by Arab and Muslim persecution will not back a peace deal that ignores their painful history. And there's another reason why Ayalon's initiative is encouraging: An appreciation of Jewish suffering is demonstrably more, not less, likely to achieve reconciliation, when Palestinians realize they are not the only wronged party.







Lyn Julius cofounded Harif, a U.K. association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa.




http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/jewish-refugee-rights-is-an-unsolved-human-rights-issue-1.426804


Photos shows Jewish refugees from the Arab world in young Israel. Last photo shows a refugee camp in the 50's, till the 60's all the refugee camps in Israel were vanished and most of the Jewish refugees became a solid part of society.
As for the Palestinian refugees in the Arab countries....well....


Added: Apr-27-2012 Occurred On: Apr-27-2012
By: aydeo
In:
Other Middle East
Tags: Palestinian, Jewish refugees, Arab world, Right of return
Views: 3562 | Comments: 19 | Votes: 2 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Since the early 40's hateful expressions and acts towards Jews in the Arab world became stronger and stronger. The peak was right after the creation of Israel, What caused Hundreds of thousands of Jews to leave, living all their property behind.
    While the Jews forgot about their past and started a fresh new start in a new country, the Palestinian refugees (and their next generations) are strill stuck 65 years in the past,wishing that one day,using some sort of magical time machine, they will get More..

    Posted Apr-27-2012 By 

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    • @aydeo
      Wake up Aydeo...Arab Muslims have been killing Jews for centuries.
      You forgot the 1929 Hebron massacre?
      This isnt about {Palestinian rights or land.....its only about Islams inability to coexist and its inbred hatred of anything un-islamic.

      Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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    • @Freejay Who cares jews and arabs are one in the same...

      Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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    • @aydeo

      I get what you say about the palestinians living in the past and they should get over it.
      But they probably taking an example from jews themselves, that it may take 3000 years to get their land back.

      Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'mohdhm' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @mohdhm
      ANd how long do you think most of these ARabs have been living here?

      Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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  • Let us not forget all the torched and destroyed temples. Hell even Iran destroyed some 1000+ year old ones after their nutcase revolution in '79. On personal orders from the Ayatollah.

    Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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  • palestinians are bloodthirsty parasites.

    Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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  • i agree something needs to be done for the jewish refugees and they need to be reimbursed. but that doesnt give israel the right to do what it does to the palestinians and their land. it doesnt mean israel can do the same. israel is supposed to be the only democracy in the middle east yet it acts like its arab neighbors and they compare themselves to the arab neighbors when it comes to a lot of things including refugees. so is israel on the same par as its arab neighbors.

    Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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    • @OnlyLiarsBlock

      Nothing should be done for the Jewish refugees, in contrast with the Palestinians they stopped see themselves as refugees about 50 years ago...

      This item is talking only about the refugees issue, considering the fact that there is already a mutual understanding regarding the 2 state solution- what the item says is that the Palestinian refugees should be absorbed in the Arab states, just like the Jewish refugees did in Israel 50 years ago.
      Those who disagree could return to the More..

      Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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  • While I often disagree with Jewish propaganda, I do agree that there is insufficient media coverage of Jewish, as well as Christian, refugees from Arab countries.

    Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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  • Yawn

    Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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  • you have made it pretty much clear you want us to stay the fuck out of your shit , i so agree , get a mediator and get on with your shit and let us get on with ours , we are two different worlds, you live in a cave we live in a house , get it !!!

    Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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  • The stats are totally dubious. They've been created by Jewish propagandists to support the Zionist State.

    More revealing is that any Muslim discomfort with Jewish citizens only occurred after the expulsion of the Palestinians.

    To see lots of Jews in a Muslim State go to Iran where the Jews are protected by the State and enjoy their life with their Islamic and Christian friends.

    Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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    • @DEADBEEF

      We are talking here about Egypt,Syria,Lybia of the 40's,50's,60's, not about Iran of today..

      The family of my father came to Israel from Tunisia in 1967, and there was quite a good dam reason why they left their homes and everything else they knew....and no,it wasn't Zionism, it was mainly the fear they felt.

      And if we take your claims it is all lies and propanda, then we should also consider most of what the Arabs are telling about 1948 as fake and propaganda.

      Or is it you want t More..

      Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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    • @aydeo

      When were Palestinains Expelled?

      When did Jews mass migrate to Israel?

      There's a big causative discrepancy in your story.

      Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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    • @DEADBEEF

      Of course Jews only mass migrated to Israel after 1948- Because ONLY THEN there WAS a state... They couldn't migrated before 1948 becuase....there was no state...duh...

      But main hateful acts towards Jews started since the early 40's, and of course it got to a peak during and after 1948.

      You are trying to justify the situation in the Arab world becuase of the situation of the Palestinians- it is like justifying the situation of the Palestinians becuase of the Jewish refugees in E More..

      Posted Apr-28-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'mohdhm' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!