Friday, June 17, 2005

'Redress must apply to all' - JJAC

The New York Jewish newspaper The Forward is among the first to have picked up the story of official compensation for the 5,000 or so Jews who were living in Iraq post-1968.

"Justice for Jews From Arab Countries, a coalition of major Jewish organizations, praised the newly created Iraq Property Claims Commission for accepting claims from "all persons, or their heirs, who have been wrongfully deprived of real property." They said it marked a watershed in their uphill struggle to gain recognition for the cause of an estimated 850,000 Jews who were forced to leave their Arab birthplace after the creation of Israel.

"It appears that the stage has been set for a new system of justice and the rule of law," S. Daniel Abraham said in a statement. Abraham, the founding chairman of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, also stated, "We hope that this signals the beginning of a process to rectify historical injustices and discriminatory measures perpetrated by previous Iraqi regimes."(...)

Stanley Urman, executive director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, which brings together a total of 27 Jewish organizations, said: "Redress for the mass violations of human rights must apply equally to all Iraqis, irrespective of when these offenses took place; irrespective of which Iraqi regime was in power; and for those displaced from Iraq, wherever they may now reside."

(NB Since this interview took place with Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, the Iraqi authorities have tried to make the process easier for those living outside Iraq. As long as a claim is postmarked before 30 June it will be accepted -Ed)

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