Thursday, March 06, 2008

The unintended consequence of Resolution 185

The so-called 'new historian' and iconoclastic Haaretz journalist Tom Segev has just spotted a flaw with Resolution no.185 on Jewish refugees approved by the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee last week:

"The House Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Congress, responding to pressure from Jewish organizations, passed a resolution this week saying that Jews from Arab lands should also be considered refugees who were uprooted from their countries, and that the suffering of these Jews must also be taken into account in any future negotiations over the future of the Palestinian refugees.

"Ostensibly, this would seem to be another one of the countless "pro-Israel" decisions that are meant to warm the heart of the Jewish voter. It's a bipartisan decision, due to be brought to a vote in the House of Representatives - before the elections, of course. The war in Palestine did force most of the Jews living in Arab lands to leave. But Israel's Declaration of Independence and textbooks say that, in every generation, the Jewish people has striven to return to its land - implying that the Jews came here not as expelled refugees but as exiles returning home.

"The comparison of the situation of "the forgotten refugees" - as the U.S. House of Representatives refers to Mizrahi Jews in Israel - to the situation of the Palestinians in the refugee camps, is not very flattering either. Members of Congress may be able to boast to their voters that they stuck one to the Arabs, but a spokesman for the Arab lobby in America might just welcome the decision: Terrific, he'll say; then all that's needed is for the Jews to return to their countries of origin and for the Palestinians to return to their homes, and everything will be fine. Apparently, this didn't occur to them there, in far-off Washington."

Read article in full

Bring it on, Tom. In fact let one Palestinian refugee return to Israel for every Mizrahi refugee wishing to return to an Arab country. Let's see how many takers we get.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Tom Segev is right