As Point of No Return celebrates its fifth birthday, we look back on an eventful year.
It's been an encouraging year, on balance, for Jewish refugees, with the focus of the awareness-raising campaign shifting to Israel. Prominent journalists Ben-Dror Yemini and Nadav Shragai have each written about Jewish refugees from Arab lands in the Hebrew press, while Linda Menuhin has worked hard to keep the issue alive.
Without a doubt, the biggest achievement of the past year has been the passing of the Knesset Law in February 2010, safeguarding the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab Countries - especially to compensation - thanks to vigorous lobbying by JJAC Israel. With the passing of this law, the forgotten refugees are now on Israel's political agenda.
While this momentous development has attracted little attention outside Israel, it seems to have had a curious effect on the Arab world. In Egypt, the authorities have been scrambling to lay claim to Jewish synagogues, which they consider part of the 'national heritage'. Similarly, the Iraqi authorities have made strident requests for the return of the so-called 'Jewish archive', now in Washington for restoration. The Jews driven out of Arab countries seem periodically to haunt the Arabic media, although there is too much denial about Arab responsibility for the mass exodus.
Although much still needs to be done to move Jewish refugees from the margins to the mainstream, Point of No Return will soldier doggedly on. We are delighted to report that 42, 548 unique visitors dropped in on us in the last six months, and hits continue to rise. Special thanks are due to all those blogs who have graciously referred traffic to PoNR - Solomonia, Normblog, Harry's Place, Zionation, Z-word, Yaacov Lozowick - to name but a few. Thanks are also due to those too numerous to mention - you know who you are - who have tipped us off about interesting articles.
Last of all, thanks are due to Joseph Alexander Norland, without whose help this blog would never have seen the light of day.