Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Recognise Mizrahim as refugees' - Danny Ayalon

Danny Ayalon (AP)

Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is pursuing his campaign to put Jewish refugees on the peace talks agenda, by demanding that Palestinians recognise Mizrahi Jews as refugees, Ynet News reveals. (The most common response among sceptical talkback commenters is that Palestinians have nothing to do with the expulsion of Jewish refugees, an easily-disproved allegation; others recognise Mizrahim as refugees but demand a delusional 'right of return' to Arab countries', despite Jews having no interest in returning to Arab states which persecuted them.) Report by Ronen Medzini:

The peace negotiations are at a standstill, but Deputy Defense Minister Danny Ayalon thinks there's another issue that must be included in any agreement reached with the Palestinians.

According to information obtained by Ynet, a new initiative promoted by the Foreign Ministry calls on Palestinians to "recognize Jews who exiled from Arab lands as refugees." The initiative comes as a response to the Palestinians' demand for a "right of return" to the Land of Israel. The initiative, which is expected to further obstruct the already deadlocked negotiations, was drafted by members of Jewish-American organization JJAC.

After discussing the initiative, Ayalon and National Security Council Chief Uzi Arad decided to hand the matter over to the Foreign Ministry's legal department.

According to the initial outline of the plan, Israelis hailing from Arab countries will be eligible to demand financial compensation for the property they left behind. JJAC also suggested establishing funds that would help protect Jewish cemeteries, restore synagogues and return Torah scrolls to Arab countries, in addition to giving out research scholarships.

The initiative was launched several days after the publication of Ayalon's article titled "I am a refugee," in which he wrote, "As a descendant of a family forced out of Algeria, my father and I – and the millions of other Jews from families who were expelled from Arab countries after 1948 – are entitled to redress."

Read article in full

4 comments:

Sylvia said...

I found it surprising that Ayalon would use the phrase "Recognize the Mizrahim as refugees". So I checked the whole text both in Hebrew and in English. Nowhere does Aralon say "Mizrahim". Rather he uses the phrase "Jews from Arab countries". Ynet's Hebrew editors wrote that title in quotation marks, thus falsely attributing it to Ayalon. The English editors, apparently less dishonest, translated the Hebrew title but dropped the quotation marks.

I would think it odd that Ayalon would use an exclusively Israeli construct - which means Easterners but only in Israel refers also to Jews and only Jews of the Muslim West/Maghreb - when speaking to Arabs who do distinguish between Mashreq and Maghreb.

bataween said...

Good point, Sylvia, lost in translation!

Youdith Shaked said...

Shalom,

Danny Ayalon should also talk about Shoah's survivors from European North Africa possessions (French North Africa and Italian Libya).

Youdith Shaked

Youdith Shaked said...

Shalom,

Danny Ayalon should also talk about Shoah's survivors from European North Africa possessions (French North Africa and Italian Libya).

Youdith Shaked