Thursday, June 20, 2013
' Arab League must take blame for refugees' (updated)
On this day, World Refugee Day, Moroccan-born Shimon Ohayon, a Member of Knesset, is calling for the Arab League to accept responsibility for the exodus of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Here is the text of a press release issued by his Israel Beytenu party.
Update: Reporting on Shimon Ohayon's initiative, The Times of Israel quotes the Palestinian response: "(spokeswoman Hanan) Ashrawi has rejected Israeli demands for recognition of the Jewish refugee experience, arguing that Jews left Arab and Muslim lands largely of their own free will, rather than in the face of rampant persecution and danger. She has called on Arab states to allow Israeli Jews to return to their former homes."
(Thursday, June 20, 2013) – On the date of the United Nations World Refugee Day, Member of Knesset Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beytenu) has called on the Arab League to accept responsibility for the exodus of Jews from countries from its member countries around the establishment of the State of Israel and in during the following decades.
“The Jews of Arab countries, starting in 1947, were used as weapons by the Arab League against the establishment of the Jewish State,” MK Ohayon said. “The Arab League drafted laws for its member states to withdraw civil and human rights from its Jewish inhabitants and it is time for it to own up to its role in the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population from most of the Middle East and North Africa.”
In 1947, the Political Committee of the Arab League drafted a law that was to govern the legal status of Jewish residents in all Arab League countries. Entitled: Text of Law Drafted by the Political Committee of the Arab League, the law called for the freezing of bank accounts of Jews, their internment and their assets confiscated. Various other discriminatory measures were taken by Arab nations and subsequent meetings reportedly called for the expulsion of Jews from member states of the Arab League.
“It is time for the Arab League, not just to make diktats for a resolution to the conflict, but also accept their great responsibility for driving out almost a million Jews from lands which they had lived in for millennia,” MK Ohayon continued. “I call on the Arab League not just to take responsibility but also to provide redress to the Jewish refugees.”
“This is a matter of justice and rights and has been ignored by the Arab League and the international community for too long. It is time to place the rights of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands at the forefront of the push for peace and reconciliation in our region.”
MK Ohayon, who along with his family fled Morocco in 1956, is the Chairman of the Knesset Caucus for the Rights of Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands and has drafted a law to hold an annual day to commemorate the Jewish refugees in the Israeli calendar.
Article in Arutz Sheva