Sunday, November 17, 2013

Canada comes a step closer to recognition

 Refugee arriving at the Sha'are Aliya camp near Haifa (photo: Robert Capa)

In the wake of the publication of the Canadian parliamentary foreign affairs committee report recommending recognition for Jewish refugees, Shimon Fogel in the Times of Israel writes that the flight of Jews from Arab countries is proof of the history of opposition to the Jewish state's existence. I would go further, and say it is proof of the opposition to Jews per se (with thanks: Michelle).

"The international community cannot understand the elusiveness of peace today without taking into account the consistent history of opposition to the Jewish state’s very existence, of which the precipitous flight of Jews from Arab lands is primary evidence.

And Palestinians who harbour national aspirations for independence will never achieve their goal without addressing the Palestinian rejectionism that has forestalled statehood since the 1947 partition vote. This can be fully achieved through a peace agreement that includes mutual recognition not only of the legitimacy of the other today, but also an acknowledgement of the suffering of the other in the past.

Last week, a Report was tabled in Canada’s Parliament summarizing a recent study by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on the experience of Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. The Report concludes by calling on the Government of Canada to formally recognize Jewish refugees from Arab countries and to encourage Israeli and Arab negotiators to take all refugees into account in any future peace agreement.

As Jewish Canadian activists, parliamentary validation is another key milestone in an effort long-in-the-making, and one that has been an important priority on the advocacy agenda of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). Our hope is that it will lead to an imminent change to Canada’s standing policy on Middle East peace in line with the committee’s recommendation.

Members of the Foreign Affairs committee from across the political spectrum deserve our applause for examining this issue thoroughly and forthrightly, a responsibility too few governments around the world have been willing to undertake. CIJA joins with the international coalition, led by JJAC – Justice for Jews from Arab Countries – to urge other governments to correct the historical record and validate the experience of Jews from Arab countries.

Should the Canadian government take the next logical step and heed the committee’s advice, Canada’s influence as a credible voice on the world stage can help establish balance in the conversation around Middle East refugees – and encourage the historic reckoning that will be essential to a lasting peace."

Read article in full


Anonymous said...

I am very happy to see that Canada is changing. Years ago when one of m cousins went all the way to Canada to ask for a visa to that country they answered that they were not aware of problems against Jews from Egypt!

Anonymous said...

Sultana: What year did this happen in? Our immigration department no doubt employs lots of fools who have little idea that Jews actually lived in "Arab countries" throughout history, let alone the conditions under which they lived once Israel became a state.