Friday, November 15, 2013

Canadian parliament calls for refugee recognition

 The reception camp for Jewish refugees in 1949, Sha'ar Ha'aliya in Haifa, Israel (photo: Robert Capa)

In many aspects of the Jewish refugee issue, the Canadians blaze the trail. A parliamentary committee has submitted its report, based on hearings it held in May 2013. We await the government's response (with thanks: Michelle):

TORONTO (JTA) — A Canadian parliamentary committee has called on the government to recognize the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab lands.
A report from the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development recommends that Ottawa “officially recognize the experience of Jewish refugees who were displaced from states in the Middle East and North Africa after 1948.” It also recommends that Canada “encourage the direct negotiating parties to take into account all refugee populations as part of any just and comprehensive resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts.”

Submitted last week to Parliament, the 17-page report noted that during the course of its hearings in May, the committee “learned of the discrimination and hardship faced by Jewish people living in the Middle East and North Africa in the 20th century [which] surged over the years in tandem with the crisis moments of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in particular the 1948-1949 and 1967 wars.
“As a result,” the report states, “almost all of the Jews in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen eventually left their homes and communities, which had existed in the Middle East and North Africa for centuries.”

The committee heard that since 1948, some 850,000 Jews fled persecution and violence in the Middle East and North Africa, and that about 650,000 immigrated to Israel, while the rest settled in other countries, including Canada.
The report stressed that “recognition of the experiences of Jewish refugees does not diminish or compete with the situation of Palestinian refugees.”


Anonymous said...

A part of my family went to the French speaking part of Canada. Their life there was very pleasant and even the cold did not stop them from being happy with no one to spit of them because they were Jewish!

Anonymous said...

Sultana: I am glad your family were well received in Quebec, possibly because they spoke French when they arrived, because Ashkenazic Jews, who were English speaking Quebeckers, were treated with a great deal of antisemitism under the French nationalist governments.

Our current government has been very good on the subject of supporting Israel and being critical of the surrounding countries, despite the fact that they are criticised by the media and senior civil service for doing so.

Anonymous said...

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