One-stop blog on Jews from Arab and Muslim Countries and the Middle East's forgotten Jewish refugees, updated daily
Friday, November 22, 2013
Israel compiling list of lost assets and property
From left: Linda Menuhin, a refugee from Iraq, minister Silvan Shalom from Tunisia and Levana Zamir, who fled Egypt as a child. (Photo: Shahar Azran)
Israel Hayom has this report on yesterday's conference orgnaised by the Israeli government and the World Jewish Congress at the UN Headquarters in New York. (With thanks: Joseph)
After decades of discussing
Arab claims for refugees from territories that are today Israel, the
U.N. on Thursday held discussions on the plight of Jewish refugees from
Arab countries following the inception of the State of Israel.
The Justice for Jewish Refugees from Arab
Countries Conference was held at the U.N. headquarters in New York. It
was attended by several regional community heads, with Israel
represented by Regional Development and Energy and Water Minister Silvan
"We hear a lot about the plight of Arab
refugees, but we do not hear a word about 900,000 Jewish refugees from
Arab countries," Shalom said.
The government had raised the issue of recognizing Jewish refugees from
Arab countries last year. This marked the second such conference held by
the U.N. on the subject.
During his speech, Shalom said that Israel,
together with the World Jewish Congress, was busy compiling a list of
assets left behind by Jewish refugees who had fled Arab countries.
"I was born in Tunis, and my maternal
grandfather, a leader of the Jewish community of Gabes, left behind a
lot of property -- business, real estate holdings and schools," Shalom
In just 50 years, almost a million Jews, whose communities stretch back up to 3,000 years, have been 'ethnically cleansed' from 10 Arab countries. These refugees outnumber the Palestinian refugees two to one, but their narrative has all but been ignored. Unlike Palestinian refugees, they fled not war, but systematic persecution. Seen in this light, Israel, where some 50 percent of the Jewish population descend from these refugees and are now full citizens, is the legitimate expression of the self-determination of an oppressed indigenous, Middle Eastern people. This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, which can never return to what and where they once were - even if they wanted to. It will attempt to pass on the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution. Awareness of the injustice done to these Jews can only advance the cause of peace and reconciliation. (Iran: once an ally of Israel, the Islamic Republic of Iran is now an implacable enemy and numbers of Iranian Jews have fallen drastically from 80,000 to 20,000 since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Their plight - and that of all other communities threatened by Islamism - does therefore fall within the scope of this blog.)