Friday, November 29, 2013

Sixty-six years ago, refugee problem born

Jewish refugees in ma'abarot or tent camps in Israel

 Sixty-six years ago, the passing of the UN Partition Plan unleashed two refugee problems.The Arabs need to integrate their refugees, while greater international diplomacy must secure recognition, and therefore justice for Jewish refugees, argues Eli Hazan in Israel Hayom:

The Arab refugees became a prop that was cynically used by the anti-Israel propaganda machine. That is how the myth of the so-called Nakba (catastrophe) grew with each passing year. Over the years, the Arab states have deliberately ignored the human tragedy inflicted on the Jews in Muslim countries. The Jews were slaughtered and expelled and their property was expropriated. In today's terms, an equivalent of $300 billion was confiscated. This was coupled by great mental anguish. 

The Jewish Nakba has been all but forgotten by the ensuing geopolitical realities. The Palestinian refugee issue keeps coming up in international propaganda and various peace initiatives. Until recently, the Israeli establishment chose not to deal with the plight of the Jewish refugees. 

But this has changed. First, their story is gradually becoming part of the mainstream and is making inroads into published works. Various people have come out and provided testimonials on their experience, to the point that the Senior Citizens Ministry has launched a project dedicated to passing the story on to the younger generations. And finally, a special caucus has been formed in the Knesset. 

What is needed is more vigorous public diplomacy efforts in key places around the world. Although some campaigns are already underway, they should be bolstered because international recognition is essential if justice is to be served. The campaign may result in more people understanding the events that led to the establishment of the Jewish state. The world would realize that those who were persecuted after Nov. 29, 1947, found a safe harbor in Israel and built a new home, albeit with great difficulties. They are now living a secure life in Israel.

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1 comment:

Sylvia said...

A lot of amusing articles on Martin Kramer's page on how the American bird has come to be called Turkey, and the different names it is given in in different countries and languages.

What is not mentioned in those learned articles, is that in Maghreban dialects judeo-Maghreban included the Turkey is called...Bibi.