Thursday, January 30, 2014
Report suggests Jewish refugees under discussion
An advertisement appeared today in both the Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom drawing attention to the Big Nakba ('for those who know and those who need to know') - namely the forced exodus of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Half of Israeli Jews, it states, are refugees from Arab countries. (These outnumber Palestinian Arab refugees by as many as two to one.)
The unattributed advertisement appears to be timed to coincide with reports of what a final peace deal brokered by the US Secretary of State John Kerry would look like.
Activists on behalf of Jewish refugees have been worried by news (broken by Point of No Return) that Tzipi Livni, Israel's chief negotiator with the Palestinians, did not see a connection between Jewish and Palestinian refugees. There is anxiety in some quarters that Ms Livni is still failing to include the Jewish refugee issue on the peace agenda.
MK Nissim Zeev took steps to call Ms Livni to account by tabling a motion calling for a Joint Knesset Committee to ensure that recognition and compensation for Jewish refugees are included in peace talks, in accordance with a Knesset law he introduced in 2010.
This year the UN has declared the Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian Refugees. MK Zeev has called for it to be declared the Year of Solidarity with both Palestinian and Jewish Refugees.
However, other sources say that the issue is on the table and is being discussed.
Confirmation from the Palestinian side appears in this Jerusalem Post article, they say. The article quotes a response of PLO Executive Committee Secretary General Abed Rabbo to the Kerry proposals.
Abed Rabbo said: “the plan proposes Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, the establishment of the Palestinian capital in a part of East Jerusalem and solving the refugees problem in accordance with former US President Bill Clinton’s vision.”
Abed Rabbo does not mention Palestinian refugees, referring instead to "the refugees problem" in the plural - language echoing the wording of UN Resolution 242 covering both refugee populations – Jews and Arabs.
He also refers to Bill Clinton's vision or plan. The major component of the Clinton plan is the International Peace Fund, which would provide compensation to both Jewish and Arab refugees.