President Donald Trump is about to announce his 'deal of the century'
Over the next few weeks, U.S. President Donald Trump will put forward a new plan to resuscitate the almost moribund peace process. Dubbed “the deal of the century,” it is supposed to be an attempt to arrive at a deal that takes into account and solves all of the outstanding issues.
The first stage of the plan is the convening of an “economic workshop” in Bahrain to get countries and businessmen from around the world to invest in the peace deal. Precious few other details have been released about what is seen to be a holistic deal.
However, if it is to succeed in ending the conflict and dealing with issues of justice and compensation, the issue of the Jewish refugees must be an important element of it. Perhaps it could borrow from the peace talks at Camp David in July 2000, when U.S. President Bill Clinton put into what would become known as the “Clinton Parameters” the idea of an international fund to compensate both Palestinian and Jewish refugees.
Either way, it is not just a matter of correcting a historic injustice, it could also be politically astute to include the Jewish refugee issue when presenting the plan to Israelis. More than half of all Israeli Jews have roots in the Middle East and North Africa, and all have stories of how they were forced out of lands their families and communities had lived in, sometimes for millennia, without much more than the clothes on their back.
Jews with tremendous assets and businesses in places like Baghdad and Cairo were rendered paupers nearly overnight. Some estimates have placed the lost communal and personal assets of Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa at $250 billion in today’s figures.
Obviously what was lost will not be reclaimed, but it is vital that there be redress. If there is, then those who were forced to flee their homes and communities, as well as their descendants, will feel their grievances are being taken seriously and will view the U.S. plan more favorably as a result.
For the “deal of the century” to succeed, it must deal with all the outstanding issues raised over the past century, including the forgotten issue—the Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.
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