Friday, September 23, 2005

London hosts Jews from Arab lands forum

An international conference to promote awareness of a new campaign on the issue of Jews from Arab countries who were forced to leave their homes by oppressive regimes was held in London this week, Daniel Kahtan reports in Jewish News.

The gathering, hosted by the Board of Deputies and attended by representatives of Israel’s Ministry of Justice attracted delegates from as far afield as Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Canada.

The campaign, supported by the World Association of Jews from Arab Countries and members of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, is to be launched next March.

Executive Director of JJAC Stanley Urman said the campaign will collect and organise testimonies of Jewish life in Arab countries “so that one can document the flight and plight of Jewish refugees.”

He added: “At the moment it is woefully inadequate and it will not allow anyone to assert the issue of Jewish refugees with credibility and efficiency.

“When people speak of refugees, everyone thinks immediately of Palestinian refugees. It’s not well known that there were more Jews displaced from Arab countries (856,000) than Palestinian refugees (725,000) in 1948, according to UN estimates.

“It’s time for this issue to assume its rightful place on the international agenda.”

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