Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Jewish versus Palestinian 'refugees'

A letter published in today's Independent. Scroll down to 'Humane solution for Palestinians'.


Sir: Dr F H Mikdadi (letter, 26 September) finds it "unbelievably arrogant" to suggest, as Professor Brian Reuben (letter, 20 September) does, that Arab states should spend just a fraction of their vast oil wealth resettling their Palestinian compatriots. In fact, Professor Reuben's is the only realistic and humane solution.

In the 1950s virtually the entire Jewish community of Iraq was expelled from a homeland they had lived in for 2,600 years. Their assets were frozen and they were allowed to take with them only three summer and three winter suits, one pair of shoes, a blanket, six pairs of underwear, socks and sheets, one wedding ring, a wristwatch and a thin bracelet. Some spent up to 12 years living in tent camps in Israel. But none would still describe themselves as refugees.

Face it, Dr Mikdadi, history is cruel. Millions of Hindus fled Pakistan; millions of Pakistanis left India. Greeks fled Turkey and Turkish refugees fled Greece. Almost a million Jews fled Arab countries. The tragedy of the displaced Palestinian Arabs is not unique. The world should find it supremely unnatural, and an obscene exploitation of human beings for political purposes, that Palestinian "refugees" should still exist four generations later.

LYN JULIUS, London

2 comments:

Franck said...

Short and to the point. Very well said, but who listens?

bataween said...

It's easy to get disheartened (the Indy published a counter-letter on 29 September) but what is the alternative - silence in the face of their one-sided and distorted view of history?
Shana tova.