Monday, October 23, 2006

Campaign to compensate Jews from Arab countries

A campaign to gain restitution for Jews expelled from Arab countries in the mid-20th century was launched, JTA News reports.

The “International Rights and Redress Campaign” opened with a one-day summit in Jerusalem on Sunday attended by representatives of Jewish communities from 10 countries.

Participants called for a campaign to document properties lost by an estimated 900,000 Jews who were driven out of Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen after Israel’s founding in 1948.

Most of the refugees ended up in the nascent Jewish state, while others immigrated to the West.

One group, the World Organization of Jews From Arab Countries, has valued the refugees’ lost property at $100 billion, and wants a concerted effort to sue for reparations.

Some of the conference participants want the Jewish refugees’ claims to be given equal weight to those of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war for Israeli independence.

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