Sunday, January 20, 2008

Was Bush aware of Jewish refugees - or wasn't he?

News reports given prominence on Point of no Return that President George W Bush is aware of the plight of Jewish refugees now seem to have been contradicted by a White House spokesman, Tony Fratto.

According to an article in World Net Daily: "The Bush administration apparently hasn't given consideration to the Jewish refugees who were displaced from Arab nations when Israel was launched as a nation six decades ago, according to a White House spokesman.

The question came up as a result of Bush's trip to the Middle East, and a Washington Post report that the president was lobbying for compensation for the Palestinian refugees who lost homes or property.

Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House, raised the issue.

"The top of page one of The Washington Post reported from Jerusalem the president saying that Palestinian refugees in 1948 should receive compensation for loss of homes, when they fled or were forced to flee during the establishment of the state of the Israel. And my question: Is there any record of anyone asking the president about the 870,000 Jews who at that time were forcibly expelled from their homes in 10 Arab countries and have never been compensated for the lost property?"

"I'm not aware of the president having been asked that question," answered spokesman Tony Fratto.

"And do you have an answer to it, since I'm raising it?" Kinsolving continued.

"I'm not aware of the – you asked if I knew if the president has been asked, and I told you I'm not aware that he has or hasn't."

"Nobody's asked. All right," Kinsolving said.

"Not that I'm aware of."

"On the other hand, a senior US diplomat in Israel told Ynet News:

"Referencing the Palestinian refugee problem, (the US official noted that) the US president is well aware of the fact that post 1948 Jewish refugees from Arab countries immigrated only to Israel and nowhere else (not true: some 300,000 Jews emigrated to the West - ed) . He added that many of these Jews—Iraqi Jews especially—lost a great deal of their property, but just as these Jewish refuges came to the Jewish homeland, there is an analogous situation with Palestinian refugees nowadays."

So which official do we believe? It could be that the US spokesmen back in Washington are out of step with US diplomats on the ground.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The success of the Arabs in getting the Arab refugee issue into the forefront of world consciousness is matched by the failure of the Israelis and the world Jewish community in getting the Jewish refugee issue similar status.

Timidity and reticence have always been the hallmark of Jewish and Israeli advocacy. Where others shout from the rooftops, we mumble and talk allusively and indirectly.

Today we reap the results of two generations of incompetence and miscalculation.