Monday, June 02, 2008

Rare mention of Jewish refugees at Westminster

For the first time since the 1950s, Jewish refugees from Arab countries were mentioned in a House of Commons adjournment debate to mark Israel's 60th anniversary.

In the debate, which took place on 20th May and is minuted in the HANSARD record, Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon and a tireless supporter of Jewish causes, said that 800,000 Jews fled Arab countries. Together with the Palestinian refugees, they constituted an exchange of populations.

"When talking about the problems of the Palestinian refugees, we overlook the Jewish refugees from Arab lands. In 1945, some 800,000 Jewish people were living in Arab countries; today, there are fewer than 7,000. I am thinking of the Jews from Iraq and Yemen, who had to flee the pogroms there. The net result was what can only be described as an exchange of populations, because of the number of Palestinians who left and the number of Jewish people who went to Israel, having been expelled from Arab lands, " Mr Dismore said.

Read debate in full

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ironic, considering the terrible mismanagement of the British Mandate, and the number of Iraqi Jews who immigrated to Britain in the 1920s and 30s, that the Brits are lagging behind the US and Canada in recognizing the very real ethinic cleansing of Jews from Asia Minor and North Africa in the second half of the last century.