Arab and Palestinian leaders must acknowledge their responsibility for the creation of the the Palestinian refugee problem, a French Jewish leader told a Bnai Brith lodge in the French town of Enghien at a talk on 1 December. Recognition of an exchange of refugee populations must be part of a future peace agreement.
A vice-president of JJAC ( Justice for Jews from Arab Countries), Jean-Pierre Allali referred to the little known fact that Muslims from North Africa and the Caucasus were imported into Palestine in the 19th century to offset Jewish immigration.
Allali recalled the tragedy and suffering of Jews in Muslim lands who were often expelled in dramatic circumstances from their countries of birth. He pleaded for the recognition of the rights of Jews from Arab and Muslim lands and for the exchange of equal refugee populations to be taken into account in any future peace settlement, so that the Palestinians might abandon their totally unrealistic 'right of return.'
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