Thursday, January 22, 2009

Israeli minister: compensate both Jews and Arabs

Israeli Senior Citizens' Affairs minister Rafi Eytan has called for Jewish refugees to be compensated as well as Palestinians, according to Arutz Sheva.

Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem on 20 January organised by his ministry and assembling the leaders of relevant organisations, Mr Eytan referred to the stolen property left behind by Jews in Arab lands. The minister, who has been chairing a government committee dealing with the issue, called for the Israeli government to formulate a decisive stance and have precise data for international discussions, particularly as President Obama takes over in the US.

If the Palestinian refugee issue moves up the agenda during Obama's term of office, it is important to tell the world that there were also Jewish refugees, he told Arutz 7 in an exclusive interview.

"If an international fund is established to deal with restitution for Palestinians, the same fund should deal with Jews from Arab countries. In any future agreement there should be parity," Eytan had told the last president, George Bush. He would say the same to Obama if he raised the issue. US Congress resolutions had called for equal treatment for both Palestinian and Jewish refugees.

In the 1950s a UN estimate valued abandoned Palestinian assets at £122 million. Jewish property left behind in Arab countries is 10 times greater.

Read article in full and see clip with minister Rafi Eytan (Hebrew)

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