Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Obama, Mubarak to discuss refugee compensation

The good news, according to Roee Nahmias of Ynet News, is that Presidents Obama and Mubarak are to discuss compensation for Palestinian refugees if they drop their 'right of return'. The bad news is, as the indignant talkback comments point out, that compensation for Jewish refugees does not figure anywhere on their agenda. Did the 'Jewish lobby' whose leaders met Mubarak even know to mention the issue? (With thanks: Suzanne, Eliyahu)

Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reports US, Egyptian leaders' White House meeting Tuesday will focus on initiative for resolving Israeli-Arabs conflict, in which Palestinians will waive right of return in exchange for compensation.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his American counterpart, Barack Obama, are expected during their White House meeting Tuesday to discuss "an initiative of leaders" for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East, in which the Palestinians will waive the right of return in exchange for compensation, the London-based Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported Tuesday.(..)

Mubarak arrived in Washington on Monday and met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor James Jones. He also held a meeting with leaders of the Jewish lobby in the United States.

According to the newspaper, commentators estimated that Mubarak's meeting with the Jewish lobby is a manifestation of the warming relations between Egypt and the Netanyahu government, which have been expressed in a series of issues in recent months, including allowing Israeli submarines to cross the Suez Canal and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres' visits to Egypt.

Read article in full

Open letter to President Mubarak from The Historical Society of Jews from Egypt:

Your Excellency,

We, Jews from Egypt residing in the United States, wish to welcome you to our country. We wish you well on your visit with President Obama.

If Nasser had not persecuted us, stolen all our property, and expelled us ignominiously with only the shirts on our backs, we would still be living in Egypt and contributing to its greatness as we always have. Indeed, we care about our heritage and cherish it openly. It will be a good day when Egypt finally recognizes our many positive contributions to its history. Sadly, it does not appear this day is near.

We wish to bring to your attention, again, as we have many times in the past, a number of grievances. So far, not only have they not been satisfied, but they have not even been addressed.

The Egyptian establishment believes that if they just ignore us, we will simply go away.

1. Why is Egypt refusing us access to our communal archives, our records, our religious court decisions, our libraries, or even allow us to scan them for computer storage? They are the massive evidence of a significant Jewish presence in Egypt, unbroken since the dawn of time. Is this what you don't want the world to know about?

2. Why is Egypt denying our request to relocate our Torah scrolls and religious artifacts? They belong to us. We paid for them. Your government has confiscated them and stored them in poor conditions, which will hasten their deterioration. Your government decreed that they are part of the Egyptian heritage, by placing them under your Department of Antiquities, on a par with the Sphinx and the Pyramids. Antiquities! When only a generation ago they were used in daily services, as intended by the families who paid for them! What is the difference between this and highway robbery?

Read letter in full (also PDF)

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Hope the letter was sent with a CC to Obama!