Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Following yesterday's momentous conference on Jewish refugees, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a report. Here are its Summary and Recommendations:
a. A true solution to the issue of refugees will only be possible when the Arab League will take historic responsibility for its role in creating the Jewish and Palestinian refugee problem, as documented.
b. There should be a joint solution between the Arab countries and the international community in order to provide compensation for both Palestinian and Jewish refugees. In order to achieve this goal an international fund will be created that will be based on President Clinton's
suggestion from 2000 and the Congress resolution 185 from 2008 in which Israel will also take part, even only in a symbolic way.
This fund will also compensate the countries that had already been working on absorbing and rehabilitating refugees; amongst others Jordan and Israel (retroactively) and perhaps Lebanon if it is willing to rehabilitate the descendants of Palestinian refugees in its territory. Here we should emphasize that the basis for compensation will be the value of assets of the refugees at the time, which according to research was much greater on the Jewish side than on the Palestinian side.
The fund will also deal with the issue of Jewish property that is still in the hands of Arab and Muslim countries, however the so-called Right of Return will not be relevant as the Jews are not interested in returning to the places from which they were deported from.
The State of Israel will not accept the principle of a Palestinian "right of return" but will prefer to provide compensation by an authorized third party. This demand has historic precedents as in the case of Cyprus.
c. Our embassies and diplomatic delegations around the world are requested to act with Parliaments in their host countries in order to adopt a resolution in the spirit of House Resolution 185 from April 1, 2008 which determines that the definition of a refugee applies also to the Jewish refugees who were pushed out of Arab countries.
d. The issue of Jewish refugees should be raised in every peace negotiation framework whether it is opposite the Palestinians or Arab governments.
e. The Palestinian refugees will be rehabilitated in their place of residence just as the Jewish refugees were rehabilitated in theirs - Israel. There should be an immediate discontinuation of the perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee issue.
f. The rehabilitation process in their place of residence will minimize the demand for the "right of return" during peace talks and in any case the insistence of some Palestinian refugees to be given a right of return will be resolved by their immigration into the future Palestinian state that will be established through a peace agreement.
g. During the peace negotiations (with the Palestinians or Arab countries) the demand for financial compensation for both Palestinian and Jewish refugees should be raised.
h. The Foreign Ministry, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, will lead a Hasbara campaign on the issue of Jewish refugees in coordination with the PM's office which will consolidate the issue into any future negotiations.
i. As part of the negotiation framework, all of Israel's delegations around the world will be directed to distribute and to pass along these messages to any governmental body and public diplomacy forum in their host country.
j. Israel's delegations around the world will also be directed to approach Jews from Arab countries that reside in their host country in order to have them speak on this issue.
Read MFA report in full