Seventy years since the exodus from Arab countries began to Israel, we can report that Jewish refugees are being mentioned with greater frequency. Even that bastion of bias, the BBC in its 'In pictures - Seven major moments' in Israel's history, saw fit to state:
"Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs fled or were driven from
their homes in the war that followed Israel's creation, marking the
beginning of the Palestinian refugee problem that continues to this day.
About 600,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries, as well as some
250,000 Holocaust survivors in Europe, settled in Israel in the first
few years of the state's existence, more than doubling its Jewish
However, the issue is still absent from the international mainstream press and media. Gaza's Great March of Return campaign should have invited comparisons between Palestinian refugees who want to return to their homes in Israel, and the greater number of Jewish refugees of the same era, who do NOT want to return to Arab countries. But no journalist has yet ventured into this territory, and attempts to get the message into op-eds in the New York Times and Haaretz have so far met with failure.
Curiously, Haaretz did publish an article by Moshe Arens declaring the Palestinian refugee issue a weapon of war against Israel. Although Arens mentioned refugee exchanges resulting from the Greek/ Turkish and India/Pakistan conflicts, not once did he mention Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
This is a cause for concern. It shows that campaigners for Jewish refugees still have some way to go before their issue becomes central to the conscience of Israel's Eurocentric 'liberal' elite. Haaretz Commenters either ignore the issue or blame the Zionists for creating the Jewish refugee problem.
We must redouble our efforts to change this disappointing state of affairs.
Click on this oriental version by Daniel Saadon of the state's national anthem Hatikva. It was released on Israel's 70th anniversary