For the first time a memorial to the 850,000 Jews forced to leave Arab countries is to be erected in Jerusalem. The project is expected to receive final mayoral approval this week.
The inscription will read: "With the birth of the State of Israel, over 850, 000 Jews were forced from Arab Lands and Iran. The desperate refugees were welcomed by Israel. By Act of the Knesset: November 30, annually, is the Departure and Expulsion Memorial Day. "
The Memorial has been donated by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, with support from the City of Jerusalem and the World Sephardi Federation.
Mock-up of the memorial
Jerry Klinger of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation says he has received preliminary approval for the siting of this major project in Jerusalem.
Though the memorial will not be directly facing Jerusalem it will be on the Haas Promenade in Talpiyot, with its sweeping views over the Old City.
" It will have high end visibility and prominence, says Klinger. "It has never been done in Israel. It is long, long overdue."
The sculptural group is based on this iconic photograph, which has come to symbolise the departure and expulsion of Jews from Arab countries.
The photograph shows a family of Yemenite Jews who had walked all the way to the port of Aden in 1949, the departure point for Israel.