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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Peace with Justice - for Jews from Arab Lands

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/11/peace-with-justice-for-jews-from-arab.html

As the Annapolis conference approaches, and the peace process heats up, all the claims of all sides should be given equal weight and consideration. About 800,000 Jews were expelled or fled Arab countries since the creation of the state of Israel. They left behind a huge amount of property, of which they were robbed by Arab governments and by greedy officials who required "baksheesh" - bribes.
 
Arab countries have deliberately exaggerated the number of Palestinian Arab refugees. The number, somewhat inflated to start with, has grown over the years to 6 million and now to 11 million. They have been very forward about property claims as well as the "right" of return of these refugees. They claim that this is the only way to achieve peace with "justice." It is a strange claim, since the Germans of Sudetensland did not get such "Justice" and the Muslims who fled India and the Hindus who fled Pakistan did not seek, and did not get, such "Justice." But if the Arabs and their anti-Zionist supporters insist on this claim, we must also seek justice for Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
 
Jewish organizations who are lobbying for various viewpoints regarding the Annapolis conference should not forget this issue.
 
The details are in the story below.
 
Ami Isseroff
 
Expelled Jews hold deeds on Arab lands
Etgar Lefkovits , THE JERUSALEM POST  Nov. 16, 2007
 
The government needs to bring up the issue of hundreds of thousands of Jews who left their homes in Arab countries following the establishment of the State of Israel as part of any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, the president of the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries said Thursday.
 
About 850,000 Jews fled Arab countries after Israel's founding in 1948, leaving behind assets valued today at more than $300 billion, said Heskel M. Haddad.
 
He added that the New York-based organization has decades-old property deeds of Jews from Arab countries on a total area of 100,000 sq.km. - which is five times the size of the State of Israel.
 
Most of the properties are located in Iraq, Egypt and Morocco, Haddad said.
 
The Baghdad-born Haddad fled Iraq in 1951, and, after a brief stop in Israel, made his way to the United States where he went on to become a prominent New York ophthalmologist.
 
In an interview, he said that it was imperative for Israel to bring up the issue of the Jews who fled Arab countries at any future peace talks - including those scheduled to take place in Annapolis in the coming weeks - since no Palestinian leader would sign a peace treaty without resolving the issue of Palestinian refugees.
 
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians - with estimates ranging from 400,000 to 750,000 - left Israeli-controlled territory in 1948 and 1949, and they, along with their millions of descendants, make up one of the prickliest issues to be dealt with by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators as part of any resolution to the conflict.
 
Haddad said that the key to resolving the issue rested with the Arab League, which in the 1950s passed a resolution stating that no Arab government would grant citizenship to Palestinian refugees, keeping them in limbo for over half a century.
 
At the same time, the Arab League urged Arab governments to facilitate the exit of Jews from Arab countries, a resolution which was carried out with a series of punitive measures and discriminatory decrees making it untenable for the Jews to stay in the countries.
 
"No Jews from Arab countries would give up their property and home and come to Israel out of Zionism," Haddad said.
 
He said that the Israeli government was "myopic" not to utilize this little-known information, which he said should be part of a package financial solution to solving the issue of Palestinian refugees.
 
An Israeli ministerial committee on claims for Jewish property in Arab countries, which is currently headed by the Pensioners Minister Rafi Eitan, has been virtually dormant since it was established four years ago.
 
 
 
 


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