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A recent undertaking by the Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), an organization endorsed worldwide by every major Jewish organization, is currently afoot to seek redress for the plight of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

A one sided Middle East narrative mainly that of the Palestinian refugees, ignores the historical facts of what transpired during the same period and caused by the same events to more than 850,000 Jews from Arab countries.

The exodus of Jewish refugees from Arab countries occurred mainly between 1940s and the 1970s. In fact, there were more Jews displaced from Arab countries (856,000)1 than there were Palestinians who became refugees as a result of the 1948 Arab Israeli war (726,000)2.

JJAC efforts culminated in the introduction of a bi-partisan landmark Resolution in the US Congress that was announced May 23rd, the Press Release text follows.

A follow up effort is also in motion with the UN, Russia and the European Union to acknowledge the same issue of all the refugees involved during that period in history.

See below for a summary of the resolution or click here for full text of the Resolution introduced in the US Senate (in PDF document) .

Israel Bonan

1. Estimates based on UN document “Trends and Characteristics of International Migration since 1950 – Refugee Movements and Population Transfers” (UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs, Demographic Study No. 64 ST/ESA/Ser. A/64).

2. United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, P. 18; United Nations. Annual Report of the Director Genera of UNWRA, Doc. 5224/5223. 25 November 1952


Washington, D.C. (May 23, 2006) – In an unprecedented initiative, four Senators and four Congressmen, representing both political parties, have introduced landmark Resolutions on Middle East refugees in the United States Senate and in the House of Representative May 23, 2006.

Far-reaching and comprehensive, these Resolutions instruct the President to ensure that in all international forums, when the issue of ‘Middle East refugees is discussed, representatives of the United States must ensure: “That any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees is matched by a similar explicit reference to Jewish and other refugees, as a matter of law and equity.”

The Resolution will be the strongest declaration adopted by the U.S. by Congress, acknowledging the rights of Jewish and others refugees that were forced to flee Arab countries.

This bi-partisan effort is being spearheaded by Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Norm Coleman (R-MN), as well as Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). On the House side, supporters include Congressmen Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) as well as Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Michael Ferguson (R-NJ).

Currently, when the issue of refugees is raised within the context of the Middle East, the reference is only to Palestinian refugees, not former Jewish refugees from Arab countries. However, there were two major population movements that occurred during years of Middle East turmoil – Arabs and Jews. Both groups were determined to be bona fide refugees under international law. In fact, there were more former Jewish refugees uprooted from Arab countries (over 850,000) than there were Palestinians who became refugees in 1948. (UN estimate: 726,000)

“It would be constitute an injustice were the United States to recognize rights for one victim population - Palestinian refugees - without recognizing equal rights former Jewish refugees from Arab countries” said S. Daniel Abraham, Founding Chairman of Justice for Jews from Arab countries. “Both were victims of the very same Middle East conflict and the rights of Jewish refugees must be addressed”.

Justice for Jews in Arab Countries is a coalition of Jewish communal organizations operating under the auspices of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Sephardi Federation, and the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries.

Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC ) is a coalition of Jewish communal organizations operating under the auspices of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Sephardi Federation and the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries in partnership with the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League, B’nai Brith International, the Jewish Public Council for Public Affairs and the World Sephardic Congress.
15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: (973) 669-9788 Fax: (973) 669-9789 E-Mail: [email protected]

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