The UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE (UNCCP) Reintegration Fund

As the Commission was aware, it [the State of Israel] had already “declared its willingness to support the Reintegration Fund to be established by the United Nations by paying into it funds accruing from compensation for abandoned Arab lands”.

On December 2, 1950, the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 393 by a vote of 46 in favor, 0 against, 6 abstaining. This resolution allocated, for the period 1 July 1951 to 30 June 1952, “not less than the equivalent of $30,000,000” for the economic reintegration of Palestinian refugees in the Near East “either by repatriation or resettlement”, their permanent re-establishment and removal from relief, “without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly Resolution 194”.

Toward this goal, Israel donated the equivalent of $2.8 million, and Arab states pledged almost $600,000. The United States accounted for the greatest pledge with $25 million.

Israel donated the equivalent of $2.8 million….

B.   Question of the property of Jews emigrating from Iraq to Israel

 

72.  On 29 March 1951, the Commission received a letter from the Government of Israel concerning legislation enacted earlier that month by the Government of Iraq providing for the seizure of property of Iraqui Jews who had registered for emigration to Israel. The Commission was informed that, according to the terms of a decree promulgated in March 1950, Jews had been permitted to leave Iraq on condition that they forfeited their Iraqui citizenship, that during the ensuing year 104,000 Iraqui Jews had registered with the intention of settling in Israel; and that on 10 March 1951, the day after the expiry of the term for registration, the Government of Iraq had introduced a bill, which shortly afterwards became law, under the terms of which all assets held by or on behalf of Jews who had registered for emigration were frozen and the right of disposal vested in a Custodian appointed by the Government.

73.  The Government of Israel informed the Commission that it had felt compelled to take steps to protect the Jews affected by this legislation. As the Commission was aware, it had already “declared its willingness to support the Reintegration Fund to be established by the United Nations by paying into it funds accruing from compensation for abandoned Arab lands”. However, it could not fully discharge this obligation in view of its new obligation to rehabilitate some 100,000 Jews left destitute as a result of the Iraqui legislation. It had therefore decided that the value of Jewish property seized in Iraq would be taken into account in the settlement of the obligation assumed in respect of compensation for Arab property abandoned in Israel.

74.  The letter stated that if assurances could be obtained from Iraq concerning the adequate liquidation and unhampered transfer of the assets in question, the necessity for linking the two accounts would disappear.

75.  The Commission communicated the Israel Government’s letter to the Arab Governments. In acknowledging the receipt of the letter, and in communicating it to the Arab Governments, the Commission stated that it reserved its right to express at the appropriate time its opinion concerning the questions of competence and substance raised by the Israel Government’s letter. At the time of the Paris Conference, in the autumn of 1951, no change had occurred in the position of either the Government of Israel or the Government of Iraq. The transmittal of the Israel Government’s letter to the Arab Governments brought no response from them.

****

At the 2000 Camp David summit 52 years following Israeli independence, Israel offered to set up an international fund for the compensation for the property which had been lost by 1948 Palestinian refugees, to which Israel would contribute.

“[…] with Israel [willing to] contributing $30 billion to fund their (Palestinian Arab) resettlement.

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