JEWS DISPLACED FROM ARAB COUNTRIES: A STORY OF COLLUSION

Justice for Jews From Arab Lands, North Africa and Iran

JEWS DISPLACED FROM ARAB COUNTRIES: A STORY OF COLLUSION

Note: All documents are referenced and all source material is readily available in the United Nations Archives

Chronology of Events and Evidence

For over 2,500 years, Jews resided in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf region in substantial numbers – fully 1,000 years before the advent of Islam. During the twentieth century, the uprooting of up to one million Jews from their ancient Jewish communities in ten Arab countries did not occur by happenstance.

State-sanctioned repressive measures, coupled often with violence and repression, precipitated the Jewish refugee problem in the Middle East. There is ample evidence that points to collusion, a shared pattern of conduct amongst a number of Arab regimes that appeared intended to coerce Jews to leave, or to use them as weapons in the Arab world’s struggle against the State of Israel.

This is evidenced from:

(a) The drafting of a Law by the Political Committee of the Arab League that recommended a coordinated strategy of repressive measures against Jews;

(b) strikingly similar legislation and discriminatory decrees, enacted by numerous Arab governments, that violated the fundamental rights and freedoms of Jews resident in Arab countries; (c) statements made by delegates of Arab countries at the U.N. during the debate on the ‘Partition Resolution’, representing a pattern of ominous threats made against Jews in Arab countries; and(d) newspaper reports from that period. This Chronology provides a small sample, and not an exhaustive survey, of such of events and evidence.* * * * *

In 1947, the Political Committee of the Arab League (League of Arab States) drafted a law that was to govern the legal status of Jewish residents in all Arab League countries (See attached Exhibit E).

Arab diplomats at the UN sought to attribute blame for any danger to Jews on the Arab “masses” – indeed, even to the UN itself – while, in fact, the Arab League was colluding to encourage state sanctioned discrimination against Jews in all of its member states – at the time, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and Yemen.

This Draft Law of the Arab League provided that “…all Jews – with the exception of citizens of non-Arab countries – were to be considered members of the Jewish ‘minority state of Palestine,’; that their bank accounts would be frozen and used to finance resistance to ‘Zionist ambitions in Palestine; Jews believed to be active Zionists would be interned as political prisoners and their assets confiscated; only Jews who accept active service in Arab armies or place themselves at the disposal of these armies would be considered ‘Arabs.’” 1

From the sheer volume of subsequent state-sanctioned discriminatory measures, replicated in so many Arab countries and instituted in such a parallel fashion, one is drawn to the conclusion that such evidence suggests a common pattern of repressive measures, – indeed collusion – against Jews by Arab governments (See attached “State Sanctioned Persecution of Jews in Egypt {Exhibit K} and Iraq {Exhibit L}).

1Text of Law Drafted by Political Committee of Arab League (See attached Exhibit E)

The following official statements demonstrate a pattern of ominously similar threats made against Jews in Arab countries:

November 24, 1947 In a key address to the Political Committee of the U.N. General Assembly on the morning of November 24, 1947, just five days before that body voted on the partition plan for Palestine, Heykal Pasha, an Egyptian delegate, made the following statement: The United Nations … should not lose sight of the fact that the proposed solution might endanger a million Jews living in the Moslem countries. … If the United Nations decided to partition Palestine they might be responsible for very grave disorders and for the massacre of a large number of Jews.”2

November 24, 1947 In an afternoon session of the Political Committee of the U.N. General Assembly on November 24, 1947, the Palestinian delegate to the UN, Jamal Husseini, representing the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine to the UN General Assembly, made the following threat: “It should be remembered that there were as many Jews in the Arab world as there are in Palestine whose positions might become very precarious.”3

November 28, 1947 Iraq’s Foreign Minister Fadil Jamali, at the 126th Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly stated: “Not only the uprising of the Arabs in Palestine is to be expected but the masses in the Arab world cannot be restrained. The Arab-Jewish relationship in the Arab world will greatly deteriorate.”4

January 19, 1948 A memorandum was submitted to the U.N. Economic and Social Council by the World Jewish Congress, warning ECOSOC that all Jews residing in the Near and Middle East face extreme and imminent danger.”

The memorandum referred to the Text of Law Drafted by Political Committee of [the] Arab League (See attached Exhibit E) which was already adopted by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. This law recommended discriminatory treatment against Jewish residents in all Arab League countries. The Memorandum went on to report on recent incidents of violence and other anti-Jewish measures in a variety of Arab countries. Due to the extreme urgency” of this matter, the WJC requested that this matter be placed on the agenda of the forthcoming” meeting of the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

2 U.N. General Assembly, Second Session, Official Records, Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, Summary Record of the Thirteenth Meeting, Lake Success, N.Y., November 24, 1947 (A/AC.14/SR.30). This comment was made at 10:30am.

3 U.N. General Assembly, Second Session, Official Records, Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, Summary Record of the Thirty-First Meeting, Lake Success, N.Y., November 24, 2947 (A/AC.14/SR.31) This comment was made at 2:30pm.

4 U.N. General Assembly, Second Session, Official Records, Verbatim Record of the 126th Plenary Meeting, November 28, 1947, p. 1391.

February 16, 1948 A second Memorandum was submitted by the World Jewish Congress to the ECOSOC President, citing cases of serious violence, economic discrimination and anti-Jewish excesses” that had occurred in Syria. Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Bahrain, urging the Council “to take up the situation of these Jewish populations as a matter of immediate international concern.”5

March 5, 1948 Item 37 on the agenda of the UN Economic and Social Council, supported by Document E/710 (See attached Exhibit J) was to deal with the “extreme and imminent dangerto Jews in Arab countries. The Council’s President, Dr. Charles H. Malik (Lebanon), utilized a procedural maneuver that resulted in the matter never being addressed.

March 11, 1948 When the Council was ready to resume its deliberations, Mr. Katz-Suchy (Poland) requested that the matter of Document E/710 (See attached Exhibit J:The World Jewish Congress Memorandum that alluded to “The extreme and imminent danger to Jews residing in the near and Middle East) be reconsidered. He charged that agreement had been reached among the five major Powers not to discuss document E/710” and argued that “usual” Council procedure was not followed. Mr. Kaminsky (Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic) declared that he could not condone a practice whereby items on the agenda were allowed to disappear from the agenda.” A resolution recommending that this matter be discussed in full at the next Council meeting (July 1948) was adopted by a vote of 15 – 1. The lone dissenting vote was cast by the representative of Lebanon who stated that the resolution “was tantamount to prejudging the issue.”

May 16, 1948 A New York Times article reported on Law drafted by the Political Committee of the Arab League and revealed some of its provisions: “It [the law] provides that beginning on an unspecified date all Jews except citizens of non-Arab states, would be considered “members of the Jewish minority state of Palestine.” Their bank accounts would be frozen and used to finance resistance to “Zionist ambitions in Palestine.” Jews believed to be active Zionists would be interned and their assets confiscated.”6

June 21, 1948 The Council referred this matter back to the NGO Committee of ECOSOC which met and reviewed document E/710 (i.e. The World Jewish Congress Memorandum that alluded to The extreme and imminent danger to Jews residing in the near and Middle East). A resolution concluded that it should not make specific recommendations regarding the substance of the consultation (WJC Memorandum) unless specifically requested by Council” 7. This circuitous buck passing’ ensured that the matter was never addressed.

5 Report on the Activities of the Political Department (November 15, 1947 – May 15, 1948)

6New York Times May 16, 1948 “Jews in Grave Danger in All Moslem Lands, Nine hundred thousand in Africa and Asia face wrath of their foes.” by Mallory Browne.

7 Report on the Council NGO Committee (Item 31) (E/940) August 9, 1948

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