My thoughts on the rise of antisemitism, amending the the Israeli Law of Return, the Diaspora and UNGA Resolution 194(11) :
First, “Anti-Semitism has become mainstream – from the halls of Congress to the leader of the opposition in Britain,” Ya’acov Berman, Chabad Activist, NY.
In order to counter “antisemitism” and the [Palestinian] Arab’s claim for a right of return based on UNGA Resolution 194 (11); the State of Israel should amend the Law of Return and collectively naturalize (viz “PATRIATE”) all Jews of the Diaspora (e.g. Orthodox, Conservative and Reform) under the Law of Return – In this way, all Jews would be provided Israeli Consular Services and “enhanced protection services” at Synagogues and Jewish Community Centers would be ensured and Jews would outnumber, that is, hold a demographic majority over the Arabs even if all Arabs of Palestinian extraction were absorbed by M’dinat Yisrael (the State of Israel)!
Second, UNGA Resolution 194(11) is premised on two conditions: the “return of Palestinians to Eretz Yisrael at the earliest practicable date, & on those wishing to live at peace with their neighbor” – Given the rise in antisemitism in the Arab world it does not appear that the Palestinians wish to live at peace with their Jewish neighbor.
The earliest practicable date at which the Palestinians could have “returned to Eretz Yisrael” is any time before they were “collectively naturalized” by King Abdullah I which is December 13, 1949. See my argument below for why they chose their status in international law; whether or not that decision was a good one or a bad one is not my concern. The Palestinian’s case is one against the Hashemites, not the State of Israel.
According to wikipedia – the total number of people who hold or are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return — defined as anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent, and who does not profess any other religion — is estimated at around 23 million, of which 6.6 million were living in Israel as of 2015. Figures for these expanded categories are less precise than for the core Jewish population.
Based on these 2015 figures, there are an estimated 17 million Jews in the Diaspora who are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return. This number may not include the number of converts to Judaism or those Anusim (descendants of Jews forced to convert to a non-Jewish religion) who might be eligible under the Law of Return.
King Abdullah I of Jordan collectively naturalized all Arabs of Palestinian extraction.
The subject of collective naturalization is discussed at length in Boyd v. Thayer, 143 U. S. 135, (1892) and many cases cited and illustrations given.
Collective Naturalization can occur by legislation or by treaty.
In the case of Jordan –
On December 13, 1949, King Abdullah of Jordan passed a law amending the Law of Nationality of 1928. Accordingly, Jordanian citizenship was granted to all persons who were holding Palestinian citizenship and were habitually residing in Transjordan or in the “western area that [was] administered by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” (i.e., Jerusalem and the West Bank). (Of note is that this law excluded Jews from possessing Jordanian citizenship! But of course the Jews were ethnically cleansed from Jordan and Judea and Samaria by the Hashemites in violation of Article 15 of the Mandate for Palestine and the Anglo-American Treaty of 1924 –
Talk about APARTHEID….)
(On the matter of why the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was established in violation of Articles 5, 15, and 25 I can make a clear argument on each point but that is not the purpose of this – Article 15 states, “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.” The ethnic cleansing of Jews from “Palestine” was an official act of antisemitism. No different than that of the ethnic cleansing of the rest of the Jews of the “Middle East Diaspora”…! The Anglo-American Treaty of 1924 while it replicated the Mandate for Palestine, and has expired; the right guaranteed under it to the Jewish People [see Article 80 of the UN Charter] do not expire. This is particularly true since that Treaty became the Supreme Law of the Land (USA) under our Constitutional law system, [enshrining the Mandate for Palestine and the Balfour Declaration into the official PUBLIC policy of the USA] see Howard Grief’s Book: The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law (9789657344521).)
On April 11, 1950, parliamentary elections took place in Jordan, covering both the East Bank and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Following these elections, the Jordanian House of Commons approved the amended law and parliament’s decision concerning the “unification of the two Banks.” Thus, Palestinians who were living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank became Jordanian citizens [by collective naturalization].
The recent de-naturalization of Jordanian citizens of “Palestinian Extraction” by King Hussein and by King Abdullah II has been found to violate the Jordanian Nationality Law. See HRW Report “Stateless Again” – The act of “disengagement” from Judea and Samaria by the Hashemites and declaring those Arabs of Palestinian Extraction (who have been de-naturalized) as Palestinian Citizens can not confer “Palestinian citizenship” on them as Palestine is not a state under the criteria of “Statehood” and must be viewed as a political stratagem designed to demographically destroy the State of Israel! (See Joel Gilbert’s documentary, “Farewell Israel” – Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam.) His attempt to cede Judea and Samaria in 1988 to the PLO is null and void as he renounced all claims to “the West Bank” and “what was not his to begin with was not within his power to cede!”
King Hussein explained his decision as one of deference to Palestinian wishes for national autonomy.
This statement flies in the face of the Jericho Conference of December 1948 led by Sheik Muhammad Ali Ja’abari, Mayor of Hebron and the April 1950 Parliamentary Elections wherein the Arabs of Palestinian Extraction exercised political independence and elected King Abdullah as their Sovereign!
Thus, the Palestinians acquired national autonomy when their duly elected representatives voted at the Jericho Conference in December 1948. Within a year all “non-Jewish Palestinians” were all “collectively naturalized” with the consent of the people through their elected Monarch, Abdullah I.
Just because the Hashemites have suspended the rights of the Arabs in the Lower House of Deputies and de-naturalized them should not place the onus on the State of Israel to accommodate them with a “right of return” under UNGA Res. 194(11) as they have exercised “self-determinism” under the Jericho Conference and the April 1950 Parliamentary Elections.
The US Dept. of State 1950 Report states the Jericho Conference determined the political status of the Arabs of “Central” Palestine “which took place as a result of a free expression of the will of the people.” Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume V, Page 1096
How many times do the “Palestinians” get to decide their political status? It is evident that they chose their status (as monarchists) and are barred by the doctrine of estoppel in pais from asserting a claim of the “right of return” (to wit, a claim of Palestinian Citizenship) based on inconsistent “political” positions.
Anyways, these are my thoughts on the subject of Collective Naturalization.
Be well, blessed and a success,
Yochanan Ezra ben Avraham
It’s not easy to get kicked out of Congress.
As evidenced by the recent proceedings of Harlem Democrat Charlie Rangel, a “censure”—which entails no actual consequences, other than those enforced by the party caucuses, usually involving removal from leadership positions and committee chairmanships—is considered harsh punishment in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, while the allegedly less serious “reprimand” triggers even less (than zero) punishment.
Only 20 members of Congress have ever been expelled since Congress began, 15 from the Senate and five from the House. Most of those cases had to do with the Civil War.
In the instant matter, Ilhan Omar is an avowed Muslim who believes Muhammad, (who had sex with Aisha when she was merely nine years old and still playing with her dolls) was a prophet.
She is alleged to have married her brother and committed immigration and student loan fraud.
Muhammad got four historical facts wrong and therefore could not be a prophet:
1) He claims Miriam, the sister of Moshe was the mother of Yeshki (Jesus), Quran – Suras 19:27-28, 3:35-36, 66:12;
2) he claims Haman of Megillat Esther was in the “court” of Pharaoh; confusing the Building of the Tower of Babel with Haman and Pharaoh, Quran – Sura 40:36-37;
3) and he claims that Pharaoh used the Roman method of crucifixion as a form of the death penalty, Qur’an – Suras 7:124, 12:41, 20:71, 26:49; 38.12, 89:6-12;
4) and conflicting Islamic sources claim either Isaac or Ishmael was offered on the Altar by Avraham.
Al-Tabari, considered to be one of the premiere Islamic historians, lists the divergent views held amongst the Muslim umma (community) in regard to this very issue:
“The earliest sages of our Prophet’s nation disagree about which of Abraham’s two sons it was that he was commanded to sacrifice. Some say it was Isaac, while others say it was Ishmael. Both views are supported by statements related on the authority of the Messenger of God. If both groups of statements were equally sound, then – since they both came from the Prophet – only the Quran could serve as proof that the account naming Isaac is clearly the more truthful of the two.” (2: p. 82).
Moreover, Muhammad claims Yeshki was a prophet but it can be demonstrated that Yeshki falsely prophesied the restoration of the Kingdom of David within the lifetime of his disciples – Matthew 16:28, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
According to the Torah, every matter of false prophesy has to be established by two or three witnesses. Here, Matthew and Luke are witnesses AGAINST Jesus and establish his false prophesy twice!
Ilhan Omar supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the State of Israel, an American ally.
In 2018, Omar came under criticism for statements she made about Israel before she was in the Minnesota legislature, which the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported had “earned her notoriety in the pro-Israel community.” In a 2012 tweet, she wrote, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” The comment, particularly the notion that Israelis had “hypnotized the world,” was criticized as drawing on anti-semitic tropes. New York Times columnist Bari Weiss wrote that Omar’s statement tied into a millennia-old “conspiracy theory of the Jew as the hypnotic conspirator”.
In February 2019, Omar was criticized for tweets that appeared to imply that money spent by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was the primary motivation for American politicians’ support of Israel. These comments were criticized by Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, with the Democratic House leadership releasing a statement that called Omar’s tweets antisemitic and “deeply offensive.” The Jewish Democratic Council of America also denounced her statements.
Omar is scheduled to speak at a fundraiser for CAIR which is a front organization for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) will be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for the Los Angeles branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on March 23.
“Ilhan Omar pushes for release of jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader,” by Jordan Schachtel, Conservative Review, April 3, 2019:
Rep. Ilhan Omar — whose short tenure in Congress thus far has been rife with controversy — made a shocking appeal Tuesday, openly pushing for the release of a senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB).
Omar took to Twitter Tuesday evening demanding that “Trump” call for the release of Hoda Abdelmonem, a senior member in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s women’s affiliate.
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Look Ilhan Omar has made statements, anti-Semitic comments, statements against our most cherished ally Israel, that ought to be rejected by every American. And frankly the fact that very recently, she’s been trying to blame the United States of America for the deprivation and the poverty brought on by the dictatorship in Venezuela. It just, it tells me -look the people of Minnesota will decide whether or not she remains in Congress. But Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has no place on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Democratic leadership ought to remove her.
In an article about U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), the manager of the Turkish state-run news channel TRT World’s Research Centre, Dr. Tarek Cherkaoui, encouraged readers to donate to Omar’s campaign fund. The article, written for the English-language website of the Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Şafakand published April 1, 2019, was titled “Media Flak Directed At Ilhan Omar No Surprise At All.” At least seven other Turkish media outlets ran the same article, in both English and in Turkish. It should be noted that U.S. federal law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to political candidates. <https://gellerreport.com/2019/07/state-run-turkish…>
As Breitbart news has noted:
In 2007-8, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That case, in turn, led the FBI to discontinue its work with the organization. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that the government “produced ample evidence to establish” the ties of CAIR with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. The United Arab Emirates labeled CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014 (a decision that the Obama administration opposed).
Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood seek the destruction of not just the United States of America and Israel but of Western Society.
It’s time to remove Ilhan Omar from Congress.
Sign the Petition
Jpost – Arab-Israeli Conflict
December 31, 2018
A Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah on Monday sentenced a Palestinian American citizen to life in prison with hard labor for his involvement in the sale of properties to Israeli Jews.
The man, Isaam Akel, was arrested by the PA last October despite holding an Israeli ID card in his capacity as a resident of east Jerusalem.
The Higher Offenses Court in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, convicted Akel of “attempting to sever parts of Palestinian land and annex it to a foreign state,” the judiciary media office said.
“In light of the conviction, the court handed down a life sentence with hard labor,” it said. Akel can appeal, a judiciary official said.
“The 55-year-old man, who is a US citizen, is being interrogated by the Palestinians security agencies in Ramallah for his role in the sale of an Arab-owned house in the Old City of Jerusalem to a Jewish organization,” sources told The Jerusalem Post upon Akel’s arrest.
Akel’s family, which denied the allegations against him, said it was unaware of the verdict or sentence.
The US State Department and the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman had protested against the incarceration of Akel by the PA.
“Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the US & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence,” said Friedman on Twitter in November. “We demand his immediate release.”
“We are aware of reports that a US citizen has been sentenced by a Palestinian court,” a senior US official told The Jerusalem Post‘s sister publication Maariv. “When a US citizen is incarcerated abroad, the US government works to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”
Palestinian law bars selling land to “a hostile state or any of its citizens.” It requires the permission of the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, for all land sales in East Jerusalem.
Palestinian sources said Akel, a resident of Bethlehem, had worked for the PA Ministry for Local Government before his arrest.
Reuters contributed to this report.
This is the untold story of the Jewish forgotten refugees. These Jews, who survived ethnic cleansing and were systematically expelled, were now forgotten.
By TZAHI GAVRIELI
November 29, 2017 11:57
My family was expelled from Iraq in 1951. My grandfather Haim owned a successful business with several trucks, while my grandmother Gazelle ran the home. They lived in a spacious three-story house while maintaining a simple life. For years my grandparents tried to maintain a good relationship with their Arab neighbors while practing the same Jewish traditions that had been passed down in Iraq for centuries.
All this came crashing down within weeks. With the creation of Israel, the Iraqi government declared that all of their property was to be stripped from them and nationalized while the local Jewish population was to be expelled. The authorities let these soon-to-be refugees leave with only one suitcase each after it had been carefully searched to ensure no gold or jewelry was taken with them. My 4-year-old mother took her favorite rag doll, which served as a solemn reminder for decades to come of our family’s storied past in Iraq.
Just like my family, hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from many other Arab countries and Iran. They had to leave everything they cared for behind, their homes, loved ones and possessions, while making their way to Israel.
They ventured into the unknown to come to a new country struggling for its survival. They lived in tents and tin shacks, lived with food rationing, were given new names and began their new lives. With nothing but a suitcase and a rag doll, my family was expelled from a country they had resided in for hundreds of years.
In 1948, the year Israel was declared a state, 265,000 Jews lived in Morocco, 150,000 in Iraq, 140,000 in Algeria, 100,000 in Egypt, 100,000 in Tunisia, 55,000 in Lebanon, 40,000 in Libya, 30,000 in Syria and thousands more throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa, for a grand total of 880,000. Shortly thereafter, over 850,000 Jews were expelled from the very countries they called home. The Arab League rejected the establishment of the State of Israel and ultimately decided in forcing out the absolute majority of Jews from their countries.
My family’s expulsion happened overnight but not before being preceded by years of persecution against Iraq’s local Jewish population. My grandmother would tell my siblings and me about how her family had to hide in June 1941 during the “Farhud”, a two day pogrom of mass murder, looting and terror against Iraq’s Jewish population. 179 were killed, 2,100 were wounded, 242 children were orphaned and more than 50,000 households and businesses were ransacked.
Then, in 1947, the demonstrations against the UN resolution on the establishment of a Jewish state brought up memories of the Farhud and led the Jewish population to go into hiding once again. Hundreds of kilometers away in the city of Aleppo in Syria the situation and results were all too familiar: 75 Jews were murdered, a fifth-century synagogue was destroyed and hundreds of homes were devastated.
This is the untold story of the Jewish forgotten refugees. In the Palestinian struggle to preserve the narrative of refugees, it was all too easy to conceal the fact that nearly one million Jews were forcibly banished their homes. These Jews, who survived ethnic cleansing and were systematically expelled, were now forgotten.
It is precisely because of this that the US House of Representatives decided in 2008, with House Resolution 185, to recognize the importance of the Jewish refugees from the Arab countries and Iran. And precisely because of this, the government of Israel recognized their rights and dedicated November 30th as a day marking “Jews who were forced to flee Arab countries”.
This date is not coincidental. The day after November 29 1947, when the United Nations General Assembly decided to establish a Jewish state in British Mandate Palestine, many Jewish communities in Arab countries immediately began feeling the pressure to leave. There was looting, riots and laws enacted against them and the Zionist movement.
The young State of Israel, while fighting for its very existence, absorbed hundreds of thousands of Jews from surrounding countries. Under conditions of extreme poverty, a severe lack of resources, being housed in transit camps, without knowing the language and regardless of their relatives left behind, these refugees started over.
Seventy years after the United Nations established a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran are still living in Israel. Many of them, including my mother, remember the exact moment they became refugees and how hard it was in the beginning to start from scratch. But they decided to build again, to give up their refugee narrative, to understand that the years following World War II created a new reality for not only themselves, but tens of millions of others as well.
The Jewish refugees from the Arab countries and Iran, together with hundreds of thousands of other Jewish refugees from Europe, built, created and persisted in order to establish a family, a state and a future for their people.
On the other hand, the preservation of the seven decade old narrative of Palestinian refugees is still in full force. It continues to serve political goals and is used as a tool to delegitimize Israel and not recognize it as the homeland of the Jewish people. The call for the return of millions of Palestinian refugees to Israel is just another means in the quest to destroy the Jewish state.
On this day, the story of the forgotten refugees needs to be told. Fortunately, these refugees had Israel as a home to take them in. Many of them never survived the deadly pogroms suffered at the hands of Arab regimes. It is for this reason it is so important to learn their story, for any injustice somewhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.
The author is the Director of the National Campaign for Countering De-Legitimization & Deputy Director General at the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy. The Video was produced by the Minisrty’s 4IL campaign
This memorial day commemorates the tragedy of people who were forced to flee from their homes and to leave the countries where they had lived for millennia, solely because of their Jewish identity. ?
This memorial day commemorates the tragedy of people who were forced to flee from their homes and to leave the countries where they had lived for millennia, solely because of their Jewish identity.
The lost Jewish communities of the Arab world
On 30 November, Israel and the Jewish world remember the fate of more than 850,000 Jews who were forced out of Arab countries and Iran in the 20th century.
This memorial day commemorates the tragedy of people who were forced to flee from their homes and to leave the countries where they had lived for millennia, solely because of their Jewish identity. Many were deprived of their belongings and many suffered from violence and persecution.
The story of the expulsion of entire Jewish communities from Arab lands is an important part of modern Jewish history that profoundly affected the Jewish nation as a whole as well as the demographic composition of the Middle East and North Africa. This is a story that has to be told.
Current research estimates that the number of Jews living in Arab countries and Iran totaled more than 850,000 at the time of Israel’s independence. Some scholars even think the number is closer to one million. In the North African region, 259,000 Jews fled from Morocco, 140,000 from Algeria, 100,000 from Tunisia, 75,000 from Egypt, and another 38,000 from Libya. In the Middle East, 135,000 Jews were exiled from Iraq, 55,000 from Yemen, 34,000 from Turkey, 20,000 from Lebanon and 18,000 from Syria. Iran forced out 25,000 Jews.
The following descriptions typify what Jews living in Arab countries and Iran went through in the 1940s and following Israel’s declaration of independence up to the second half of the 20th century.
In Iraq, where a large community of Jews lived for 2600 years, violent riots known as the Farhud erupted in June 1941, targeting the Jewish population, mainly in Bagdad. Dejected soldiers of a failed coup took advantage of a power vacuum and swarmed into Jewish communities together with a bloodthirsty mob, killing 179 innocent people, injuring more than 2,100, and leaving 242 children orphans. This act of violence was celebrated across the Arab world and in Nazi Germany.
In 1948 as a response to UNGA Resolution 181 (“the Partition Plan”) and Israel’s independence, laws were passed making Zionism a criminal offense, allowing the police to raid and search thousands of Jewish homes for any evidence of Zionism. Jews were removed from thousands of government positions and their homes were valued at 80% less than those of their Arab neighbors.
In the years 1948-1951, over 120,000 Iraqi Jews immigrated to Israel to forge a new life. In doing so, they forfeited their citizenship and (after March 1951) their property. The ancient Jewish community in Iraq (which at one time constituted nearly one-third of the total population of Baghdad) is now non-existent.
The story of the Jewish population of Egypt is similar. In the 1940s, hostility against the Egyptian Jewish community, which numbered around 80,000 people, increased. Laws were passed setting limitations for employing Egyptians of Jewish descent, as well as requiring majority shareholders of companies to be Egyptian nationals. Since Jews were denied citizenship as a rule, many Jews lost their jobs and businesses.
During the 1948 War of Independence, thousands of Egyptian Jews were put into internment camps, forced from their jobs, and arrested for supposed collaboration with an enemy state, Jewish synagogues, homes, and businesses were bombed; many Jews were killed and wounded. More than 14,000 Jews immigrated to Israel during this time seeking safety. Between 1948 and 1958, more than 35,000 Jews fled Egypt. While much of this immigration was due to systematic oppression, another contribution factor was Zionism and the desire to live in the newly reestablished Jewish homeland in Israel.
Between 1956 and 1968 another 38,000 Jews fled Egypt, mostly to Israel, to escape systematic injustices such as government expropriation of their homes and businesses and arbitrary arrests of Jewish citizens.
The Yemeni Jews faced some of the worst persecution. At the end of November 1947, the Arab population of Aden in Yemen decided to hold a 3-day strike in protest against UNGA Resolution 181 (the Partition Plan). The protest quickly turned violent. Over 80 innocent Yemeni Jews were slaughtered, over 100 Jewish-owned businesses were completely looted, and homes, schools, and synagogues were burnt to the ground. This was one of the most violent attacks on any Jewish population in the Arab world.
A unique and creative solution was found for saving the persecuted Yemeni Jews. From 1949 to 1950, the Israeli government enacted Operation Magic Carpet (known in Hebrew as “On the Wings of Eagles”). The operation was implemented by US and British aircraft, which flew to Aden and airlifted the Jews from Yemen to Israel. By the end of the operation, over 47,000 Yemeni Jews were rescued from persecution and taken to their new home in the State of Israel.
Jews had lived in Libya for more than 2,300 years, and had a thriving culture, with a population of over 37,000. During World War II, The Libyan regime implemented their own Nazi-inspired holocaust, where more than 2,000 Jews were transported to desert concentration camps, and hundreds of them died. In post-war Libya, Arab nationalism grew in popularity, resulting in violent pogroms against the Jewish community. In 1945, in the city of Tripoli, more than 140 Jews were killed in a violent antisemitic riot, and a few years later in 1948, another pogrom erupted, resulting in 12 Jewish deaths and the destruction of over 280 Jewish homes. In the three years between 1948 and 1951, 30,972 Jews fled to Israel due to the hostile Arab government of Libya.
Remembering their stories
The descendants of these immigrants from Arab countries now account for a majority of Israel’s Jewish population. The Jewish exiles who were forced to flee their homes overcame personal and communal tragedy and not only persevered, but thrived; many have risen to important positions in the national government and in the public and private sectors. They have made an invaluable contribution to the fabric of Israeli society, and their vibrant cultures are an integral part of the colorful mosaic of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. It is time for the world to hear their story.
Jpost Arab – Israeli Conflict
By Irwin Cotler September 6, 2012
The Arab countries targeted the Jewish nationals living in their respective countries, thereby creating two refugee populations.
Jewish refugees from Triploi arrive in Haifa 521. (photo credit: Arnold Behr/Jerusalem Post Archives)
This November will mark the 65th anniversary of the UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947. It is sometimes forgotten – and often not even known – that this was the first-ever blueprint for an Israeli-Palestinian “two states for two peoples” solution. Regrettably, while Jewish leaders accepted the resolution, Arab and Palestinian leaders did not, and by their own acknowledgment, declared war on the nascent Jewish state while also targeting the Jewish nationals living in their respective countries.
Indeed, had the UN Partition Resolution been accepted, there would have been no 1948 Arab- Israeli war, no refugees, and none of the pain and suffering of these past 65 years. The annual November 29 UN-organized International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People might well have been a day commemorating a Middle East peace, and the establishment of both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.
Yet the revisionist Middle East narrative – prejudicial to authentic reconciliation and peace between peoples as well as between states – continues to hold that there was only one victim population, Palestinian refugees, and that Israel was responsible for the Palestinian nakba (catastrophe) of 1948.
The result is that the pain and plight of 850,000 Jews uprooted and displaced from Arab countries – the forgotten exodus – has been both expunged and eclipsed from both the Middle East peace and justice narratives these past 65 years.
Indeed, the upcoming United Nations commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – celebrated on the anniversary of the Partition Resolution – will likely ignore, yet again, the plight of Jewish refugees, thereby indulging and encouraging this Middle East revisionism.
Moreover, this revisionist narrative has not only eclipsed – and erased – the forgotten exodus from memory and remembrance, but it also denies that it was a forced exodus, and one that resulted from both double rejectionism and double aggression. This is the real nakba – the real double catastrophe.
Simply put, the Arab countries not only rejected a proposed Palestinian state and went to war to extinguish the nascent Jewish state, but also targeted the Jewish nationals living in their respective countries, thereby creating two refugee populations – the Palestinian refugee population resulting from the Arab war against Israel, and the Jewish refugees resulting from the Arab war against its own Jewish nationals.
Indeed, evidence contained in the report entitled “Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: The Case for Rights And Redress” documents in detail the pattern of state-sanctioned repression and persecution in Arab countries – including Nuremberg-like laws – that targeted its Jewish populations, resulting in denationalization, forced expulsions, illegal sequestration of property, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and murder – namely, anti-Jewish pogroms.
And while the internal Jewish narrative has often referred to pogroms as European attacks on their Jewish nationals, it has often ignored Arab-Muslim attacks on their Jewish nationals. Moreover, as the report also documents, these massive human rights violations were not only the result of state-sanctioned patterns of oppression in each of the Arab countries, but they were reflective of a collusive blueprint, as embodied in the Draft Law of the Political Committee of the League of Arab States in 1947.
This is a story whose voices are only now being heard by many for the first time. It is a story whose painful testimony has been shared too often only among the victims themselves. It is a truth that must now be affirmed, acknowledged, and acted upon in the interests of justice and history.
Regrettably, the United Nations also bears express and continuing responsibility for this distorted Middle East and peace narrative.
Since 1948, there have been more than 150 UN resolutions that have specifically dealt with the Palestinian refugee plight. Yet, not one of these resolutions makes any reference to, nor is there any expression of concern for, the plight of the 850,000 Jews displaced from Arab countries. Nor have any of the Arab countries involved – or the Palestinian leadership involved – expressed any acknowledgment, let alone regret, for this pain and suffering, or for their respective responsibility for the pain and suffering.
How do we rectify this historical – and ongoing – injustice? What are the rights and remedies available under international human rights and humanitarian law? And what are the corresponding duties and obligations incumbent upon the United Nations, Arab countries, and members of the international community? What follows is a nine-point international human rights justice and action agenda.
FIRST, IT must be appreciated that while justice has long been delayed, it must no longer be denied. The time has come to rectify this historical injustice, and to restore the plight and truth of this forgotten – and forced – exodus of Jews from Arab countries to the Middle East narrative from which they have been expunged and eclipsed these 65 years.
Second, remedies for victim refugee groups – including rights of remembrance, truth, justice and redress, as mandated under human rights and humanitarian law – must now be invoked for Jews displaced from Arab countries.
Third, in the manner of duties and responsibilities, each of the Arab countries – and the League of Arab States – must acknowledge their role and responsibility in their double aggression of launching an aggressive war against Israel and the perpetration of human rights violations against their respective Jewish nationals. The culture of impunity must end.
Fourth, the Arab League Peace Plan of 2002 should incorporate the question of Jewish refugees from Arab countries as part of its narrative for an Israeli- Arab peace, just as the Israeli narrative now incorporates the issue of Palestinian refugees in its vision of an Israeli-Arab peace.
Fifth, on the international level, the UN General Assembly – in the interests of justice and equity – should include reference to Jewish refugees as well as Palestinian refugees in its annual resolutions; the UN Human Rights Council should address, as it has yet to do, the issue of Jewish as well as Palestinian refugees; UN agencies dealing with compensatory efforts for Palestinian refugees should also address Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
Sixth, the annual November 29 commemoration by the United Nations of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People should be transformed into an International Day of Solidarity for a Two-State – Two-Peoples Solution, as the initial 1947 Partition Resolution intended, including solidarity with all refugees created by the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Seventh, jurisdiction over Palestinian refugees should be transferred from UNRWA to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. There was no justification then – and still less today – for the establishment of a separate body to deal only with Palestinian refugees, particularly when that body has been itself compromised by its incitement to hatred and violence, as well as its revisionist teaching of the Middle East peace and justice narrative.
Eighth, any bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – which one hopes will presage a just and lasting peace – must include Jewish refugees as well as Palestinian refugees in an inclusive joinder of discussion.
Ninth, during any and all discussions on the Middle East by the Quartet and others, any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees should be paralleled by a reference to Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
SOME GOVERNMENTS have made welcome progress on this question, such as the US Congress in recently adopting legislation recognizing the plight of Jewish refugees and requiring that the issue be raised in any and all talks on Middle East peace. I have a motion before the Canadian Parliament in this regard which I hope will soon be adopted. Legislatures around the world should hold hearings on the issue to ensure public awareness and action, to allow for victims’ testimony, and to right the historical record – an effort in which I trust that Canada will be engaged this fall.
In sum, the exclusion and denial of rights and redress to Jewish refugees from Arab countries continues to prejudice authentic negotiations between the parties and a just and lasting peace between them. Let there be no mistake about it – as I have said before and will continue to affirm: Where there is no remembrance, there is no truth; where there is no truth, there will be no justice; where there is no justice, there will be no reconciliation; and where there is no reconciliation, there will be no peace – which we all seek.
The writer is a Canadian member of parliament and the former minister of justice and attorney-general of Canada. He is a professor of law (emeritus) at McGill University. He has testified on this issue before parliaments in the US, the UK and Italy.