Monday, April 9, 2012

The Forgotten Refugees


Shirlee has prompted me on the strangely neglected issue of Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries ("the forgotten refugees") where there has been an important development. These are the people who were robbed and expelled, or escaped fleeing persecution, from a dozen Arab countries and a few non-Arab Muslim countries, in the wake of the 1948 War of Independence; and in the case of Iran following the Islamic Revolution. In total they exceed the number of Palestinian refugees from the wars started by their leaders and by surrounding Arab states and they and their descendants comprise a majority of the Jewish population of Israel.

These are people who had lived in these lands since before there were Muslims and their stories are terrible. Those who claim that life for Jews under the Muslims was some sort of golden age have not bothered to look. With the internet it is easy to go to source material and listen to the poignant voices of the people themselves. There is no excuse for not doing so.

For years they have sought recognition and justice.

Israel itself has been reluctant to take their case into the international arena believing, they say, that it will only provoke more attacks about Palestinian refugees. Also I suspect there was something deeper going on. Israel is a model on how refugees should be treated. The Arab countries are models on how they most certainly should not be. Surely the world should see this?

Well the Palestinians, the Arab states and their supporters in the West have never shut up about the Palestinian refugees they made refugees and there has been not the slightest nod of recognition from anywhere of the plight and injustices visited on the Jewish refugees they also made refugees.

So Israeli policy has changed. Not before time.

"It’s official: Israel will pursue justice for the modern-day Exodus
"Justice for Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries has at long last become official Israeli government policy. It has taken more than sixty years, but here at Harif, the UK Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, we are celebrating this momentous event.
"No amount of grassroots campaigning could work without the official support of the Israeli government. And this week, that support came.
"On Tuesday, the deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon held a conference in Jerusalem to launch his ministry's report and recommendations for highlighting the issue of 870,000 Jewish refugees driven out of Arab countries."
Good work. Watch now while the deniers from the left get to work to counter any suggestion that there may be others apart from their beatified Palestinians with "legitimate greivances and aspirations". On another blog when I raised the matter of Jewish refugees from Iraq another commenter (from the genocidal left) claimed they left because Irgun and Mossad terrorised them by bombing their synagogues and schools.
Some weeks ago there was a film night at the Sephardic Synagogue in Sydney and Shirlee, one of the organisers, now commenting here kindly sent me a DVD of the main attraction. It's a short film, about 50 minutes, and well worth watching if you haven't seen it. Shirlee has also sent me the YouTube links:

1 comment:

  1. Our side of the story is rarely considered... even by most of us.