Skip to comments.Jews expelled from Arab countries accuse Arab regimes of ethnic cleansing
Posted on 06/25/2003 11:16:43 AM PDT by yonif
Linda Menuchum was born in Iraq in 1950. Her father, a prominent Jewish lawyer, was abducted and executed by the Iraqi government in 1972.
"After 1963, Jews were forbidden to leave the country," recalled Menuchum, who told her tearful story for the first time on Wednesday morning at Jerusalem's David Citadel Hotel, where Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) which was founded only 18 months ago - presented their case for the rights and redress of Jewish refugees from Arab States, based on evidence pointing to collusion against Jews by Arab governments, compiled by 22 leading international law and human rights experts.
"It was in 1968 when the radio reports started to be very harsh on Jews. They were really inciting people against us," said Menuchum, whose father stayed in Iraq after she fled with her mother, brother and sister to Iran in 1970, wherefrom the family eventually made its way to Israel.
"At that time, Jews who were living in houses were given one month to leave. It was not permitted to travel more than 100 kilometers from the place where we lived. Those who worked in the private sector found themselves out of a job. Jews were not permitted to enter university. Several were taken in for interrogation. Phone lines were cut."
Menuchum is one of over 850,000 Jews who have been displaced from Arab countries since 1948, according to the JJAC report which states that 97% of Jews from Arab lands have left their countries of origin, leaving a mere 8,000-member population behind.
"This report presents a damning indictment of the Arab world for the mass violations of human rights and for the coordinated, repressive measures to drive out their Jewish populations or to hold them as political hostages," said Executive Director of JJAC, Stanley Urman, who listed intimidation, beating, persecution, pogroms and the enactment of Nuremberg-type laws among the State-sanctioned tactics perpetrated by the governments of Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Aden, Syria and Lebanon.
"It presents a damning indictment of the international community, for its disproportionate and favorable treatment towards Palestinian refugees and their failure to respond to the plight of Jewish refugees," he said, referring to the fact that Israel has become a safe-haven for over 600,000 Jewish refugees.
"The time has come to restore the plight and the truth and the justice of Jewish refugees from Arab lands to the Middle East narrative from which they have been expunged and eclipsed," added Member of Parliament of Canada and Honorary JJAC Chairman, Professor Irwin Cotler, who charged that Arab regimes were guilty of "a pattern of ethnic cleansing" and "criminal conspiracy in dealing with their native Jewish populations.
"Any narrative of the Middle East including the Roadmap that does not include justice for Jewish refugees from Arab lands, is a case study in Middle East revisionism. It's an assault on truth and memory and justice," said Cotler, who accused the United Nations of singling out Israel for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena.
"Since 1947, there have been some 687 resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, which have dealt with the Arab-Israeli conflict," explained Cotler. "101 of those resolutions dealt with the question of refugees. All 101 dealt with Palestinian refugees only. Not one resolution dealt with the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab lands."
There would not be an Arab refugee problem if the Arabs had not rejected the UN partition plan, he said.
"The biggest mistake we made," said Former Speaker of the Knesset and member of the JJAC's Advisory Legal Committee Shlomo Hillel, at the organization's presentation to President Katsav on Wednesday, "was that we allowed the development of the concept that the Palestinian refugee problem is the consequence of the establishment of Israel."
Those who waged war in the aftermath of the UN Resolution of the partition of Palestine are the ones responsible for the refugee problem, he said.
While the UN has spent billions on the Palestinian refugees, it has not allocated a single cent for Jewish refugees from Arab lands. "We had refugees in transit camps that were not funded by the UN," said Hillel.
"This raises serious questions of the appropriateness of the United Nations having a role in the quartet," said Cotler. "Until the UN assumes its responsibility for the pursuit of justice in the proper duty of remembrance, in the right of redress, we are speaking of an issue of misrepresentation."
The JJAC will in the coming week distribute its findings to the governments of the United States, Canada and England in the hopes of raising awareness and motivating them to apply diplomatic pressure on Arab states to acknowledge the legitimacy of their Jewish refugees and to supply them with adequate compensation.
Another example of how stupid the UN is. I wish they'd all pack up and go home to their tawdry disgusting little countries.