How much did the Jews lose?

How many Jewish refugees were there? 870,000 (not including refugees from Iran). [Palestinian refugees: estimates vary between 400,000 and 700,000.]

How much did the Jews lose? No official figures exist. The property and belongings of the Jewish refugees, confiscated by the Arab governments, has been conservatively estimated at about $2.5 billion in 1948 dollars. Invest that money at a modest 6.5% over 57 years and you have today a sum of $80 billion.

In an interview in June 2007, ‘Righting a historical injustice’, Dr Heskel Haddad of WOJAC estimated that the value of Jewish property seized at today’s prices is between $200 and 300 billion. In an article dated 13 February 2003, Itamar Levin of Globes Online estimated the value of Jewish property lost at $30 billion, with that seized in Iraq, Syria and Egypt alone at between $8 – $10 billion. Article in French here.

Some claim that Jewish property lost in Iraq alone amounts to $20 billion.

Palestinians: in the early 1950s, the UN Conciliation Commission for Palestineestimated the value of lost Palestinian property at £122 million, or approximately $1.85 billion 1990 US dollars. This was the only independent study ever done of Palestinian losses. In 1999, the Palestinians presented a $670 billion compensations claim before the European Union Commission for lost assets, use of those assets and emotional distress (p.223 Locked doors by Itamar Levin).

Jewish-owned land lost in Arab countries:38,625 sq miles
[By way of comparison, Israel’s total land area is 7,992 square miles.] WOJAC has also estimated deeded property lost in Arab lands to cover 100,000 sq.km. According to a UN report of 20 November 1951, Palestinian land lost amounted to 6,3027 sq.miles (16,324 sq km), of which 1,766 sq. miles were cultivable.]

Background reading:
Jewish property in Iraq, Egypt and Syria:can it be retrieved in court? by Itamar Levin ( Justice no.36, summer 2003, page 9)Israel tallies up compensation claimsby Iraqi Jews by Michael Fischbach (book review here)
Locked doors:the seizure of Jewish property in Arab lands by Itamar Levin – book review
BICOM report: The Middle East’s ignored Jewish refugees
Private property: keep out!by Peter Hirschberg
Jews who fled Arab lands now press their cause– San Francisco Chronicle
The other side of the refugee coin– Time magazine
Other must-readarticles

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This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

Point of No Return

Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

One-stop blog on the Middle East's
forgotten Jewish refugees - updated daily.