Solidarity with Jewish refugees on Harry’s Place

Irwin Cotler’s eloquent piece for the Canadian National Post on the 60th anniversary of the UN Partition Plan resolution has struck a chord with David T, a regular poster on the influential website on the pro-Israel British left, Harry’s Place. It is probably the first time the Jewish refugees have ever been the subject of a post, although they have been mentioned before by commenters. (With thanks: Avril)

David T: “In the few years following the Partition Resolution of Nov. 29, 1947, in the region of 850,000 Palestinian arabs, and 850,000 Jews from Arab countries, lost their homes. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were displaced in subsequent decades, as an exclusive Arab Nationalism took place in those countries. These refugees deserve not only solidarity, and remembrance, but also security and self-determination.

“Most of those Jews from Arab states found a home in Israel, and in other countries. The lot of the Palestinian arabs was a dismal one: deprived of full citizenship rights in many of the countries in which they settled, and still without a secure, self-goverining national homeland.

“Any basis for peace and reconciliation requires not only a recognition of national rights, but also an acknowledgement of what both groups lost, sixty years ago this year.

Here’s Irwin Cotler on the subject:

Yet the revisionist Mid-East narrative continues to hold that there was only one victim population, Palestinian refugees, and that Israel was responsible for the Palestinian naqba (catastrophe) of 1947.

The result was that the pain and plight of 850,000 Jews uprooted and displaced from Arab countries — the forgotten exodus — has been expunged from the historical narrative these past 60 years. Moreover, the revisionist narrative has not only eclipsed the forgotten exodus, but denies that it was also a forced exodus, for the Arab countries not only went to war to extinguish the fledgling Jewish state, but also targeted the Jewish nationals living in their respective countries.

Indeed, evidence contained in a recent report, Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: The Case for Rights And Redress, documents for the first time a pattern of state-sanctioned repression and persecution in Arab countries — including Nuremberg-like laws — that targeted Jews, and resulted in denationalization, forced expulsions, illegal sequestration of property, arbitrary arrest and detention and the like.

These massive human rights violations were reflective of a collusive blueprint, as embodied in the Draft Law of the Political Committee of the League of Arab States. This is a story that has not been heard. It is a truth that must now be acknowledged.

Read post and comments in full*

* Of the 100 + comments, most of them sympathetic to the Jewish refugees, my favourite is this one by Paul M: “I have a solution to propose to the refugee issue: For every Mizrahi Jewish Israeli who requests repatriation to the Arab state from which he or his ancestor were expelled, one Palestinian should be admitted into Israel. That way the Palestinians have only to wait until the last Mizrahi is welcomed home to see their problems solved.”

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