Cotler: end distorted framing of final status issues

Don’t miss this Youtube video of the interviewon the prestigious Ro’im Olam (Israel Channel 11, 23 February), with former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler MP, an indefatigable campaigner for the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab Countries. (With thanks Eliyahu, Bezalal)

To a question by interviewer Yaakov Achimeyer, “Are they really refugees?” Cotler responds that the Jews from Arab countries certainly fit the international definition of a refugee: uprooted, denationalised by law, their assets plundered and sequestered.

Cotler refers to the partisan role of the UN and the draft law threatening Jewish rights in Arab countries which the Arab League prepared as early as November 1947.

But the heart of the whole matter is beautifully articulated in this exchange.

Yaakov Achimeyer:”What is the responsibility of the Israeli government? As an Israeli citizen I don’t hear the Israeli government, Israeli ministers bringing up the issue of the Jewish refugees.”

Cotler: “That’s part of the problem, a selectivity in the narrative: We talk about Palestinian refugees, not Jewish refugees; an independent Palestinian state, not the legitimacy of the Israeli state; settlements, not an end to terror and incitement.

“We need an inclusive approach to final status issues, including a reference to Jewish refugees. If you don’t, you have a false framing of the issues. If you don’t, you won’t have a just solution.”

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