This map has been circulating on the internet lately. Some of the figures are not quite accurate, but the principle is correct.
It is high time to end the world’s unbearable silence and unwillingness to consider the question of Jewish refugees, and to treat them as part of a final Middle East peace settlement, argues Michael Curtis in the Gatestone Institute journal (with thanks: Michelle, Eliyahu):
In the 20th century, both before and after the creation of
Israel, in a number of Arab countries Jews were threatened —
physically, economically, and socially. Jews there experienced riots,
mass arrests, confiscation of property, economic boycotts, and limits on
employment in many occupations. They also endured limits on admission
to colleges, and on personal movement, as well as pogroms which occurred
in Libya, Syria, Morocco, and especially Iraq, where in the space of
two days in June 1941, in Baghdad, a pogrom, known as the Farhud, took
place: under the pro-Nazi regime of Rashid Ali al-Gaylani, 179 Jews were
murdered and 600 injured by rioters.
In Libya, in 1945, rioters in Tripoli killed more than 140 Jews. A
number of other Arab countries saw Jews murdered, kidnapped, and in
general encounter discrimination, expulsion, and exclusion from
The Arab League countries decided to take away the citizenship of
their Jews. Iraq deprived its Jews of their citizenship in 1950, and of
their property in 1951. Egypt and Libya issued laws that “Zionists” were
not nationals. They disregarded Jews having lived in those countries
for more than a thousand years before the birth of Muhammad in 570, and
the emergence of Islam in the 7th century.
With the creation of Israel in 1948, Jews in Arab and Islamic Middle
East countries experienced spoliation, organized discrimination,
violence, attacks and pogroms.
Libya in 1961 deprived the less than 10% of the Jews who had remained
there of their citizenship, as did Algeria in 1962. Iraq seized the
property of Jews. As a result, Jews began leaving, were driven out, or
were brought out.
By the mid 1970s almost all Jews — more than 850,000
— had left those countries. According to figures and analysis provided
by “Justice for Jews from Arab Countries,” and by Stanley Urman, its
executive vice president, the largest numbers came from Morocco
(265,000); Algeria (140,000); Iraq (135,000), and Tunisia (105,000).
Almost all of the 55,000 Jews living in Yemen were taken to Israel by
the air operation, “Magic Carpet.” About 130,000 Jews were airlifted
from Iraq to Israel.
Today, fewer than 4,500 Jews remain in Arab countries. Israel absorbed and integrated 600,000 of the more than 850,000 who left.
It is high time to end the virtual silence and unwillingness to
consider the question of Jewish refugees, and to recognize that they
should be part of any final resolution of the Middle East refugee
problem. The crucial United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 of
November 22 1967 mentioned that a comprehensive peace settlement should
include “a just settlement of the refugee problem.” It was Arthur
Goldberg, the U.S. representative to the UN largely responsible for
drafting the Resolution, who clarified that the language referred “both
to Arab and Jewish refugees, for about an equal number of each abandoned
their homes as a result of the several wars.”
The implication was that
any arrangements made would apply to all — not only Arab — refugees in
the Middle East.
This point of view is reflected in both bilateral and multilateral
agreements. The Camp David Framework for Peace in the Middle East of
1978, Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979, the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty
of 1994, the Madrid Conference of 1991-92, and the Israel-Palestinian
Agreements beginning in 1993, including the Declaration of Principles of
September 1993 and the Interim Agreement of September 1995, all
articulated similar language.
Similarly, the UNHCR announced on two occasions, in February 1957 and
in July 1967, that Jews who had fled from Arab countries “may be
considered prima facie within the mandate of this office,” thus
regarding them, according to international law, as bona fide refugees.
In any settlement, the property abandoned by Jews would need to be
taken into account. Calculation of this, although not easy, has been
assessed as some $300 billion; and Jewish-owned real estate — about
four times the size of Israel — at about $6 billion.
The international community is long overdue, in dealing with the
Palestinian refugees, to see that equity prevails. It should be
conscious of the rights of Jewish refugees, who, as a result of Arab and
Islamic behavior, have suffered by being deprived of rights and
property. The international community should also call for redress for
these descendants. Some form of compensation is due the Jewish refugees;
and discussion of it should be part of final status talks in the