Canadian parliament calls for refugee recognition

 The reception camp for Jewish refugees in 1949, Sha’ar Ha’aliya in Haifa, Israel (photo: Robert Capa)

In many aspects of the Jewish refugee issue, the Canadians blaze the trail. A parliamentary committee has submitted its report, based on hearings it held in May 2013. We await the government’s response (with thanks: Michelle):

TORONTO (JTA) — A Canadian parliamentary committee has called on
the government to recognize the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab

A report from the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs
and International Development recommends that Ottawa “officially
recognize the experience of Jewish refugees who were displaced from
states in the Middle East and North Africa after 1948.” It also
recommends that Canada “encourage the direct negotiating parties to take
into account all refugee populations as part of any just and
comprehensive resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian and
Arab-Israeli conflicts.”

Submitted last week to Parliament, the 17-page report noted that
during the course of its hearings in May, the committee “learned of
the discrimination and hardship faced by Jewish people living in the
Middle East and North Africa in the 20th century [which] surged over the
years in tandem with the crisis moments of the Arab-Israeli conflict,
in particular the 1948-1949 and 1967 wars.

“As a result,” the report states, “almost all of the Jews in Algeria,
Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and
Yemen eventually left their homes and communities, which had existed in
the Middle East and North Africa for centuries.”

The committee heard that since 1948, some 850,000 Jews
fled persecution and violence in the Middle East and North Africa, and
that about 650,000 immigrated to Israel, while the rest settled in
other countries, including Canada.

The report stressed that “recognition of the experiences of
Jewish refugees does not diminish or compete with the situation of
Palestinian refugees.”

Read article in full

Read report here  

More about refugee hearings in Canadian Parliament  

Jerusalem Post article (with thanks: David) 


  • You can support asylum seekers by playing the Citizenship Board & App Game to test your chances of gaining citizenship in your own country, and raise awareness of the rights of asylum seekers at the same time. All profits go to agencies helping asylum seekers gaining refugee status.

  • Sultana: I am glad your family were well received in Quebec, possibly because they spoke French when they arrived, because Ashkenazic Jews, who were English speaking Quebeckers, were treated with a great deal of antisemitism under the French nationalist governments.

    Our current government has been very good on the subject of supporting Israel and being critical of the surrounding countries, despite the fact that they are criticised by the media and senior civil service for doing so.

  • A part of my family went to the French speaking part of Canada. Their life there was very pleasant and even the cold did not stop them from being happy with no one to spit of them because they were Jewish!


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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.

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