The term ‘refugee’ is synonymous with Palestinian

With thanks: Imre 

Last week, special events were held at the UN in New York and at the Israeli Knesset to commemorate the exodus of 856,000 Jewish refugees.

 The Jerusalem Postsays removing the refugee barrier to peace by giving prominence to the Jewish Nakba could kickstart the peace process:

 

 The 856,000 Jewish refugees have lost $700 million or $6 billion at today’s prices:

On November 30, the Israeli Mission to the UN held an event to honor
the untold stories of some 850,000 Jewish refugees who were forced to
flee their native Muslim countries following the creation of the State
of Israel in 1948.

This annual commemoration could become a key
to resuming peace talks with the Palestinians, if it is utilized to
resolve the refugee issue – Palestinian and Jewish refugees – once and
for all and remove it from the agenda, where it has been another
obstacle to overcome.

This is not going to be easy. While there
have been several legislative gains on the issue, both in the US and
Israel, the Palestinian propaganda juggernaut has persuaded world
public opinion that the term “refugee” is synonymous with the term
“Palestinian.” A massive counter effort is required, not by the usual
perpetrators of the unfortunately named “public diplomacy,” but by
public relations professionals.

The Palestinian Nakba narrative
must be seen in direct parallel to the Jewish Nakba. The basic facts of
the history of this conflict must become known so that the world
recognizes that two peoples suffered and were uprooted.

To do
less would be to accept wholesale the narrative of unique suffering
that the Palestinian national movement has been using as a propaganda
weapon for decades.

More to the point, the Palestinians have
made a growth industry out of refugeeism. The United Nations estimates
that, upon the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, 726,000
Palestinians became refugees. In 2012, the number of registered
patrilineal descendants of the original “Palestine refugees” was
estimated to be 4,950,000, according to UNRWA.

No other people
in the world are considered fourth-generation refugees. This is one
delusion that must be dispelled before this issue can be resolved.
Unfortunately, it has become part of a basic package of Palestinian
delusions that must also be overcome. The principal one is that we
don’t belong here from time immemorial; another would require the
Palestinians to accept responsibility for causing the Palestinian and
Jewish refugee problems in the first place, and accept UN Resolution
181 that was meant to create the original two-state solution.

According
to Jews for Justice from Arab Countries, at the same time Palestinians
were suffering their Nakba, Arab and Muslim states displaced 856,000
Jewish citizens, in many cases seizing their personal and communal
assets.

  Arutz Sheva reports on a special Knesset debate on Jewish refugees: 

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said at the start of the session that
“despite the subject’s great importance in the ongoing debate on the
Israeli-Arab conflict, it has usually been pushed to the sidelines, and
maybe this is not a coincidence.”

“In almost every debate on the proper way to settle the dispute
between us and the Arab or Palestinian population in Israel, the element
of refugees keeps coming up: those Arabs who lives in cities and
villages inside Israel in the past, mostly before the War of
Independence, and ran away or were driven out.”

“The Palestinian leadership does not let go of its demand that they
be recognized – a demand that has made all negotiation impossible until
now, even when governments were in place that made very far-reaching
offers. Exaggerated as it may be, this demand is also unjust in that it
ignores the other side of the equation – the Jewish refugees who lived
in the Arab countries and were driven out of there.”

MK Yuli Edelstein at the Knesset debate (photo: Hadas Paras)

Israel Today reports on the 1 December UN event:

On December 1, a special panel
dealing with “The untold story of the Middle East: Justice for Jewish
Refugees from Arab Countries” was held up at the United Nations.
Important as this panel is, is how the UN chose to deal with this issue.

This was the third panel held by the UN that commemorates the 856,000
Jewish refugees who were displaced from Arab countries during the 20th
century. November 30th was legislated by the Knesset as the day for
marking this day only in 2014.

Arutz Shevareports that Israel is a victim of its own success:

The story of the ancient Jewish refugees from Arab countries was told
by renowned journalists Ben Dror Yemini, whose family fled from Yemen,
and David Suissa, who emigrated with his family from Morocco.

“When you think about a country of 600,000 people, a very poor one
and just born, to absorb that amount of Jewish refugees in 3-4 years, it
is not easy,” Yemini said. “Mistakes were made too, but at the end,
when you look at how all that was achieved upon eventually, you will
find that it is a huge achievement. We have to be proud.”

From left to right, columnist Ben Dror Yemini, Conference of Presidents head Malcolm Hoenlein, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, Minister Gila Gamliel, WJC President Robert Singer and newspaper proprietor David Suissa

“We live in a world that if you want to be popular you need to look
really weak and powerless,” Suissa added. “In many ways, Israel is
victim of its own success – because today, if you look powerful and
successful, that’s not how you buy yourself sympathy, and the
Palestinians have figured that out: that the more powerless they look,
the more they look like victims, the more sympathy they will get from
the world.”

“So whenever we try to come across with the message that we were
victims too, it doesn’t resonate in a natural way with people,” he
continued. “That’s why I think that the story of the Jewish Nakba, for me, what resonates is that this is how you deal with refugees.”

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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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Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

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