Events begin worldwide to remember Jewish Refugees

Mumbai, London, Singapore, Amsterdam, Miami, San Francisco, Geneva, Washington – just some of the cities where events to remember the exodus of Jewish refugees from Arab lands are being held this week. Israel Hayom reports on forthcoming events in Israel (with thanks: Imre).

Screenshot from a video clip about Jews of Lebanon, part of a World Jewish Congress series about the exodus of Jewish refugees from Arab lands. 

Next Thursday, Israel plans to mark its
annual memorial day of the expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from Arab
states and Iran. The issue will also be commemorated around the world in
the coming week.

On Thursday,
representatives from the Aharon and Rachel Dahan Center for Culture,
Society and Education in the Sephardic Heritage at Bar-Ilan University
will take part in an event at the International Convention
Center in Jerusalem to mark the exodus and expulsion of Jews from Arab
countries and Iran.

According to Social
Equality Minister Gila Gamliel, who initiated the event, “Throughout the
70 years of the State of Israel’s existence, the story of Mizrahi Jews
has been absent from the history of the Jewish
people. We must correct that.”

Next week, the Dahan
Center will head an academic conference on the subject of Jewish
refugeeism from Arab countries at the University of Maryland in College
Park, near Washington, D.C. with the aim of exposing
the plight of those Jewish communities.

Following the
conference, the Israeli Embassy will host a special reception, to be
attended by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and Gamliel.

Events of the Day to
Mark the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from the Arab Countries and
Iran will be held in a number of international capitals next week,
including in Europe, Latin America, North America
and India next week. The events, organized by representatives of the
Foreign Ministry, will include lectures, films and musical performances.

The head of the
Foreign Ministry’s Bureau for World Jewish Affairs and World Religions
Akiva Tor said, “The Foreign Ministry sees paramount value in the
presentation of the narrative of the expulsion and refugeeism
of Jews from Arab states around the world, as a public diplomacy
response and as a commitment to historical justice.”

On Sunday, the Dahan Center at Bar-Ilan University hosted a conference ahead of the memorial day.

Speaking at the conference, Dahan Center
Director and Chairman of the Alliance of Moroccan Immigrants Dr. Shimon
Ohayon said, “For decades, the State of Israel ignored the stories of
Jews from Arab countries and thus allowed
pro-Palestinians to focus the awareness only on the Palestinian
refugees and the Nakba [the Arabic term meaning ‘catastrophe,’ for the
displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel’s War of
Independence], without any mention of the heavy price paid by
the Jews of Arab countries: pogroms, expulsion and the nationalization
of property.”

Ohayon noted that over $400 billion in Jewish property was nationalized by the Arab states.

Since the founding of
the State of Israel in 1948 to the early 1970s, around 850,000 Jews were
either expelled from or fled Arab and Muslim countries.

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