Reaction to Gamliel’s $250 billion compensation claim

Earlier this month, the sensationalist claim by Gila Gamliel (pictured), Israel’s minister for Social Equality, that Israel will be seeking $250 billionin compensation for property and assets lost by Jews driven from eight Arab countries, caused a flurry of interest in the Israeli and western media. (Note: It is not known how Gamliel arrived at this figure, nor why she left out Lebanon and Algeria from her list of countries who owe Jews compensation). Point of No Return has been looking at international reaction to the story.

Middle East Monitor quoted Al-Wattan Voice as its  source:

“The prospective American peace deal, dubbed
as the “deal of the century”, is to include that $250 billion be paid
by Arab states in compensation for Jewish property left behind after the
creation of Israel, Al-Wattan Voice said yesterday.

Reporting
Israeli media, the news site said that the occupation government had
valued Jewish property in the Arab states of Libya and Tunis to be worth
$50 billion, while Jewish property in the entire region to be $250
billion.

According to Al-Wattan Voice, talling the cost of losses began one and half a years ago secretly in Morocco, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, in addition to Iran.”

 The Russian TV channel RTbalanced Jewish with Palestinian claims:

 “Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has also sought $100 billion in
compensation from Israel for assets left by Arabs forced to leave the
lands controlled by Israel today. Palestinians have also sought a “right of return”
for the surviving refugees and their descendants — a demand that has
repeatedly been dismissed by Israel. The Trump administration also seems
to have taken Israel’s side on that issue, halting funding for the UN’s
Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) last year.”

The most  trenchant reaction came from Ramzy Baroud writing in Arab News.In an article titled The moral travesty of Israel seeking Arab, Iranian compensation, Baroud denied the Jewish exodus altogether:

“Contrary to what Israeli historians want us to believe, there was no
mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries and Iran, but rather a massive
campaign orchestrated by Zionist leaders of the time to replace the
Palestine Arab population with Jewish immigrants from all over the
world.

To hold Arabs and Iran responsible for this bizarre and irresponsible
behavior is a transgression on the true story, in which neither Gamliel
nor her ministry are interested.”

The same article by Baroud turned up on Arab Media Internet Network 

 as well as at the Palestine Chronicle,The Jordan Times at Five Pillars and at the leftist Counterpunch.

The Jewish refugee question must have been giving  Baroud sleepless nights because here is his article again on 30 January in a slightly re-worked version in Gulf News.

 While Africa News  and Morocco World News published the news report without editorialising, Yabiladi (‘Israel demands billions from Morocco’) was concerned that Morocco was implicated ‘in violent riots that swept the region following the establishment of the state of Israel’. It was keen to provide an explanation for the rioters’ anger:

For the record, 2,000 Moroccan
Jews fled the Kingdom in 1948, crossing into Algeria after a series of riots
took place in the cities of Jerada and Oujda.

On the 7th and 8th of June 1948,
an outraged group of people in Jerada and Oujda surrounded the Jewish
population of the two cities killing 42 individuals and injuring 29 others. 5
Moroccan Jews were savagely murdered in Oujda and 37 others were beaten to
death by the population of Jerada.

The riots emerged after the residents
of the two northeastern towns, were angrily influenced by the situation in the
Middle East and the formation of the State of Israel.

The Jewish cemetery at Oujda, Morocco,  where dozens of Jews were buried after riots in 1948

Middle East Online published an article headed ‘Arab states unlikely to pay Israel for loss of Jewish assets‘ (Also at Controversial Today)

LONDON – Israel is reportedly planning to seek an estimated $250
billion from Arab countries and Iran in compensation for assets left by
Jews who fled their homes in Middle Eastern countries after the founding
of Israel in 1948.

The request, if it’s officially made by Israel, is unlikely to
receive approval from Arab countries embroiled in economic troubles or
civil strife.

Compensation is to be requested from Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt,
Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran, said a report by private Israeli television
station HaHadashot. The report added that Algeria and Lebanon, would
not be asked for funds. It did not say why.

“The time has come to correct the historical injustice of the pogroms
in seven Arab countries and Iran and to restore the hundreds of
thousands of Jews who have lost their property to what is rightfully
theirs,” Israel’s Minister for Social Equality Gila Gamliel told
HaHadashot.

No Arab country has officially responded to the comments of the Israeli Minister for Social Equality.

For the record,
2,000 Moroccan Jews fled the Kingdom in 1948, crossing into Algeria
after a series of riots took place in the cities of Jerada and Oujda.

On the 7th and 8th of June 1948, an outraged group of people in
Jerada and Oujda surrounded the Jewish population of the two cities
killing 42 individuals and injuring 29 others. 5 Moroccan Jews were
savagely murdered in Oujda and 37 others were beaten to death by the
population of Jerada.

The riots emerged after the residents of the two northeastern towns,
were angrily influenced by the situation in the Middle East and the
formation of the State of Israel.

…More : https://en.yabiladi.com/articles/details/73031/israel-demand-billion-from-morocco.html

For the record,
2,000 Moroccan Jews fled the Kingdom in 1948, crossing into Algeria
after a series of riots took place in the cities of Jerada and Oujda.

On the 7th and 8th of June 1948, an outraged group of people in
Jerada and Oujda surrounded the Jewish population of the two cities
killing 42 individuals and injuring 29 others. 5 Moroccan Jews were
savagely murdered in Oujda and 37 others were beaten to death by the
population of Jerada.

The riots emerged after the residents of the two northeastern towns,
were angrily influenced by the situation in the Middle East and the
formation of the State of Israel.

…More : https://en.yabiladi.com/articles/details/73031/israel-demand-billion-from-morocco.html

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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.

Point of No Return

Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

One-stop blog on the Middle East's
forgotten Jewish refugees - updated daily.