Israel’s UN envoy intends to fight for justice for Jewish refugees

The signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel and certain Arab states has brought about a sea change in their relationship. But as far as the way Jews of the Middle East are viewed, it is not enough. In this significant Israel Hayom piece, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s UN ambassador who was recently elected of one 21 annual vice-presidents – a role which allows him to  help set the agenda – says he is determined to raise awareness of the forgotten Jewish  refugees from Arab countries and the billions of dollars’ worth of plundered Jewish property. (With thanks: Imre)

'UN must recognize Jews from Middle East countries as refugees'
Israel’s UN ambassador Gilad Erdan: building on the Abraham Accords (Photo: Shahar Azran)

One of the main events Erdan organized was a special demonstration outside the UN headquarters on Nov. 29, 2021, in response to the “Solidarity with the Palestinian People” conference that was held the same day in the UN General Assembly. The goal of the conference – which was attended by the president of the General Assembly, the president of the Security Council, and the Palestinian Authority envoy – was to strengthen support for “right of return” for Palestinians.

During the protest, Erdan sent trucks onto the streets of New York decorated with signs, and when they arrived at the UN headquarters, they displayed pictures of Jews expelled from Arab countries. The ambassador also attacked the UN for ignoring of the story of the expulsion of Jews and the plunder of their property.

“The UN strengthens the false and dangerous narrative of the Palestinians,” he declared. “In doing so it erases the Jewish history, distorts the truth and silences the tragic stories of the Jewish refugees – we won’t allow it to cause their stories to be forgotten. On Nov. 29, the day on which the Jews’ right to a state was recognized, and the day on which the Arabs and the Palestinians rejected the decision and tried to annihilate us – the UN dares to support only Palestinians and to promote the imaginary ‘right of return’ that would lead to the elimination of the Jewish State. What a disgrace!”

“Since that moving day that I was privileged to be a part of, when on the White House lawn, the historic Abraham Accords were signed with Bahrain and the UAE, more than a year has passed,” says Erdan. “We have managed to do so much: relations with the [Abraham Accords] countries have become closer with economic, cultural and strategic partnerships, and we have gone from being ‘friends on paper’ to becoming ‘real friends.’

“Since then, I’ve held joint meetings and events with Abraham Accords countries, including one mark International Women’s Day with the Moroccan ambassador to the United States, lighting Hanukkah candles with the Moroccan ambassador to the UN, planting a tree in honor of Earth Day with the Emirati ambassador to the United States – countries with whom we never dreamed we would achieve such intimacy.”

But as far as a change in how Jews from Middle East countries are viewed, Erdan says “it’s still not enough.”

“Although I held the protest event and I have worked to raise awareness of the issue, I intend to fight more – it’s just the beginning of the struggle,” he says, promising he will “utilize all the platforms – including the General Assembly that will take place in June and the different meetings that will be part of it – in order to place this important issue on the daily agenda, and to put forward a significant resolution at the UN for recognizing the Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran.”

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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.