Israel pushing for summit on Jewish refugees

( Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has been pushing for the UN to hold a summit in September on the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

The summit’s main goal would be to address the issue of Jewish property rights, according to a report in Yedioth Ahronoth. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that between 1948 and 1951 about 850,000 Jews were expelled or forced out of Arab nations, losing an estimated $700 million in property ($6 billion today).  Most of these refugees were absorbed by Israel, where today they comprise over half the population.

A number of Arab news outlets have misrepresented this development, particularly in Egypt and Algeria. A headline in Egypt’s Al Youm al-Saba newspaper said, “Israel enlisting the world to recognize Egyptian Jews and Jews from Arab countries as ‘refugees’.” An Algerian newspaper said, “Israeli threats demanding that Algeria and the Arab nations compensate Jews have begun to sound serious.”

Israel has been attempting to mount a campaign to link Arab discussion of alleged Palestinian refugee rights from 1948 to the rights of Jewish refugees. 

Posted on August 26, 2012 .