Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan inaugurated an exhibit on Tuesday highlighting the expulsion of Jews from Middle East countries, calling the story of these Jewish refugees the “real Nakba.”
The Palestinians have long used the Arabic term “Nakba,” or catastrophe, to describe Israel’s creation and the resulting displacement of some 700,000 of Palestinian Arabs during the 1948 war initiated by Arab nations to destroy the nascent Jewish state.
Marking the 75th anniversary of the U.N.’s adoption of a resolution to create Israel, Erdan said that “those who really suffered from ‘Nakba’ following the decision were Jews—almost a million were expelled from Arab countries and Iran. Since the vote [on Nov. 29, 1947,] which the Arabs rejected, the United Nations has been telling a completely false story about the ‘disaster’ the Palestinians brought upon themselves,” he added.
While the vast majority of Jewish refugees from Arab countries were absorbed into Israel, the United Nations, by contrast, created the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to tend uniquely to Palestinian refugees. Today, the organization recognizes some 5 million Palestinians as “refugees,” having effectively transformed the status into a hereditary trait applicable only to Palestinians.
“A day after the [partition] decision, Jews were violently and cruelly expelled from Arab countries and Iran. This year, after a long struggle, we managed to place an exhibition with photos that document the story of the real Nakba. I will continue to fight for the truth and against the false narrative that the Palestinians and their supporters spread,” said Erdan.
The exhibit, whose launch also coincides with Wednesday’s Day to Mark the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from Arab Countries, which has been marked annually in Israel since 2014, will run at the U.N. headquarters in New York City for one week.