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How about compensation for Jewish refugees who fled Arab lands?

Reader comment on item: Bush Promotes a Palestinian "Right of Return"

Submitted by Michael P Biber (United States), Jan 14, 2008 at 11:45

As the Bush team includes the "right of return" as a topic for negotiation advocates for fairness for Jews and Israel must emphasize the exodus of ~700,000 Jews from Arab countries after Israel achieved its statehood. The forebears of these refugees had lived in predominantly Arab lands for centuries, and, in some areas, millenia, long before the advent of Islam.

Usually, under Islamic rule, they were treated as second class citizens despite their contributions to culture, science and commerce. Discrimination and sometimes persecution of Jews in Arab countries intensified during the migration of predominantly European Jews to Palestine during the first half of the 20th century, peaking after Israel declared its independence.

Most Jews who fled Arab countries in 1948 and after were forced to abandon their homes, businesses and other properties. They were not compensated. They were not supported by UN agencies. Most Jews who left Arab countries settled in Israel with the support of their fellow Jews in Israel and elsewhere. Arab refugees from Palestine were not resettled in Arab countries.

Instead most have remained in refugee camps and over intervening years, their grievances were exploited by often demagogic and corrupt leaders fueling their resentment and fury, making their suffering the focus of hundreds of millions of Muslims and others. Most Americans who are passionate about the Middle East are not aware of the Jewish refugee crisis but are continually reminded about the sad fate of the Arabs who formerly lived in Palestine. This imbalance needs to be redressed.

George W. Bush and James Baker have shown their true colors.

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