´Israel making threats over compensation for Jews´ (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Elior Levy Published: 08.17.12, 11:00)
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Summit on Jewish refugees from Arab countries making waves in Arab
media; claim Israeli deputy foreign minister´s initiative an attempt
to demand compensation, play down Palestinian refugees
The Arab media was up in arms this week over a plan spearheaded by
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to hold a summit on the issue of
Jewish refugees from Arab countries at the UN in September.
The summit´s main purpose is to push forward the matter of property
rights of Jewish refugees who were forced to flee Arab countries
after the establishment of the state of Israel and to turn the Jewish
refugee issue into a bargaining chip which would make it clear that
if the Palestinians voice demands for refugee compensation – demands
would also be made from the Israeli side.
Sky News´ Arabia channel aired a feature on the issue under the
headline: "Israel´s campaign for property compensation for Jews from
Arab countries." A senior official at the Foreign Ministry was
interviewed in the feature and claimed that UN Security Council
Resolution 242 which was made after the Six Day War focused on
justice for refugees in general, and nor specifically Palestinian or
Hanna Issa, a Palestinian expert on International Law shared his
thoughts on the Israeli campaign: "The minute Israel felt there was a
decision pressuring it to recognize Palestinian rights, it raised the
Jewish problem at an international level so that the matter of
Palestinian refugees would be put at the same level as the matter of
Jewish refuges, but the issue is baseless.
The reporter behind the Sky News story said that the "Israeli
campaign comes at a time when Palestinians are trying to achieve
observer status in the UN."
Russia al-Youm, Russia´s Arabic website dedicated an article to the
issue and interviewed Palestinian officials including researcher
Hamad al-Muad who has written dozens of articles and books on Israel
and the right of return.
He believes that "Palestinian refugees are not responsible for the
property of Jews from Arab countries. They didn´t take control of it
and the issues of Palestinian property and Jewish property cannot be
He further explained that "Israel is trying to claim that Arab
countries expelled Jews so they are responsible for compensating them
for their lost property. The reality shows that Israel was the one
encouraging them to emigrate and created gangs and movements in
Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco to ease Jewish immigration."
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon refuted the allegations, he told
Ynet: "There is no basis to this fallacious claim that Jewish
organizations pressured refugees into leaving, and even if they did
do so, it does not mean they (the Jews) should have been forced to
leave everything behind while having their citizenship revoked and
being murdered in pogroms."
According to Ayalon, the State of Israel and other Jewish
organizations called on the Jews to make aliyah after their
citizenship was revoked. "One of the purposes (of the current
initiative) is that there be no permanent agreement without refugee
compensation – both Palestinian and Jewish."
Egypt´s press has recently shown a great deal of interest in the
matter. Several papers have written that following the July 1971
revolution in the country, Jewish property devolved to state
ownership under law. The press estimated the property to be worth 1
billion Egyptian Lira.
The local Egyptian press also noted that at the beginning of the
1950s there were some 100,000 Jews in Egypt of which only 25 remain
in Egypt today. They are claiming that Israel is demanding the rights
to some $21 billion worth of property in the old Jewish quarter of
Cairo, including the large Adly Street Synagogue.
Egyptian media also quoted Israeli reports on the campaign. The Al
Youm al-Saba newspaper carried the headline: "Israel enlisting the
world to recognize Egyptian Jews and Jews from Arab countries
The story also caught the attention of Algerian newspapers who
claimed that Israel was seeking compensation for Jews who fled
Algeria. The opening paragraph claims that Israeli threats demanding
that Algeria and the Arab nations compensate Jews have begun to sound
serious. Roi Kais contributed to the report (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth
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