A much forgotten historical fact that is finally coming of age and itís time it got its rightful attention. The imbalance of the Middle East narrative is sorely lacking the attention of the main stream media; only one side of the story is repeatedly being told and history mandates a more balanced perspective.
The NY Post columnist shed a small light on the recent marriage of convenience of the political right & left in the US Congress that came together to right the imbalance of the Middle East narrative. Itís about time that justice is doled out in equal proportion to all the Refugees of the Middle East.
Following is the full transcript of Op Ed article of the NY Post: THE FORGOTTEN REFUGEES
By ABBY WISSE SCHACHTER
Nadler: Pushing for Mideast justice.
June 12, 2006 -- OK, politics makes for strange bedfellows - but the pairing
of lefty Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) and righty Sen. Rick Santorum
(R-Pa.) has got to take the cake. The cause? Middle East refugees.
Specifically, non-Palestinian Middle East refugees - Jews and Christians.
As Nadler put it in a press release, "When the Middle East peace process is
discussed, Palestinian refugees are often addressed. However, Jewish
refugees [from the 1948 war, when the Arab states attacked the just-declared
state of Israel] outnumbered Palestinian refugees, and their forced exile
from Arab lands must not be omitted from public discussion on the peace
process. It is simply not right to recognize the rights of Palestinian
refugees without recognizing the rights of Jewish refugees," said Nadler.
So along with Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Reps. Michael Ferguson (R-N.J.), Tom Lantos
(D-Calif.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Nadler and Santorum have
introduced a bill to instruct U.S. diplomats how to handle the debate over
Middle East refugees in international forums.
Under the resolutions, when the subject of Middle East refugees is raised
at, say, the United Nations, U.S. representatives must ensure "that any
explicit reference to Palestinian refugees is matched by a similar explicit
reference to Jewish and other refugees, as a matter of law and equity."
The fate of Palestinians who fled or were forced out of the Jewish state in
1948 has been touted as a major issue ever since - a problem that, it's
argued, Israel is responsible for solving.
Ignored is the fate of all the Jews who at the same time were expelled or
forced to flee from their homelands - the Arab countries of the Middle East
and North Africa. The group Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (which is
pressing for the Nadler-Santorum bill) says that 850,000 Jews were "uprooted
from Arab countries" in 1948 whereas (by U.N. estimates) some 726,000
Palestinians became refugees in that same year.
Jews who had lived for generations in countries like Syria, Lebanon, Iraq,
Iran, Morocco and Libya were made to leave their birth countries as soon as
Israel was declared, most without their belongings or having been
compensated for their lost property or lost income.
In fact, the two situations aren't parallel - and the difference is pretty
telling. The Jewish refugees were resettled - mostly in Israel, the United
States and elsewhere - and have become citizens of those countries. In other
words, friendly nations helped them move on with their lives.
Not so, the Palestinians: Back in '48, the United Nations took up the task,
not of resettling them in other Arab nations, but of maintaining them in
refugee camps. For six decades, their "friends" have sacrificed these
Palestinians' future in order to keep the grievance alive as a political
The Arab League issued instructions barring the Arab states from granting
citizenship to Palestinian refugees (or their descendants) "to avoid
dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their
homeland." Jordan is the only country to grant citizenship rights to
Palestinian refugees; its population is now more than half "Palestinian."
And the United Nations has kept on obliging this Arab intransigence - so
that today there are some 4.1 million "stateless" Palestinians (mostly the
descendents of the original refugees) living in retched towns (they're only
called camps) across the Middle East.
Few Jews would want to return to the Arab states that exiled them or their
ancestors. Meanwhile, the Arab world's intransigence has worked - insofar as
most world diplomats now assume that the fate of millions of Palestinian
refugees must be decided by Israel and the Palestinian Authority as part of
any comprehensive peace settlement.
Raising the profile of "Jewish refugees" may be a longshot for shifting
those expectations, but Santorum sees it as necessary: "For any
comprehensive Middle East peace agreement to be credible, durable and
enduring, **[to] constitute an end to conflict in the Middle East and
provide for finality of all claims, the agreement must address and resolve
all outstanding issues, including the legitimate rights of all peoples
displaced from Arab countries."
Pushing for actual justice in Mideast diplomacy? Well, it's worth a try.
... Introduction copyright 2006 by the author. A NY Post Article copyright 2006 by NY Post and Abby Wisse Schachter. Please forward this article by email with this notice.
Other articles on the same subject of Jews from Arab Countries in Zionation web log:
The forgotten Refugees- Zionism-Israel Web Log
Justice for Jews from Arab Countries- Zionism-Israel Web Log
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