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Ayalon Addresses Conference on Jewish Refugees

Published on: September 23, 2012

Diplomats from over two dozen countries came together on Friday, September 21, in a conference on the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries held at the UN’s New York headquarters.  Families and children of such refugees addressed the conference and shared their stories of persecution and loss.

“We are 64 years late, but we are not too late,” said Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who asked UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to “place the issue of Jewish refugees on the agenda of the UN and its affiliated forums.”

“For many reasons, This issue was never emphasized enough,” Ayalon said. “Without too much mea culpa for the government of Israel, this was not brought up enough. We have decided to bring it up, to flush out the truth.”

The campaign “Justice for Jews from Arab Countries,” or JJAC, was founded by the New York-based Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, with the goal of gaining recognition from the international community of the suffering of the  over 800,000 Jews who fled Arab states due to riots, pogroms and discrimination after the   establishment of Israel in 1948.

Irwin Cotler, a Canadian MP and former justice minister, and a well-known advocate on the issue, spoke at the event, as did Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and others.

“Our primary reason for launching this very important campaign is to help the Jews who suffered persecution and lost so much when they fled or were expelled from their homes.  Moreover, the Jewish people as a whole should be familiar with these Exodus stories.  They are part of our history and who we are,” said Ayalon.

Ayalon added, “I hope that within a matter of weeks to pass a resolution in the Knesset to mark a day for memorial for our brothers and sisters from Arab countries. On this day schools will teach about it. It will be debated.

Deputy Minister Ayalon is committed to seeking justice “year after year” if need be.  “This conference will not be a one-time event.  We owe it to the refugees, their families, and the Jewish people as a whole to remain dedicated to this cause until justice prevails.”

Yisrael Beytenu, All rights reserved