Sunday, May 05, 2013

Canada: Jewish Refugees From Arab Lands Is An Important Part of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Here is an email that The Hon Jason Kenny, Senior Minister in the Harper government of Canada, sent out yesterday:

Yesterday, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development began its study on the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Between 1948 and the early 1970’s, over 850,000 Jews were displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In some instances Jewish refugees fled state-sanctioned persecution and violence, and in other instances they were expelled.

These pogroms resulted not only in the confiscation and loss of property without compensation, but in the uprooting of ancient Jewish communities from their countries of residence. Many of these once-flourishing communities no longer exist.

The Government of Canada initiated this study to learn more about this little-known, but important part of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which has not been reflected in Canadian policy.

Please feel free to follow the study and read the witness testimony at the following link:

I welcome your feedback on this matter.


Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP

Calgary Southeast
Canadian Minister Jason Kenny
Canadian Minister Jason Kenny -- supporting the rights of Jewish Refugees
from Arab Lands. Credit: Jason Kenny website

The page Kenny links to does not seem to have anything yet about testimony he refers to, but I did find the following recommendations made last year in the Canadian Parliament supporting Jewish refugees from Arab lands:

From Notice Paper No. 179, Thursday, November 8, 2012 10:00 a.m.
November 7, 2012 — Mr. Cotler (Mount Royal) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should:
  1. recognize that Jews have lived mostly as a minority in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf region for more than 2,500 years;
  2. recognize that since 1948, there have been more than 170 United Nations resolutions that have specifically dealt with the Palestinian refugee plight, yet not one resolution that makes any reference to, nor is there any expression of concern for, the plight of the 850,000 Jews displaced from Arab countries;
  3. continue to voice its concern about the mistreatment of minorities and the violation of human rights in the Middle East and elsewhere;
  4. continue to play a role in the process which seeks an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East and promote a peace that will benefit all the peoples of the region;
  5. recognize that a comprehensive peace in the region will require the resolution of all outstanding issues through bilateral and multilateral negotiations involving all concerned parties;
  6. recognize that the Arab countries' double aggression in 1947-1948 - of launching a war of aggression against the nascent Jewish State - and assaults on their own Jewish nationals - resulted in two refugee populations, Palestinian refugees and Jewish refugees from Arab countries;
  7. recognize that approximately 850,000 Jews have been forcibly displaced and exiled from Arab countries since the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948;
  8. recognize that the question of justice for Jewish refugees from Arab countries has been expunged and eclipsed from the Middle East peace and justice narrative of the last 65 years;
  9. recognize that any comprehensive Middle East peace agreement must address and resolve all outstanding issues relating to the legitimate rights of all refugees, including Jews, Christians, and other populations, displaced from countries in the Middle East;
  10. support remedies for victim refugee groups - including rights of remembrance, truth, justice and redress and express its view that these must now be invoked for Jews displaced from Arab countries;
  11. express its view that the Arab League Peace Plan of 2002 should incorporate the question of Jewish refugees from Arab countries as part of its narrative for an Israeli-Arab peace, as Israel has incorporated the issue of Palestinian refugees in its narrative for an Israeli-Arab Peace;
  12. seek that the annual November 29 commemoration by the United Nations of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People should be transformed into an International Day of Solidarity for a Two-Peoples Two-State Solution - as the initial 1947 Partition Resolution intended;
  13. make representations before appropriate bodies that jurisdiction over Palestinian refugees should be transferred from The United Nations Relief and Works Agency to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;
  14. act to ensure that any resolutions relating to the issue of Middle East refugees must also include a similarly explicit reference to the resolution of the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries in the interests of justice and equity;
  15. reaffirm its support for the position that the issue of refugees from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf must be resolved in a manner that includes recognition of the legitimate rights of and losses incurred by all refugees displaced from Arab countries, including Jews, Christians, and other groups.
We look forward to what Canada does with this.

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