A few days ago, the UN heard Israel make a case that had never been before the world body. Just as several hundred thousand Palestinians are recognized as refugees who were displaced in the course of Israel’s creation, Israeli officials say, so should the UN recognize the approximately 850,000 Jews from Arab countries who came to Israel during and after the War of Independence and the Six Day War.
Convening the first-ever conference on the issue at the UN, the campaign to gain refugee status for Jews from Arabs lands – spearheaded by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon – is grabbing headlines and generating debate.
But some of the most impassioned arguments are coming from the would-be refugees and their descendants who dismiss Ayalon’s move as political maneuvering at best, and at worst, a wholesale appropriation of the truth.
A group called the Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat Gan said on Facebook last week that it is wrong to expect Jewish losses in Iraq be used to “offset” the losses Palestinians suffered in 1948 and 1967.
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