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How Israel uses Arab-Jews to evade justice for Palestinian refugees

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Several years ago I was asked to participate in a panel about the movie “Farewell Baghdad” in Berlin. The Jewish Museum in Berlin who organized the event also invited the Israeli Embassy. In front of the cinema representatives of the Embassy were distributing pamphlets titled “Remembering the ‘Forgotten’ Jewish Refugees”.  I was stunned. Since when did the Israeli establishment care about Arab-Jews? 

I spent 12 years in the Israeli school system and never heard the Arab Jewish narrative. It wasn’t until university that I learned that Ben-Gurion’s government made a deal with Nuri al-Said’s Iraqi government where Iraqi Jews would immigrate to the new Israeli state so that the Zionist regime could bolster its Jewish population, and in turn they would be forced to leave their property to the Iraqi state. I learned about the 1950–51 Baghdad bombings that were possibily connected to the Mossad.  Israeli sociologist Yehouda Shenhav says there was a direct connection between the bombings in Baghdad and the Jewish registration rate to leave the country from March 1950 to June 1951. It’s clear we cannot rule out the possibility that the Zionist emissaries used the incidents to frighten hesitant Jews and prod them to leave the country.

Just before the panel started the organizers asked me not to talk about the history of Iraqi Jews from a perspective critical of Zionism. They asked me to speak in a “personal” way about my experience as an Iraqi Jew. I went up on stage and tried my best not to talk about the deal or the story of the bombs. But when the Embassy representatives talked about the lost property of the Arab Jews, I couldn’t hold back. I said they were using the property of the Iraqi Jews in the rather cynical way, simply to silence the Palestinian demand for their own lost property. And then, as if on cue, the Israeli ambassador who sat in the first row like a communist commissar got to his feet and left the discussion with dozens of his staff and security guards. I am for the return of the property of the Arab-Jews but not in relation to the property of the Palestinians. One injustice shouldn’t be on the back of another one. It isn’t only a demand for the money but of an acceptance in the Jewish life of the Arab states.

Now, earlier this month, the The Times of Israel reported that Danny Danon, the Israeli Ambassador to the U.N., told the UN General Assembly that he plans to propose a resolution about what he called “the ‘forgotten’ Jewish refugees” to counter what Israel sees as a one-sided focus on Palestinian refugees. Danon himself has Arab roots, as his father was born in Egypt. “We don’t hear the international community speak of them when they discuss the refugees of the conflict, perhaps because it doesn’t serve the Palestinian narrative,” Danon said. A week later it was reported in Israel Hayom that lost Jewish property in Arab countries is estimated at $150 billion, and the paper offered an exclusive glimpse into a classified government project seeking to assess the scope of property left behind by Jews who were expelled or fled Arab nations and Iran. “We may be able to right a historical wrong,” the minister said. So now this cynical use of Arab Jewish property has become an official governmental policy.

Danny Danon, and the white Ashkenazi establishment in Israel, is manipulating the Arab-Jewish narrative for several purposes. 

First, they aim to silence the demands of the Palestinian refugees. They want my community to block the way of compensation, or any kind of historic justice, for the Palestinians (I have already lived on their land for far too many years). Danon and his partners know well: No Arab country will pay $150 billion to the Jews of North African and Middle Eastern states. 

Secondly, Israel is using the issue to win the support of its oppressed masses of Arab-Jews. The community, which has historically been ignored by the Israeli elite, suddenly feels cared about, and Danon and his party hope this will translate into votes in the next election. 

But lastly, and even worse, this cynical strategy puts me and my community in a new position of conflict with the Palestinians. Danon and his people know that re-writing our Arab-Jewish history as one of being denied refugees will create a new wall, and war, between us and the Arab world. The Arab-Jews will say to themselves, “ohh we were betrayed by the Arabs countries so we must keep on fighting the Arab world.”   

But before I go on about the vicious cycle this rhetoric leads us into, I first want to explain what is wrong at the heart of this erroneous analogy between Arab-Jews and Palestinian refugees.

The definition of Jewish “refugees” from Arab countries that Danon introduced at the UN seeks to create an analogy between Palestinian refugees and Arab-Jewish immigrants who arrived in Israel in the 1950s and 1960s, and to present both populations as victims of the 1948 war. The strategy Danon is using began as a government policy in 2010 when the Israeli parliament passed a law that requires every Israeli government that negotiates with Palestinian representatives to demand the return of lost Jewish property in Arab countries before dealing with compensation to the 750,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants for their own property that has been taken by the Israeli state. So, this distorted analogy wherein Arab Jews are refugees just like the Palestinian refugees, is really just a cudgel being used to sabotage negotiations with the Palestinians. Suddenly there are around 850,000 Arab Jews that Israel now represents to counteract, in their minds, the demands of 750,000 Palestinians who lost their property during the Nakba.

Maybe one can compare the Palestinian refugees’ camps in the Arab states after 1948 to the Arab-Jewish “Ma’abarot” tent camps in Israel. But the historical analogy is still all wrong. 

First, Arab-Jews were never a collective in the same way Palestinians who were rooted to the same land are. Israel created them as such only in order to subordinate them, erase their Arab roots, and re-construct them as subjects of the Zionist regime. 

Secondly, the Arab-Jews were never refugees, as is often claimed. In the case of Turkey or Morocco they even could go back and forth to the Arab states (this was also the case of Iran until the Islamic revolution). This is the definition of refugees in the UNHCR:

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.

Another difference between the Arab-Jews that emigrated to Israel and Palestinian refugees is that they were coming to a country that embraced them as full citizens.  This is not the case with the Palestinians, who have never received full citizen rights in any Arab states. More than that, Arab-Jews always enjoyed a privileged life inside of Israel, even compared to the Palestinians of 1948 who were not forced off their land during the Nakba and eventually became citizens of Israel. 

Politicians like Danon even know that the term “refugee” is not quite correct for Arab-Jews. Therefore, they try to stress the idea that they fled because of a deeply antisemitic history in the Arab countries.  Israel uses the European experience of antisemitism and projects it on the Arab Jewish experience, which is not accurate. Historians Lior Sternfeld and Menashe Anzi contradicted that idea in Haaretz:

“The Jews in the Muslim world, so the narrative goes, lived humiliated lives as second-class dhimmis, just waiting for Zionist redemption. This narrative is misleading in many ways. It ignores more than a thousand years of Jewish existence in the Muslim world, a reality that was neither good nor bad exclusively, but one that included both aspects, and was characterized by complicated relationships with the majority population, with other minorities, and with the local and imperial political structures.” 

As you can see, the twisted analogy behind the apparent Arab-Jewish refugees and Palestinian refugees just becomes more cynical layer after layer. 

The truth is most Iraqi Jews in the 1950s and 60s weren’t Zionist. They lived well in a modern city. Actually, Baghdad was much more progressive than Tel Aviv back then. Iraqi Jews had already read about the Nakba, and the hard life of Jewish immigrants that were forced to live in tent encampments in Israel. The majority of them didn’t want to leave and immigrate. But Ben-Gurion needed the people because after the Holocaust there weren’t enough Jews for his Zionist dream.  So through some very dubious Mossad activism, he struck a deal with the Iraqi government. Iraq got the money and property, and the Israel got poor Jews who immigrated as a subordinate group to Israel. So the question remains — where were the Arab-Jews more oppressed? And how does the term “refugee” apply to a people who were – maybe unwillingly – forced into an Israeli citizenship by their own ethnic group?

Mati Shemoelof

Mati Shemoelof  is a writer and poet. His book "Baghdad | Haifa | Berlin" is currently being published in Germany. His website is mati-s.com.

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24 Responses

  1. Misterioso on December 31, 2019, 8:58 am

    (1) To quote Yehouda Shenhav, of Iraqi Jewish heritage and professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University: “Any reasonable person, Zionist or non-Zionist, must acknowledge that the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi [Arab] Jews is unfounded. Palestinian refugees did not want to leave Palestine….Those who left did not do so of their own volition. In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of the State of Israel and Jewish organizations.” (Ha’aretz, 8 October 2004.)

    (2) Avi Shlaim, born into an affluent and influential family in Baghdad: “We are not refugees, nobody expelled us from Iraq, nobody told us that we were unwanted. But we are the victims of the Israeli-Arab conflict.” (Ha’aretz, August 11, 2005) Shlaim is referring to the well documented acts of terror, including bombings of synagogues and Jewish owned businesses, carried out by “The Movement,” a Jewish/Zionist terrorist group controlled by Israel, whose purpose was to instil fear in Iraqi Jews and motivate them to immigrate to Israel. Several books and articles have been written by Jews of Iraqi origin about this little known chapter of history and an award winning documentary has also been produced and viewed around the world. Throughout the Arab world, especially in the Magreb, recruiters from Israel pressured Arab Jews to immigrate to Israel. This is a long and complicated story that has long since been documented, but not publicized in the West.

    Regarding the emigration of Iraqi Jews, I quote American diplomat, Wilbur Crane Eveland from his book, Ropes of Sand:
    “In attempts to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the U.S. Information Service library and in synagogues. Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel…. Although the Iraqi police later provided our embassy with evidence to show that the synagogue and library bombings, as well as the anti-Jewish and anti-American leaflet campaigns, had been the work of an underground Zionist organization, most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had ‘rescued’ really just in order to increase Israel’s Jewish population.”

    The U.S. State Department was also well aware of what Israeli agents had done in Iraq to precipitate Jewish emigration: “When [in August 1951] Israel undertook a campaign to get Iranian Jews to immigrate to Israel, the director of the office of Near Eastern affairs in the U.S. Department of State, G. Lewis Jones, told Teddy Kolleck, of Israel’s embassy in Washington, that the United States ‘would not favour a deliberately generated exodus there,’ as he put it, ‘along the lines of the ingathering from Iraq.’ Kolleck justified Israel’s Iraq operation as beneficial for Iraq, stating it was ‘better for a country to be homogeneous.'” (“Memorandum of Conversation by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs (Jones),” August 2, 1951, Foreign Relations of the United States 1951, vol. 6 p. 813, at p. 815 (1982)

    (3) The late Yisrael Yeshayahu, speaker of the Knesset: “We are not refugees…. We had messianic aspirations.”

    (4) Shlomo Hillel, former minister and speaker of the Knesset: “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”

    (5) During a Knesset hearing into the matter, Ran Cohen, member of the Knesset: “I am not a refugee….I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.” (Ha’aretz, October 8, 2004)

    BTW, unable to bear their circumstances and the blatant racism directed towards them by the Ashkenazi/white European Jewish establishment, about 5,000 Moroccan Jews soon returned to Morocco after arriving in Israel in the late 1940s. Thousands more have returned home and continue to do in order to live a meaningful, peaceful and prosperous life among their Arab/Muslim/Christian brothers and sisters. Morocco is benefitting greatly from their return.

    It should not be forgotten that after being rejected twice by the UNGA, Israel signed the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol and declared before the UNGA at the same time that it would comply with UN Resolution 194, which calls for the repatriation of or compensation for the then about 800,000 Palestinian refugees dispossessed and expelled before and during the 1948 war as a precondition for gaining UN admittance – see UNGA Resolution 273, 11 May 1949. Israel has since refused to comply with its pledge.

    Also, given its implications for Palestinian refugees who numbered well over one million following the IDF’s expulsion of a further about 25,000 before and during Israel’s first invasion of Egypt in 1956 and an additional approximately 225,000 during and after the war it launched on 5 June 1967, Israel is utterly opposed to its citizens of Arab origin being referred to as “refugees.” For obvious reasons, Palestinian refugees would welcome such an initiative as it would also be applicable to them.

    The bottom line is that while Palestinians were expelled from their ancestral homeland by Zionist militias and the IDF of foreign origin, they played no role in the emigration of or any ill treatment and or loss of assets that Jews of Arab origin may have experienced in their former homelands. The two cases are separate and distinct, i.e., apples and oranges.

    • Jon66 on December 31, 2019, 1:28 pm

      “ Israel signed the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol and declared before the UNGA at the same time that it would comply with UN Resolution 194”

      You continue to make the same false statement.
      This is not correct.
      Please quote and link to your sources.

      • Misterioso on December 31, 2019, 7:42 pm

        @Jon66

        A hurried response:
        After being denied admittance twice, Israel again sought UN membership in 1949. This time, however, in order to be considered, Israel formally agreed at the United Nations to obey the UN Charter, comply with General Assembly Resolution 194, which is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to accept Resolution 181, the Partition Plan, as a basis for negotiations. Israel also signed the Lausanne Protocol at the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference and thereby reaffirmed its commitment to Resolutions 194 and 181.

        Israel’s first and second attempts to join the United Nations following the signing of the 1949 armistice agreements were unsuccessful because the General Assembly considered it to be in contravention of the UN Charter. This was due to the fact that in violation of the Partition Plan (General Assembly Resolution 181, 29 November 1947), Israel was occupying the international zone of West Jerusalem and more than half of the territory assigned to the proposed Palestinian state. Consequently, with another vote on its application for admittance about to take place, Israel’s negotiators at Lausanne were instructed to go along with the Arab block and sign a protocol proposed by the commission “which would constitute the basis of work.”

        On May 12, 1949, what is known as the Lausanne Protocol (consisting of two separate, but identical documents) was signed by Arab and Israeli negotiators. It stated that the Palestine Conciliation Commission, “anxious to achieve as quickly as possible the objectives of General Assembly Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948, regarding refugees, the respect for their rights and the preservation of their property, as well as territorial and other questions, has proposed to the delegations of the Arab states and to the delegation of Israel that the working document attached hereto (map of partition) be taken as a basis for discussions with the Commission.”

        “[a]s a price for obtaining full membership in the United Nations in 1949, Israel’s ambassador, Abba Eban, had given assurances that Israel would faithfully adhere to the UN Charter and to the resolutions of the relevant UN bodies.” (George and Douglas Ball, The Passionate Attachment, p. 33)

        Abba Eban assured the members of the U.N. Ad Hoc Political Committee reviewing Israel’s request for admission that his government “[would pursue] no policies on any question which were inconsistent with…the resolutions of the Assembly and the Security Council.” (Quoted by Khouri, The Arab Israeli Dilemma, p. 105) Eban thus further committed Israel to abide by Resolutions 181 and 194.

        BTW, despite Eban’s assurances, the delegate from Columbia (a strong Roman Catholic country) still had doubts as to Israel’s intentions regarding Jerusalem. However, after expressing his concerns to the Israeli delegation he received “formal assurance in writing that Israel would not oppose the internationalization of Jerusalem. In view of that guarantee, Columbia… supported Israel’s request for [UN] admission.” (Fred J. Khouri, The Arab Israeli Dilemma, p. 105)

        Israel’s pledge to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 (as well as the Partition Plan as a basis for negotiations) and the UN Charter was made legally binding by including it in General Assembly Resolution 273 (11 May 1949) granting Israel UN membership. The full text of Resolution 273 is as follows:

        “Having received the report of the Security Council on the application of Israel for membership in the United Nations,

        “Noting that, in the judgment of the Security Council, Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter,

        “Noting that the Security Council has recommended to the General Assembly that it admit Israel to membership in the United Nations,

        “Noting furthermore the declaration by the State of Israel that it ‘unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a Member of the United Nations,’

        “Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947 [UNGA Resolution 181, the Partition Plan] 3/ and 11 December 1948 [UNGA Resolution 194 regarding repatriation of and/or financial compensation for Palestinian refugees] and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel before the ad hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions,

        “The General Assembly,
        “Acting in discharge of its functions under Article 4 of the Charter and rule 125 of its rules of procedure,

        “1. Decides that Israel is a peace-loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations;

        “2. Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.”
        Israel is the only state admitted to the UN on the condition that specific resolutions would be obeyed.

        Shortly after gaining UN membership Israel reneged on its commitment to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 and the Partition Plan, which the Arab delegation, including Palestinian representatives, had accepted as a basis for peace negotiations at the Lausanne Peace Conference.

        It is important to note that the Partition Plan, discarded by Israel, “provides that the Arab inhabitants of the Jewish state shall be protected in their rights and property.” Furthermore, Israel’s Proclamation of Independence of 15 May 1948 guarantees political equality and other freedoms for all its citizens and provides that “the state of Israel will be ready to cooperate with the organs and representatives of the United Nations in the implementation of the resolution of the Assembly of November 29, 1947 [the Partition Plan], and will take steps to bring about the economic union over the whole of Palestine.” (Sami Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 144)

        Commenting on Israel’s refusal to live up to its commitment to abide by Resolution 194 as a precondition for gaining admittance to the UN, Francis A. Boyle, Professor of International Law, declared: “Insofar as Israel has violated its conditions for admission to UN membership, it must accordingly be suspended on a de facto basis from any participation throughout the entire United Nations system.” (Palestine, Palestinians and International Law)

      • mondonut on December 31, 2019, 9:01 pm

        @Misterioso , A hurried response:

        Your stuff is usually just basic, unrepentant propaganda but you have really outdone yourself this time with your outrageous and shameless lies.

        Here’s the short version. Israel was admitted to the UN in exactly the same manner and with exactly the same obligations as every other state. There were no special rules for the Jewish Sate.

        Using the phrase “Recalling its resolutions” (in the preamble no less), creates no obligation. As if this was not obvious enough, Israel explained further “taking note of the declarations and explanations”, that there were no additional obligations or conditions:

        Referring to the jurisprudence of the United Nations relating to the admission of new Members, the representative of Israel stated that it was his Government’s understanding that nothing but the provisions of Article 4 were relevant in the consideration of an application for membership. That conviction, based on the spirit and the language of the Charter, had been confirmed by the General Assembly resolution of 8 December 1948 (197 (III)), which stated that juridically no State was entitled to make its consent to the admission of an applicant dependent on conditions not expressly provided by paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Charter.

        https://web.archive.org/web/20120203124136/http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/85255a0a0010ae82852555340060479d/1db943e43c280a26052565fa004d8174?OpenDocument#Mr.%20EBAN%20(Israel)%20understood%20tha

      • Talkback on January 1, 2020, 6:15 am

        Jon66: “Using the phrase “Recalling its resolutions” (in the preamble no less), creates no obligation.”

        Yep, that’s the usual Zionist “We accept only what’s good for the Jews”-cherrypicking approach in international law.

        See resolution 242. Oh, we accept that only we have a right to secure and recognized borders, but withdrawal of troops? Nah, not “binding”.

      • Jon66 on January 1, 2020, 12:45 pm

        Mist,
        I don’t have the time to look up each of your claims and since you don’t provide links it would take forever.
        So let’s look at your specific statement in your original post.

        “ It should not be forgotten that after being rejected twice by the UNGA, Israel signed the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol and declared before the UNGA at the same time that it would comply with UN Resolution 194, which calls for the repatriation of or compensation for the then about 800,000 Palestinian refugees dispossessed and expelled before and during the 1948 war as a precondition for gaining UN admittance – see UNGA Resolution 273, 11 May 1949. Israel has since refused to comply with its pledge.”

        From the progress report of the Lausanne Commision, “ In conclusion, the immediate problem facing the Commission consists in linking together the negotiations on the refugee problem and those concerned with territorial questions. The pressure exerted by the Arab delegations in favour of negotiations on the refugee question, combined with Israeli pressure in favour of territorial negotiations, threaten to create a situation in which it would be difficult to arrive at agreement on the solution of these fundamental problems. The Commission’s attention is concentrated for the moment upon this problem. The Commission is endeavouring to arrest this tendency, by leading the Arab States to negotiate on territorial questions and by persuading the State of Israel that it must contribute in a substantial manner to the solution of the refugee problem. That solution must relate not only to the general aspect of the question, that of the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees, but also to its more immediate and certainly no less important aspect, that which concerns the preliminary measures to be taken for the safeguarding of their rights and property.” https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/AD7D4FE6D9F547CB8525750C00766FAB
        The Commission recognizes that Israel will not resolve the refugee issue independent of the entire war/border issue.”
        And so, at NO time did Israel “pledge” to carry out 194. Rather Israel explicitly linked the refugee issue to the broader issue of peace. I don’t have time to fact check the rest, but until you provide links I have to assume the other statements are just as inaccurate.

      • Blake on January 1, 2020, 10:55 pm

        Its not rocket science. Israel obliged itself to the UN Charter in its entirety.
        Its membership of the UN in 1949 was conditional on the nascent entity complying with UN Resolution 181, which included a guarantee of the rights of minorities and religious rights, including free access to and the preservation of holy places, and the constitution of an economic union between the two states (i.e. a custom union, joint monetary system, joint administration of main services, and equal access to water and energy resources).
        It also required Israel’s compliance with Resolution 194 (dated December 1948) which called on Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
        Israel has never fulfilled its obligations, so strictly speaking should have been expelled.

      • RoHa on January 1, 2020, 11:06 pm

        “And so, at NO time did Israel “pledge” to carry out 194. Rather Israel explicitly linked the refugee issue to the broader issue of peace. ”

        Thereby firmly establishing itself as a country with no moral foundation.

      • Talkback on January 2, 2020, 2:02 pm

        jon66: “Rather Israel explicitly linked the refugee issue to the broader issue of peace”

        Sure, but Israel’s acceptance into the UN doesn’t mean that the UN accepted Israel’s position.
        “The United States Government can not accept the contention of the Government of Israel that the admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations indicated that the members of the world community considered as satisfactory the attitude of Israel with respect to the provisions of the General Assembly Resolution of December 11, 1948.”
        http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1949v06&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=1176

        So why did Israel immedietaly retreat from the Lausanne protocol after it became member of the UN?

  2. Blake on December 31, 2019, 9:00 am

    Taking Evil and depravity to another level.

  3. Stephen Shenfield on December 31, 2019, 9:32 am

    The Ashkenazi Zionist elite had hoped to bring their fellow Ashkenazi Soviet Jews to Israel, and only when it became clear that that was not going to happen any time soon did they bring in the Arab Jews as a second best alternative to help fill the emptied (ethnically cleansed) lands.

    Anti-Jewish movements did exist in the Arab countries, though only in some of the countries were they a significant threat. Zionist agents encouraged and allied with these movements, as in Iraq, or in their absence carried out ‘black flag operations’ to sow panic among the local Jews, as in Egypt. Under these circumstances it seems reasonable to me to call the Jews who fled Iraq and Egypt refugees, although not those who fled Morocco or Turkey. Whether or not they qualify as refugees is not, I think, the main issue. The point is that both sets of refugees, Arab Jews from certain countries and Palestinians, were uprooted, directly or indirectly, by the same force — Zionism.

  4. Misterioso on December 31, 2019, 9:53 am

    For the record: A lengthy article, but a “must read.”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/27/the-fascinating-history-and-political-lives-of-jews-in-iran/

    “The Fascinating History and Political Lives of Jews in Iran” by Ariel Gold, Counterpunch, Dec. 27/19

    • Nathan on January 5, 2020, 11:19 pm

      It might be advisable to update views about the conflict. Why would anyone debate about UNGA 194 from 1948? The PLO signed the Oslo Agreement in the name of the Palestinian people, and it was agreed that the refugee issue will be negotiated in the final status. In more simple terms, the refugee issue will be resolved in the framework of the end of conflict. So, there’s no point in debating about UNGA 194. The Palestinian leadership has no intention whatsoever of negotiating with Israel. They’re grown-ups, and this is their choice. The refugee issue is therefore on hold until further notice.

      The anti-Israel presentation likes to maintain that Jews were forced to immigrate to Israel. Both the Holocaust survivors in the DP camps and the Jewish communities in the Islamic world wanted to come to Israel. But just for the sake of argument, let’s accept the view of the anti-Israel activists. What difference does it make to anyone why someone came to Israel 70 or 75 years ago? The great-grandchildren of immigrants are not dreaming about Iraq, Iran, Poland or Lithuania. They are Hebrew-speaking Israeli Jews, living on the west coast of the Asian continent. They are not “Arab-Jews” or “European Jews”.

      • Talkback on January 6, 2020, 5:06 pm

        Nathan: “The Palestinian leadership has no intention whatsoever of negotiating with Israel.”

        What is left to negotiate with an Apartheid state except how it can be peacefully dissolved?

        Nathan: “They are not “Arab-Jews” or “European Jews”.”

        They are undead from ancient times, right?

      • RoHa on January 6, 2020, 9:45 pm

        “Why would anyone debate about UNGA 194 from 1948?”

        In order to show that Israel has always been evil, and that it is not just a new development.

  5. Ronald Johnson on December 31, 2019, 5:54 pm

    Another part of that story, the Jews of Iraq terrorized to move to Israel, to be exploited:

    https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Gurions-Scandals-Haganah-Mossad-Eliminated/dp/1893302407#customerReviews

    So many lies, told with such an appearance of sincerity. Do not negotiate with liars.

  6. Nathan on January 6, 2020, 7:44 pm

    Blake – UNGA 194 states that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date”. In your comment you claimed that UNGA 194 “called on Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes”, but you forgot to mention the living-in-peace part. In the anti-Israel understanding of the resolution, the refugees were given the “right of return”; however, there is a condition of peace. In Nov. 1967, the UNSC resolution 242 called for a solution of the refugee problem in the framework of establishing peace in the Middle East. Apparently, the intention of UNGA 194 was that refugees should return in the framework of an end-of-conflict.

    Even more telling is the Oslo Agreement, signed by the PLO. There the Palestinians themselves agreed that the refugee issue will be negotiated in the framework of the “final status”. In other words, it’s an end-of-conflict issue.

    The anti-Israel position is that it is unthinkable that the conflict with Israel will end, so anti-Israel people like to claim that there is an unconditional right of return. There isn’t. There has to be an agreement to end the conflict.

    • echinococcus on January 6, 2020, 9:42 pm

      So beautiful to watch the Ziobots cavilling, shystering, disputing and otherwise pulling pills based on “agreements” between Zionists, US empire, and what’s been since nothing but Zionist puppets, appointed Ziopolice over the Palestinians.

      They sound so sincere, don’t they, in believing that this Quisling sub-municipal “administration”, who sold the Palestinian people down the river (pardon, down the fjord) in Oslo is some legitimate representative of the people and that any such agreement, even if there were such agreements as mentioned (ain’t any!) is seen as legitimate by the people.

      Why do they even waste any ink or electrons on that?

    • RoHa on January 6, 2020, 9:47 pm

      ““refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date”.

      How many of the refugees denied that they were willing to live in peace with their neighbours?

    • RoHa on January 6, 2020, 9:50 pm

      “Even more telling is the Oslo Agreement, signed by the PLO.”

      And de facto repudiated by Israel.

      “The anti-Israel position is that it is unthinkable that the conflict with Israel will end,…”

      While Israel maintains its current ideology and practices, it will not end the conflict. If Israel is prepared to reform, it can end the conflict tomorrow.

    • eljay on January 7, 2020, 7:59 am

      || Nathan: … The anti-Israel position is that it is unthinkable that the conflict with Israel will end … ||

      Not at all true. If Israel were to…
      – end its on-going occupation and colonization of not-Israeli territory;
      – reform from a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews into the secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally;
      – honour its obligations under international law; and
      – accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes,
      …it is very thinkable that the conflict with Israel will end.

      Unfortunately, the Zionist position is that it is unthinkable that Israel should ever:
      – be anything other than a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of geographic Palestine;
      – have to honour its obligations under international law; and
      – be held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

    • Talkback on January 7, 2020, 9:17 am

      Nathan: “In the anti-Israel understanding of the resolution, the refugees were given the “right of return”;”

      Nope. That’s just the understanding of the anti-Nonjew crowd. Resolution 194 was based on the UN charter in which “the right of return” is enshrined as being a human right since they were defined in the Declaration of Human Rights.

      Nathan: “There the Palestinians themselves agreed that the refugee issue will be negotiated in the framework of the “final status”.”

      The “issue”, but not the right to return which is recognized in international law.

      Nathan: “… so anti-Israel people like to claim that there is an unconditional right of return. There isn’t. There has to be an agreement to end the conflict.”

      The anti-Nonjew people like to claim that the human rights of Nonjews are conditional. Well, what can one expect from supporters of Apartheid regimes in general and Jewish Apartheid regimes in particular.

      • RoHa on January 7, 2020, 10:20 pm

        The right to return is also a moral right, regardless of law.

  7. Bataween on January 8, 2020, 3:50 am

    There is a huge body of evidence that Jews in Arab countries were persecuted by Arab governments and this is why they fled in such numbers (not all to Israel) but those of you deny that it happened is to lie to yourselves. Why do you deny that these Jews deserve justice?

    There is a big difference between the two sets of refugees: the Palestinians were refugees from a war that the Arab side started. Some 160,000 Arabs did not leave Israel. The Jews were scapegoated even though they were non-combatants .Hardly any remain in Arab countries.

    Your assumption that the Israeli government wants to use the Jewish refugee issue to cancel out Palestinian claims is wrong and out of date. In 2000 Clinton proposed an international fund to compensate both sets of refugees. This is the current thinking.

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