For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Were Jews who left Arab countries all refugees? In countries such as Iraq and Egypt, where Jews were by law stripped of citizenship and property and expelled, there is no doubt that Jews were refugees. But what of Jews in countries where there was no state-sanctioned discrimination? Point of No Return consulted a human rights lawyer for her advice.
The UN Convention on Refugees was approved at a special United Nations conference on 28 July 1951. It entered into force on 22 April 1954. It was initially limited to protecting European refugees after World War II but a 1967 Protocol removed the geographical and time limits, expanding the Convention's scope. Because the convention was approved in Geneva it is often referred to as "the Geneva Convention," though it is not one of the Geneva Conventions specifically dealing with allowable behaviour in time of war.
What is a refugee? Article 1 of the Convention as amended by the 1967 Protocol provides the definition of a refugee:
"A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.."
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"