23 September '12..
Israel on Friday called on the international community to recognize the suffering of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and their material claims the same way it acknowledges the plight of displaced Palestinians.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor and World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder presented the recently launched diplomatic campaign in a special gathering at the UN before Israeli officials, foreign diplomats, activists and journalists.
“Today’s event is about the past but more importantly about the future,” said Prosor.
“Our purpose is clear and simple: To give justice for one million Jews whose stories have been hidden and left untold.”
He added: “For 64 years the history has been distorted and whitewashed in the UN. Arab countries have never taken responsibility for creating more than 800,000 refugees.
Yet not a single syllable – and listen to this – can be heard in any of the 1,888 UN resolutions on the Mideast.”
Israel was founded on the ethos of being a safe haven for Jews in their historic homeland as a response to the persecution of Jews throughout history and the horrors of the Holocaust in Europe in particular.
The story of its citizens who left, fled or were expelled from Arabic-speaking countries while the Israeli-Arab conflict flared has been relatively neglected, a fact Ayalon acknowledged in his speech.
“For some reason this issue was never raised, never discussed, and without too much mea culpa, this was wrong,” Ayalon said. “But it’s never too late.”
Arabic media have been hysterical over this conference for the past month, with scores of Arabic articles have been written only in the past day. They are uniformly critical of the conference, claiming that there is no such thing as a Jewish refugee, or that any compensation to Jewish refugees is against international conventions, or even that "Zionist terror" is what caused Jewish refugees to flee Arab countries.
But mostly they are claiming that this is a brand-new, contrived attempt to take attention away from Palestinian refugees.
So here is a brief survey of times that Israel or Jews brought the topic up to the attention of the UN:
(Read full "The issue of Jewish refugees has been brought up to the UN before")