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'I Am a Refugee': Israel's splashy new victimhood campaign

Message: The Palestinian refugees have nothing on the ‘Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries.’

As if Israel hasn’t been playing the victim long enough, as if it hasn’t exploited the Six Million to the absolute limit, now comes a new weapon: the “Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries.” This has long been an Israeli answer to the Palestinian refugees – that roughly as many Middle Eastern Jews as Palestinians lost their homes because of the 1948 war. This week, though, the government made the issue a major new front in its information war. Fittingly, the head of the “I Am a Refugee” campaign is Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, whose personality and politics were best conveyed a couple of years ago when he sat the Turkish ambassador to Israel on a much lower chair than his own, directing the Israeli photographers to emphasize the relationship of superior to inferior.

Ayalon and the movement had a big conference in Jerusalem, the World Jewish Congress was a co-sponsor, and Prime Minister Netanyahu sent along a supportive video. What’s more, according to Haaretz, “Israeli diplomats and representatives abroad have been instructed to raise the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries at every relevant forum.” And when Ayalon goes to New York in a couple of weeks, he “intends to call on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to include the issue on the international organization’s agenda.” This is all “part of a new international campaign to create parity between the plight of Jewish and Palestinian refugees…”

Actually, the campaign is going for more than parity – it’s going for superiority. It’s staking the claim that the Jews who left Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, Egypt and other Arab countries were bigger victims than the Palestinian refugees. From Haaretz:

According to figures presented at the conference, around 856,000 Jews in Arab countries were displaced following the establishment of Israel. That compares with around 726,000 Palestinians. Many also had their assets seized and nationalized.

Dr. Stanley Urman, the executive director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, noted that Jewish refugees lost property worth $700 million (around $6 billion in today’s terms), while Palestinian refugees lost property worth about $450 million (around $3.9 billion in today’s terms ). Since 1950, he said, Palestinian refugees have received $13.7 billion in U.N. funding, whereas Jewish refugees have received just $35,000.

So, all you goyim out there, don’t you dare shed a tear for the Palestinian refugees until you first shed several tears for us, for Israel, for our Jewish refugees from Arab countries, who are better than their goddamn refugees, and whose suffering just pisses all over their suffering.

What amazes me is that Israel’s leaders doesn’t see how embarrassed the goyim are going to be to have to sit through this song-and-dance. They don’t realize how gross, how ugly it makes Israel look – to compare Israel’s Mizrahi Jews who left their homes after ’48 to the Palestinian refugees. To call those Mizrahim refugees – today.

They are not refugees. A refugee is somebody who flees his country and becomes stateless, homeless, because no country is willing to take him in. The Mizrahim, on the whole, fled their countries under duress in the post-’48 atmosphere in the Arab world, so they fled as refugees – but they were helped in and even pulled in immediately by Israel and made citizens of their new country, their own country.  The Mizrahim were refugees only for a brief, transitional period, and that period ended 60 years ago, more or less.

By comparison, about 1.5 million Palestinian refugees live today in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. (All told, including their descendants, the refugees number about five million.) They don’t have their own country to go to, and Danny Ayalon, along with the government he belongs to, mean to keep it that way.

Funny, Israel’s leaders characterize long-established Israeli citizens as refugees, yet they refer to traumatized Africans who cross Israel’s borders seeking refuge from hell as infiltrators. Good luck to them on their new campaign.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Richard Witty

      “I am a refugee, Israel’s new splashy campaign”.

      When I first read that, I thought, “wonderful, the Israeli government is asking Israelis to walk in the shoes of the “other”. Finally, some urging of compassion.”

      But thats not what the campaign is.

      I’m confused about your numbers at the end of the article. I thought a total of 750,000 +/- were not allowed to return. Where does 1.5 million refugees from 1948 come in, as distinct from descendents (that you mention in the next line)?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Jack

      Always looking to be the supreme victim, this is getting ridiculous but I think most people see whats going on. Israel never miss a chance to obstruct the way to peace.

      Reply to Comment
      • P. Ami

        Why the truth would be an obstruction to peace, I can’t really see.

        I gather you don’t view the Arab demand for the right of return as an obstruction to peace?

        Reply to Comment
        • Jack

          Because its a way to kill off the right to return or compensation question as stipulated in international law and UN-resolutions.

          Reply to Comment
          • P. Ami

            International law, and UN Resolutions both call for and have ratified a Jewish State, which the Right of Return would negate. It seems we have contradictory laws and resolutions here.

            If the Arabs want to talk about compensation for what they brought upon their own heads in 1947-48 (and there is a record of a civil war with Arab militias formed from Arab villages that attacked Jews in their homes, on the road and in meeting places. The Arabs were not helpless victims of a Jewish onslaught, but rather losers in a war they chose for themselves), then lets also bring up the compensation that Jews might receive for mistreatment, theft, and exile they had no reason to suffer. Why do you reject the injection of truth into the negotiations?

            Reply to Comment
        • Gil Franco

          P. Ami, unfortunately you are wasting your breath here trying to be reasonable and fair minded. The narrative here is that Jews are solely at fault for the conflict and that it is in bad taste to mentions the Arabs’ violence and racism irrespective of the historical record.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Once you see Danny Ayalon’s name, you can pretty much guess what’s coming next. To give him his due, though, he’s not talking to you or me. He’s talking to the CUFI types: hardline Christian Zionists in America, the ones who believe that Israel should annex the territories. And those people just eat this stuff up.

      This stupid new slogan won’t convince anybody of anything. But that’s not the only thing slogans are for.

      Reply to Comment
    4. the other joe

      I’m no fan of Israel, but I’m not sure this is entirely fair – the implication is surely that the Arabs kicked out the Jews, who found a home.. and so there should be an expectation on the Arab countries to take in the Palestinians rather than the Israelis, given nobody is going to campaign for a ‘right to return’ for the Jews forced out of Arab countries.
      .
      It is a bizarre argument, which says it is perfectly ethical to cause refugees because you’ve taken in other refugees. Also, following that logic there is no contradiction in insisting on a right for return of Jewish refugees (to Europe, the Arab countries etc).

      Reply to Comment
      • P. Ami

        Your ethical point is flawed as there is a disconnect in timing. By your formula, Israel is saying it has a right to kick out Arabs from the Jewish State in response to Arab States kicked Jews out of theirs. There are a number of large problems with this reasoning considering the reality of what happened.

        The Jews and Arabs of the British Mandate were in a civil war. Arab villages organized militias that ambushed Jews on the roads, attacked Jewish villages and participated in various harassment, all in response to the announcement of a Jewish State. Jews responded by ambushing convoys and visiting retribution on villages that had organized militias. Over the course of the civil war, and then when the Arab armies joined on the side of the militias, populations moved. Many Arabs moved despite please by the Jews for them to stay, most famously the example of the mayor of Haifa asking the Arab residents to remain. A huge majority of Arabs left, assuming Jews were going to massacre Arabs in response to previous massacres of Jews by the Arab population. Abbas, the current unelected President of the PA in Ramallah, had given this very reason for his family’s abandonment of Sefed until he altered his narrative a couple of years ago. I’ll leave it to you to guess why his narrative has changed. Some Arabs were victims of massacres and Arabs flew from their homes due to this as well. It is uneven to only remember the massacres that Jews visited upon the Arabs when it is easy to read the contemporary news reports of Arab massacres of Jews at the same time.

        It was after this migration of Arabs from Israel, that Arab States began the expulsion of Jews. It was the Arab leadership that initiated the concept that an Arab exodus will be responded to by a similar exodus of Jews from their homes in Arab lands (many such communities living in places like North Africa and other areas of the Levant before the Arab Conquests). It is Israel that has responded with the next step of logic, “Fine, we have absorbed our people into this land, you absorb your people into yours”. Seems fair to me.

        Reply to Comment
        • Philos

          I take it you haven’t read anything by Benny Morris or Ilan Pappe… Nor do you mention the continued expulsion of Palestinians well into the mid-50s by the IDF under instructions from the government. Yes the mayor of Haifa pleaded for the Palestinians to remain even though the British Army felt compelled to intervene to prevent a massacre of civilians by the Haganah…. Your narrative smells like stale cheese that needs to be thrown out

          Reply to Comment
    5. Philos

      I am third generation of said “Jewish refugees from Arab countries (but don’t you dare call them Jewish Arabs!)” and this whole campaign wants to make me puke. 60+ years of cultural repression in Israel (except for our cuisine) and suddenly the Zionists give a sh*t about us. 60+ years in which Zionists sought to eradicate all linguistic, cultural and religious traits of the “Oriental Jews”, and suddenly a tear is shed for the loss of our civilization. Zionists who deliberately sowed discord in Arab states and antagonism, and then expected us to be the menial workers of the state. That being said I’ve come to understand that the Zionists attempted to complete the destruction of European Jewry by eradicating all linguistic, cultural and traditional references to that lost Jewry although it was harder for them given the fact that they were Europeans themselves. We see the same process with Ethiopian Jewry today; they’re traditional rabbis are not recognized by the state even though they carried the message of Torah for hundreds of years, their people are subjugated to economic deprivation and are taught to hate the color of their skin. The only thing the Zionists will keep from the Ethiopians is their cuisine and as a bit of useful hasbara.
      .
      All that’s left of my community, of European Jewry and, eventually, of Ethiopian Jewry is a hollowed out and shallow version of itself. A mass produced and stunted “Israeli” culture that must confine itself within the lowest common denominator of ultra-Orthodox Judaism with a good dose of atavistic nationalism. Sometimes I wonder if some of my relations hate the Arabs so much because the Arabs look so much like them. That no matter how secular they might become (or “Jewish”, i.e., a dark skinned fellow dressed in ridiculous Lithuanian clothing) at the end of the day an American or European would not be able to tell the difference if you put them and a Palestinian in blue jeans and a white t-shirt.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Mr. Derfner,

      Your double standards on the issue of refugees are quite odd. Firstly, I don’t believe that the descendants of Mizrahi and Palestinian Arab refugees should be labelled ‘refugees’. Yet you give one group a pass, but not the other.

      Bizarrely, the UN also has two definitions of a refugee: one for Palestinians, and one for everybody else. The UNHCR does not give refugee status to the descendants of refugees, but UNRWA, an agency set up exclusively for the Palestinians, does.

      Also, your claim that there are 1.5 million Palestinians still alive and kicking who were displaced in 1947/48 is utter nonsense. That’s over twice the number of Arabs actually displaced in the first place.

      Reply to Comment
      • BigT

        Yes it does. See the Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol
        relating to the Status of Refugees, Chapter 6, paragraphs 181 to 188, “the Priciple of Family Unity.

        Reply to Comment
    7. kate

      ah there is nothing ‘new’ about this but in the US it’s an election year and Israel’s oh so supportive Congress folks in the US House of Representatives have raised the issue there too

      but funny how its never mentioned that Israel had as fate would have it mysteriously cleared enough space in the Jewish State for these poor homeless refugees and on an almost one to one basis too, fancy that

      Reply to Comment
    8. aristeides

      Ask Ayalon how many Arab Jews are still sitting in refugee camps 60 years later.

      And how many are sitting in the homes of Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
      • P. Ami

        If Jews are living in Palestinian homes today it is a negligible fraction of the population doing so.

        As for how many Jews are still in refugee camps, none. You neglect to ponder the reason for this. The Jews absorbed their refugees. Now they are doctors, lawyers, soldiers, teachers, politicians etc… rather then left to be perpetual refugees with the right to assign this demeaning designation to their children as an inheritance. Meanwhile, Lebanon has kept the Arab refugees in camps, denied them citizenship, denied them the right to work, and made them reliant on charity to live. Jordan had the bulk of refugees. These refugees remained in camps for 20 years, although they had citizenship rights in Jordan (Jordanian passports, right to work, the right to vote) and then after 1967 these refugees maintained their Jordanian citizenship even as they lived under Israeli jurisdiction. Jordanian laws still applied and the population of the West Bank continued to be polled in Jordanian elections. It was in the late 1980’s that Jordan disenfranchised the refugees fully by denying them the right to vote and revoking their citizenship.

        Let us not pretend that Israel is solely, or even primarily responsible for the misery of the Arab refugees. It should be up to their Arab brothers to enfranchise the refugees, grant them citizenship and permit them to build a life in countries where they share a culture, a language, religion and most guideposts of identity. These would not be the first refugees who had to settle in new lands and be absorbed into foreign lands. Like the Jews evicted from the Arab lands they were born in, these Arabs can make new lives in one of the many dozen Arab lands rather then in the one Jewish one.

        Reply to Comment
        • Philos

          P. Ami, please practice your hasbara training somewhere else. These are nice lines you picked up from “Stand with Us.” Yes, the Arab Jews, Mizrachi Jews, Oriental Jews, Jews from Arab countries who aren’t Arabs, or whatever you’ll call them, yes they’re all doctors, and lawyers, and living the dream. Yes the “Mizrachi party” of the Likud is full of Mizrachim is positions of leadership, Mizrachim command equality in the socio-economic ladder, their communities in Sderot, Be’er Sheva, Afula, Kiryat Milachi, Or Yehuda and elsewhere are paragons of high bagrut pass rates and university enrollment. In the Israel of today there is absolutely no correlation between the origins of ones parents or grandparents and how well they fare in society today.

          Reply to Comment
        • aristeides

          Stale propaganda, P Ami. You need to update your manual.

          “Arabs” aren’t fungible. Palestinians are Palestinians and belong in Palestine. They aren’t Lebanese, they aren’t Egyptian.

          The responsibilty for the Palestinian Arabs rests solely on those who expelled them from their homeland and confiscated it to make room for Jews. The influx of refugees from 1947-48 has caused a profound destabilization in the nations that [unlike Israel today] took them in. This problem was caused by Israel.

          If Israel took in Jewish refugees from Arab states, this did nothing to solve the problems of Palestinian refugees. Rather, it exacerbated them, by complicating the Palestinian claims to their confiscated property.

          If Israel wants to treat all Jews as fungible, that’s Israel’s problem. btw, a Jewish guy named Joel owes me money – I assume I can collect it from you.

          Reply to Comment
          • P. Ami

            Lets pretend for a moment that you will not characterize any argument made for Israel as propaganda.

            Why aren’t Arabs fungible as much as any people and why do Arabs belong in Israel? Germans belonged in Czechoslovakia until they ceased to belong there. Hindus belonged in Pakistan, and Muslims in India, until they were transferred. Why not the Arabs from Israel. Forcing the Jews to forgo having their own nation state for the sake of adding one more Arab state to the 22 currently in existence is an injustice. The cherry on top of my argument is that there is already a Palestine. It goes by the name Jordan and currently has a greater percentage of Palestinians as it’s population then a One-State solution ever would. Let the Arabs move there and let the Jews have a defensible and roughly homogenous nation just as the British, the French, the Germans, the Chinese, the Persians, and the Arabs do (well, 22 Arab nations have roughly homogenous countries).

            It is not propaganda to think as I do. It is the better argument as far as I’m concerned. Nobody pays me to talk about these issues, nobody instructs me. I read both sides and I find your points to be weak, unjust, and contra my values.

            Reply to Comment
          • JG

            So like the “Germans belonged in Czechoslovakia”, the Palestinians started a World War and massacred millions of people? Must have been sleeping while they told us this in history class.
            Or maybe I have to join the university of hasbara to get such profound knowledge

            Reply to Comment
          • P. Ami

            I don’t suggest you join any university. It does not require an organized curriculum to learn the history of WWII. There are lots of podcasts, plenty of books, and lots of documentaries which will talk about the very facts I mentioned. The Germans of Czechoslovakia, who had lived there for hundreds of years, were less responsible for WWII then the Arabs in the British Mandate were responsible for the Palestine Civil War and the Israeli War of Independence. Czech-Germans were mostly just regular members of Czechoslovak society and had lived in the western side of that country for many generations, with occasional trouble between them and the Czechs.

            Here, I’ll provide you a Hasbarapedia link to learn a little something.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Republic%E2%80%93Germany_relations

            It is strange how often an historically informed individual resembles a propagandist to the habitually ignorant.

            Now that the German-Czech issue has been explained and shown in my favor, I wonder what world war you suggest the Muslims and Hindus of Pakistan and India inflicted on the world that they were made to migrate? None? Okay, so that example still stands as well.

            Back to tissue at hand, you neglect to recognize that Arab communities organized militias and attacked Jews, all before the War of Independence. They had massacred Jews in Hebron, Sefed and Jerusalem. They had ambushed Jews traveling on roads. The Arab population, as well as the Jewish one, was involved in a civil war. Just as with the Germans living in Czechoslovakia, not every Arab was active and not every Arab was supportive. You can say that about any war. It is not as if the Jews wanted to fight. They wanted their country. Fortunately for the Jews, unfortunately for the Arabs, those who took sides with Arab might lost their homes and were abandoned by their compatriots. Those who remained neutral or remained in Israel gained citizenship in Israel.

            Reply to Comment
    9. Joel

      Why does Larry put ‘Jewish refugees from Arab countries’ in apostrophes?

      Wasn’t the flight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries a fact?

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard Witty

        Not a present fact.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          I would hazard to guess that their are more original Jewish refugees from Arab countries alive today than there are original Palestinian refugees

          Reply to Comment
          • Carl

            Joel, I’d hazard a guess that the moon is made out of cheese: don’t think I’m right either. There’s probably some facts involved I think.

            Reply to Comment
        • Gil Franco

          In the past year, the remaining Jews in Yemen have emigrated after going into hiding to protect themselves from being murdered by their Arab compatriots. Surely, that is present facty enough for your taste.

          Reply to Comment
    10. Sophia Edgar

      While I disagree with the rhetoric and emotive language being used to make an inaccurate comparison, in the UK at least the legal definition of a refugee is someone who has been given leave to remain, while someone who is stateless and seeking sanctuary is an asylum seeker. It is a strange turn of phrase, and I think it is used by UK government because ‘refugee’ elicits sympathy where asylum seeker and immigrant doesn’t.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Noam

      Larry, I don’t know who is more off this time – you or Ayalon. While much of Israeli Hasbarah is baseless propaganda, the issue of Jewish refugees and dispossession due to the war in ’48 is in fact largely overlooked in the international arena. You are wrong by saying that the comparison is wrong because Jews were naturalized in Israel and therefore aren’t refugees. While that could make sense, Palestinians who were naturalized in Jordan with full citizenship AND THEIR DESCENDANTS WILL ALWAYS BE REFUGEES. Plus, Palestinians are the single group in the world which can pass on refugeedom forever, wherever. Ayalon is morally wrong (as usual) for bringing this up as a counter-argument in front of the PLO, as Palestinians clearly didn’t expel a single Jew from Iraq, Libya or Syria.
      However, in the broader context of peacemaking between Israel and the Arab world, raising the issue of this population exchange and massive dispossession is vital. With scholarship on the Nakba getting more widespread, people tend to forget that 1948 WAS NOT A WAR BETWEEN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE. It was a war between a newly born Israel and much of the Arab world. The mideast conflict is broader than Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians. This is just its focal, boiling point.
      A Palestinian state should be established based on ’67. The occupation must end. But that should happen in accordance with the Arab League’s Peace Proposal or something of that sort. And in a wider context of reconciliation between the Arab nations and Israel, this issue of Jewish dispossession and population exchange is vital.
      It is a fact the war was started by the Arab side. The current, tragic situation of life in refugee camps is greatly due to policies of the Arab nations since then, and decisions made by the Arab League. Why wasn’t there even the IDEA of turning the West Bank or Gaza into Palestine under Arab rule? Why did they not liberate those Palestinians and give them statehood? That was not even on the agenda of anybody when they were occupied by Arabs. They were and still are gaining political profit from riding the backs of poor refugees. I’m not saying Israel has no responsibility for Palestinian-Arab dispossession. At this point in time, more of their misfortune is due to amounting Arab policies since ’48 than to an Israeli policy in during ’48. Rationally, who should a young Palestinian refugee be more angry at – an evil enemy entity which was founded 50 years before he was born, or an Arab state which he was born into and which is supposedly committed to his peoples’ national rights and blah blah while actually oppressing him, denying him basic civil rights. They are actually oppressing his family for decades, preventing them from moving forward. His relationship with evil Israel ended 50 years before he was even born, due to a war that Israel didn’t wish for. Now he lives in a country that took a side in that war, he speaks the language, he could have a new life as part of thriving Palestinian-Lebanese community that enjoys full equality and not live in a camp. But all that’s put in his head from kindergarten is not a peaceful goal of national sovereignty a liberation from the ’67 occupation, but a fantasy of going to Jaffa and kicking some Russian, Yemenite or Ethiopian family out to God-knows-where.

      Reply to Comment
      • Palestinian

        You blame other Arabs for the expulsion of the indigenous population by terrorists and thieves from Russia and Europe ?! how sad

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          @Palestini

          Yeah. And who killed over 6,200 Russian Jewish terrorists and thieves in 1948?

          Noble, righteous Arab freedom fighters of course!

          Reply to Comment
    12. The logic is all too familiar. Some insights from the early days are just as true today as they were then.

      “The bulk of the Zionist movement gravitates toward fascism, although Zionists are mostly not aware of it, and the majority would indignantly deny that their pure, selfless nationalism, which wants nothing of others, or even that their ‘Great Zionism’, as Jewish fascism often calls itself, has anything in common with the brutal fascism of Germany.”
      William Zukerman, publisher of The Jewish Newsletter, in 1934

      Reply to Comment
      • P. Ami

        One can write whatever one likes and say what they say, but just because some Jew in 1934 cries that Zionism has anything in common with Nazi Germany does not make it so. Beyond that, it is purposely designed to demonize the Jews for desiring their own homeland, rather then to illuminate the fact that Jews simply want what other nations have, their own country.

        Fascism’s tenets are as follows. The State is the fundamental unit of humanity according to fascism. This is not true of Zionism. The State serves the Jewish people in Zionism, not the opposite. In fascism, all individual right are held so long as they further the needs of the State. Zionists established a Western Liberal state that is restrained by individual liberties, even if the State is inconvenienced by these restraints. In fascist Nazi Germany (as William Zukerman compares to Zionism) Industry was owned by cronies controlled by the state. Zionist Israel has privatized most industries. There is cronyism of various kinds but this is not a particular form of cronyism as found in fascist systems. Rather, you find similar cronyism in Europe, in communist regimes, in today’s autocratic China and in the US. In fascist nations, the State is run by a dictator who achieved his power with violence and through whom all elements of the government flow. This was true of Hitler, Franco, Mussolini etc… In the one Zionist country you have a pluralistic assembly that reflects popular will. Prime Ministers rise and fall according to consensus, not force. There is an independent judiciary that often crosses the the will and wishes of the PM.

        There are just too many arguments that point away from Zukerman’s characterization and show the foolishness of buying into it.

        Reply to Comment
    13. Michael Croydon

      Being an international lawyer, I do have to point out that the analysis in this article of what constitutes a refugee is not correct. You are a refugee when you are forced to flee your country because of persecution, and even if you get protection in another country you remain a refugee (unless you get the citizenship of the host country or another state). Unlike what the article says, you do not have to be in limbo for decades to be called a refugee. You also have the right to restitution, regardless of whether you remain a refugee or not, and if you have a new citizenship there is nothing wrong with your new country of nationality pursuing your case. The right to return is a bit more complicated – if you revoke your original nationality (after getting a new one) I suppose there may be an argument for saying that your right to return is also forfeited. But getting a new nationality doesn’t automatically mean your original nationality disappears – this depends on the citizenship laws of both states.

      The reason that the Israeli argument about this is utterly and hopelessly bogus is not so much because of the legal definition of refugee – it’s because there is an obvious inconsistency in their logic. Palestinians? No right to return, to restitution, to anything. Jewish refugees? Victims of the worst abuses history has ever seen. The rest of the world simply isn’t so dumb as not to see how ridiculous this campaign is.

      Incidentally, Israeli figures and media often say in passing that Palestinians are the only one who the UN has decided pass on refugee status to their children, therefore ensuring an increase in number. This is a blatant lie, easily refuted by any graduate student who knows anything about refugees.

      Reply to Comment
      • P. Ami

        The Arabs living in the West Bank had Jordanian citizenship dating from the Jordanian Occupation until the late 1980’s, when Jordan unilaterally disenfranchised them.

        Reply to Comment
        • Palestinian

          Those Arabs are Palestinian.When Jordan was controlling the 1967 land it wasnt an occupation but a unification.I wish the disengagement didnt occur

          Reply to Comment
          • P. Ami

            I will address your idea about Jordan’s rights to the West Bank in a moment. I just want to say, I appreciate your honesty. The fact that you admit that the Arabs living in the West Bank were Jordanian citizens is, in fact, very difficult to get Palestinian propagandists to admit to. It is all too inconvenient for them to admit the truth, that Arabs living in the West Bank are actually disenfranchised Jordanians with no reasonable refugee status to speak of. They should go and be with their fellow countrymen on the east side of the Jordan and let the Jews be.

            Regarding Jordan’s illegal occupation of the West Bank, there is no international document that defines a specific area of land to be set aside for Arabs west of the Jordan. There are suggested land areas by which the land west of the Jordan could be split between Jews and Arabs, but none were ratified (The Arab negotiators failed to agree to terms). There are ratified documents to say that all the land west of the Jordan would go to the Jews, but that is neither here nor there other then to inform the basis by which the West Bank is more correctly called a disputed territory, rather then an occupied territory. The fact is, Jordan does have specific borders that belong to the Jordanians, and the West Bank is, in no way, part of Jordan. While it is conceivable that Israel has the rights to the West Bank, and again this is based on international laws and agreements, Jordan does not and it’s holding of the West Bank between 1948 and 1967, was a result of military aggression, hence it was illegal.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            I said those Arabs (in referring to Arabs who live in the West Bank) are Palestinian not Jordanian.

            Again it was unification not occupation .What documents give the Jews a right to Jordan or Palestine ,and what right did the UN have to “donate” our homeland to a bunch of illegal immigrants, thieves and terrorists from Russia and Europe ?

            Reply to Comment
          • P. Ami

            So, by what right does Jordan have any claims on the West Bank? At least the Jews can use Chapter 8 of the UN Charter to rationalize Jewish sovereignty over the West Bank. Jordan has only the, right of conquest argument and what is won in conquest can be lost in the same manner.

            Jordan has a responsibility to care for it’s citizens. Instead of taking on these Jordanian refugees from the West Bank and settling them behind Jordan’s legal borders, the Jordanians chose to disenfranchise their countrymen.

            As for what right did the UN have. Every right. There was never an independent Arab state of Palestine. There last time a people had their capital in Jerusalem 9or anywhere in what is now Israel, Judea, Samaria or Gaza, was under the Crusader kingdom. Before that it was the capital of Judea. So, one can’t point to any Arab independence in the land. Second, the Ottomans had the territory for centuries and permitted Jews to purchase and settle the lands. After them the British had sovereignty and they negotiated the San Remo Accord, which established a Jewish Homeland west of the Jordan River. It was their right to do so. The League of Nations ratified the San Remo Accord and the UN grandfather this accord into that international body with Chapter 8 of the UN Charter. So, Israel has an internationally legal claim to the territory.

            You can look to international law to protect yourself from excesses. You may us the UN to help care for the refugees. You can try to join the UN. all 22 Arab states are member states of the UN. So, you either recognize the actions of the UN or you don’t. You either look to the international community and the system established, or you do not.

            You are welcome to disregard the UN system, but don’t come crying about Human Rights abuses and crawl to the International Courts to judge events in a war between our people. You either accept international arbitration, or you don’t. Don’t be a hypocrite. It’s not going to get you anywhere while Israel is the more profound military power.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            We gave Jordan that right in Jericho conference .Can you post whats written in chapter 8 …As I said earlier 2 times , those who live in occupied Palestine are Palestinian not Jordanian ,and they do live in their homeland ,Palestine.
            Again what right did the UN or the British have over Palestine ?Who gave them the right to give away people’s land to a third party (thieves and terrorists from Russia and Europe)?
            Israel is recognized by the UN and claims to be a Western democracy and a state of law, yet it violates the UN resolutions, international law,the 4th Geneva convention and the Oslo accords, that is hypocrisy.
            Please next time keep mythology out of the argument, no Juju and no Susu .

            Reply to Comment
          • P. Ami

            Who is this we, you speak of at the Jericho conference. The Arab League did not recognize the right of that conference, nor has the international community. Arabs did not have sovereignty in the West Bank to begin with for them to agree to let Jordan annex the territory.

            The British had rights over the Mandate because they conquered it from the Ottomans, who had declared war on Britain. This basis was the accepted, worldwide basis for control over a territory at the time. Far be it for an Arab to pretend otherwise as Arabs and Islam had absolutely no native connection to the land and only controlled it through a brutal conquest whose story is one of the massacre of the native populations and their enslavement. Those natives who remained were made into dhimi. So, lets not pretend that the British, Ottomans or anybody in the last thousand years invented the notion of wars of conquest. The Arabs were plenty comfortable with conquest when they are at the winning end of it.

            The land was not under Arab sovereignty at the time of the partition. So, the right was held by the trustees (British) and the title holders on the land, many of whom were Jews. You keep bringing up the issue of Jewish thieves from Europe and Russia. Do you deny that Jews bought the land on which they lived up to 1948? Do you deny that Jews only confiscated land from those who fought against the Jews in the Palestinian Civil War? Do you deny that Arabs in Palestine formed militias and attacked Jews? Do you deny that the Arab armies came to the rescue of the failing Arab militias?

            Israel violates non-binding UN resolutions. So, it’s not truly a violation of a resolution if it is non-binding.

            Regarding the 4th Geneva Convention, “Article 2 states that signatories are bound by the convention both in war, armed conflicts where war has not been declared and in an occupation of another country’s territory.”… Syria is under an official condition of hostility with Israel and until a peace treaty is concluded, Israel has the right to hold the Golan. Besides the Golan, Israel does not hold any territory of another country. The West Bank is not the territory of any other state. So, how exactly is the 4th Geneva Convention being broken by Israel?

            Finally, Oslo was well broken by the Arabs many years ago. Go on and show me any violations of Oslo by Israel that predate Arab violations.

            You ask about Chapter 8 of the UN Charter. That is my mistake. It is Article 80 of the UN Charter.

            http://www.fsmlaw.org/miscdocs/uncharter.htm

            It is under the section dealing with International Trusteeship. Remember that the San Remo Accord was ratified by members of the UN and Article 80 maintains the legality of those agreements. San Remo establishes a Jewish State on the territories of Palestine, west of the Jordan. You may not like the reality, but international law still stands and it certainly has greater validity then a little meeting between the Jordanian king and self-proclaimed Palestinian leaders in Jericho.

            Lets not pretend that I am the one hawking mythes from the sky. You admit that Jordan is a Palestinian State. You should be proud of your country and you should convince your fellow countrymen to live there.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            We = the Palestinian indigenous population, the inhabitants of the land
            No nation accepted to be conquered by others , that is and was the basis of resistance .
            The land was under the British occupation who gave it to Zionists, from one thief to another. All Arabs were given their right to have a state on their land except the Palestinians.
            Zionist Jews managed to purchase less than 7% of historic Palestine.They bombed and eradicated hundreds of villages and cities and steal Palestinian properties. The helpless Palestinian resistance groups were formed after the Zionist Jewish terrorist militias were imported and trained in Palestine .
            According to your claim , Palestinians and other Arabs aren’t
            Regarding the 4th Geneva Convention ,the situation in the West Bank and Gaza is considered an armed conflict so Israel is violating it .As you mentioned Syria ,Israel is violating the 4th Geneva convention as its an occupied territory.
            Show me violations of Oslo by the Palestinian side.
            Article 73 : Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories” ….the interests the inhabitants of these territories are paramount.
            It seems you missed this sentence in San Remo resolution : it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and politica” …..I think ethnic cleansing of Palestinians violates the San Remo resolution ,don’t you think so …!

            Where did I say Jordan is Palestine ? Lying again ?

            Reply to Comment
      • P. Ami

        Your second paragraph is a straw man argument. In what way does anyone pretend that the Arab right of return is tied to the “greatest atrocities” as suffered by Jews? The Arabs are not living in camps because of the Holocaust or the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries. They live in camps because they organized militias and attacked Jews on a regular basis, well into 1948. The Arab population had participated in the civil war before any Arab state sent their armies to destroy the Jewish State. When the Arab states promised to kill all the Jews and let the Arabs move into the homes left behind, many Arabs quickly chose that side. Finally, the Arabs who remained got to keep their property and became citizens of Israel. So, considering that your basis for why Israeli argument is bogus is actually not the Israeli argument at all, I guess it is time for you to agree that Israel’s argument is valid.

        As for the issue of compensation. Israel has a number of times offered to compensate those Arabs who fled. The argument between Israel and the Arabs has been between restitution and compensation. Also, this issue of compensation for Jews fleeing Arab lands is not a new one. It was part of the negotiations in Taba back in 2000 and had been brought up previous to those negotiations.

        I want to bring up one more issue. In the Palestinian Civil War and Israeli War of Independence, over 7,000 Jews were killed. This was over 1% of the Jewish population. Meanwhile, 5,000 Palestinians were killed in the same conflict. In the war of Independence, the Palestinians lost 800 civilians. The Jews lost 2,400 civilians. I mean, what population was in fear of it’s life? After the war, Israel kept it’s Arab population only keeping out those who ran to their Arab brothers for protection and revenge upon the Jews. The Arab countries kicked the Jews out, populations who had no direct connection to events in Israel, and sent them to their brothers who succeeded in integrating them into their new society. Which population was suffering through retribution and confiscation? Perhaps both populations suffered, but the Arab population suffered as a result of their active participation in trying to upend the international community’s decision regarding the partition of Palestine into one Jewish state and one Arab state. While the Jews kept the war local, the Arabs exported it to the undefended civilians living in the diaspora. While the Jews struggled to base a resolution to the conflict on negotiations, the Arabs resorted to violence and then complain when the violence leads to a degradation of their situation and a loss of leverage.

        Reply to Comment
      • Sandy

        Let us not forget that when Arafat was in power, he received billions in aid for the refugees and he squandered it all. He should have created jobs, housing, education for the Palestinians and didn’t. Why is he never blamed for their status?

        Reply to Comment
    14. Mitchell Cohen

      “You also have the right to restitution, regardless of whether you remain a refugee or not, and if you have a new citizenship there is nothing wrong with your new country of nationality pursuing your case.” [End of Quote]
      @Michael Croydon, you just made the case for the Jewish refugees from Arab countries having the right to claim restitution. And why shouldn’t they (irrespective of the Israel/Palestinian conflict)?

      Reply to Comment
    15. un2here

      So Aylon says he wants to trade in the Oriental Jews former property in their former homelands – apparently worth more than all of Palestine?

      Great! … Where is it??

      Reply to Comment
    16. Tomer Zahavi

      No Justice for Mizrahi Jews = No Peace

      They stole from us an area 5X the size of the present state of Israel.

      We demand RESTITUTION.
      What’s Fair is Fair!!

      Reply to Comment
    17. IsaacG

      The vanishing Jews of the Arab world / Baghdad native tells the story of being a Middle East refugee

      In discussions about refugees in the Middle East, a major piece of the narrative is routinely omitted, and my life is part of the tapestry of what’s missing. I am a Jew, and I, too, am a refugee. Some of my childhood was spent in a refugee camp in Israel (yes, Israel). And I am far from being alone.

      This experience is shared by hundreds of thousands of other indigenous Jewish Middle Easterners who share a similar background to my own. However, unlike the Palestinian Arabs, our narrative is largely ignored by the world because our story — that of some 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries dispossessed by Arab governments — is an inconvenience for those who seek to blame Israel for all the problems in the Middle East.

      Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/The-vanishing-Jews-of-the-Arab-world-Baghdad-2694221.php#ixzz27ISwmUfX

      Reply to Comment
      • Barry Rosen

        Larry, the Pals are refugees, cause the Arabs keep them as refugees. You know, its good for propaganda and Pallywood.
        I remember growing up, their was always this story, which summed up the Arabs.
        Col. Richard Henry Meinertzhagen, a British Middle East expert. He asked a fellow Arab dinner guest at the home of a British diplomat, “Why do not you Arabs, with all your resources from oil, do something for those wretched refugees from Palestine?”

        The Lebanese replied, “Good God, do you really think we are going to destroy the finest propaganda we possess? It’s a gold mine!”

        When Meinertzhagen observed that this view was unkind and immoral, the Lebanese replied, “They are just human rubbish, but a political gold mine!”

        In slightly different language referring to the same attitude about the usefulness of Palestinian refugee camps, Meinertzhagen notes in his book, “I received identical views from other Arabs.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Barry Rosen

          The 48 war was the result of the Palestinians together with their Arab allies to perform ethnic cleansing on the Jews and their failure to complete it.
          Every single Jew in the parts of the Mandate seized by the Arabs was expelled from their homes. No exceptions. They even dynamited the entire ancient Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem in an attempt to wipe out the history of Jewish residence there. They also made it illegal for a Jew to live in the areas of the former Mandate that they controlled, including the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.
          850,000 Jews were also forced from the Arab countries.
          After the 5 Arab armies attacked Israel in 48,
          Haj Amin Al Husseini, the deeply racist Nazi collaborator, stated:
          I declare a holy war, my muslim brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!
          The Arab League Secretary, General Azzam Pasha declared “a holy war. He said, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.
          Sorry but Israel existed 1500 years before Mohammad and Islam existed.
          “FATHI HAMMAD” admits Palestinians are really Arabs from other Arab countries.
          Hamas official reveals where Palestinians came from.

          Hamas Minister of the Interior Fathi Hammad Slams Egypt over Fuel Shortage in Gaza Strip, and Says:
          “Half of the Palestinians Are Egyptians and the Other Half Are Saudis”
          Al-Hekma TV (Egypt) – March 23, 2012.
          His video is on youtube.

          Reply to Comment
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