(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Ministers’ Bureau)
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon opened today (Monday 10 September 2012) the international conference "Justice for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries". The conference, which is being held in Jerusalem, is an initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for Senior Citizens and the World Jewish Congress. Parliamentarians from around the world, Including Canadian MP Prof. Irwin Cotler, are attending the conference.
Following are headings from DFM Ayalon’s remarks:
FM Ayalon stated that the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries is becoming an active political issue that tops the list of MFA priorities: "Since the Oslo Agreements, Israeli governments have spoken only about concessions. The time has come to talk of Jewish rights and justice." Ayalon reviewed the political-legal background that constitutes the basis to the demand for international recognition of the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. For instance, U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which relates to all the refugees, Jews and Arabs alike, the Camp David Accords, in which President Clinton raised the issue of the joint compensation fund, etc.
DFM Ayalon: "We will not rest and we will not concede until the Jewish refugees from Arab countries are recognized by the international community and the Arab League."
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed all Israeli diplomatic missions around the world, the mission in Geneva and the Israeli delegation to the United Nations in particular, to raise the issue with the governments and parliaments in their host states in any relevant discussions or meetings.
Ayalon presented the new "I am a refugee" Facebook campaign, which enables people to upload personal testimonies that will be used at the forthcoming conference to be held in two weeks at the UN General Assembly in New York. He called on people to upload as many personal testimonies as possible "so that the truth will be heard again and again to contradict the lies and denials of the Arab world that rejects the truth and injustice done to the Jews who were loyal and faithful subjects."