On two occasions, in 1957 and again in 1967, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) determined that Jews fleeing from Arab countries were refugees who fell within the mandate of the UNHCR.
“Another emergency problem is now arising: that of refugees from Egypt. There is no doubt in my mind that those refugees from Egypt who are not able,or not willing to avail themselves of the protection of the Government of their nationality fall under the mandate of my office.” Mr. Auguste Lindt, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Report of the UNREF Executive Committee, Fourth Session – Geneva 29 January to 4 February, 1957.
“I refer to our recent discussion concerning Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries in consequence of recent events. I am now able to inform you that such persons may be considered prima facie within the mandate of this Office.” Dr. E. Jahn, Office of the UN High Commissioner, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Document No. 7/2/3/Libya, July 6, 1967
Resolution 242 stipulates that a comprehensive peace settlement should necessarily include “a just settlement of the refugee problem.” No distinction is made between Arab refugees and Jewish refugees.
The international community’s intention to have Resolution 242 include the rights of Jewish refugees is evidenced by the fact that during the UN debate, the Soviet Union’s delegation attempted to restrict the “just settlement” mentioned in Resolution 242 solely to Palestinian refugees. (S/8236, discussed by the Security Council at its 1382nd meeting of November 22, 1967, notably at paragraph 117, in the words of Ambassador Kouznetsov of the Soviet Union). This attempt failed clearly signaling the intention of the international community not to restrict the “just settlement of the refugee problem” merely to Palestinian refugees.
Moreover, Justice Arthur Goldberg, the United States’ Chief Delegate to the United Nations, who was instrumental in drafting the unanimously adopted U.N. Resolution 242, has pointed out that:
“A notable omission in 242 is any reference to Palestinians, a Palestinian state on the West Bank or the PLO. The resolution addresses the objective of ‘achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.’ This language presumably refers both to Arab and Jewish refugees, for about an equal number of each abandoned their homes as a result of the several wars…
Jewish Refugees from Arab lands continue to be treated by Condi Rice and Ehud Olmert like Quasimodo, locked up and hidden from view. As Jillian Bandes reports in todays Weekly Standard that is unlikely to change despite new evidence of Arab cruelty,
The document was released by the human rights group Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JFJ) [discovered in the UN archives] at a conference this past weekend, and includes the following:
” . . . every Jew whose activities reveal that he is an active Zionist will be considered as a political prisoner and will be interned in places specifically designated for that purpose . . . his financial resources . . . will be frozen.”
JFJ President Stan Urman said that the law outlines “a step by step chronology pointing to collusion by the Arab League” to work against Israel during the time of its inception. Urman and over 50 scholars from 10 countries met at the conference, which Green said “acknowledged and addressed the plight and pain of Jews from Arab and Islamic Lands that have been displaced because of state-sanctioned policies of repression.”
……Conference attendees interested in seeing that change were infuriated when an Israeli official offered that the government would “address the issue when the time is right.” …..Gina Wills, a public affairs specialist in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the Department of State, said that the United States has never addressed the issue of Jewish refugees or commanded attention to their restitution. In fact, it has refused to recognize the claims of Jews fleeing Iraq, despite recognizing the claims of Arab refugees against Israel. The issue “has been expunged on the pages of history,” said JFJ’s Shira Dicker. “This is it, 60 years after the fact.”
Read the full JFJ conference article by clicking here:The Other Refugees A newly discovered document explains the Jewish exile from Muslim lands.