The Permanent Israeli Mission to the UN held an event on Tuesday to honor the untold stories of some 850,000 Jewish refugees who were forced to flee their native Muslim countries following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.Arab media would have ignored this, except for a detail reported by Yediot Aharonot in Hebrew:
In Israel, November 30th marks the official annual commemoration of the expulsion of Jews from Muslim countries during the 20th century.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon opened the event by stressing that Jews from Muslim lands have suffered an “historical injustice” that has been going on for years.
“Facing violent, and even murderous anti-Jewish riots, government confiscation of wealth, nearly a million Jews were forced to flee the places their families had called home for generations, leaving behind everything they had,” he told the gathering. “We are here tonight to ensure that the world finally recognizes the stories of these forgotten refugees.”
Danon pointed a finger at the United Nations for differentiating between Palestinian refugees and Jewish refugees from the same conflict.
Jewish refugees, he said, “do not have a special UN agency, and several UN organizations acting as a lobby on their behalf. The reason is simple: While the Arab countries refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees, the State of Israel opened its doors to fellow Jews.”
The event was also attended by the German Ambassador to the UN and official delegations of Canada, Italy, Egypt, Colombia and Uruguay.The fact that Egypt sent a delegation is causing some ripples - but no outrage - that I have seen.
media also reported on the commemoration in Kurdistan of the expulsion of Jews from Iraq. AFP reported:
A ceremony marking the deportation of Jews from Iraq seven decades ago was held for the first time on Monday in the country's autonomous Kurdish region.This story was also played straight in Arab media as far as I can tell.
It also marked the beginning of Jewish representation in the Kurdistan region's religious-affairs ministry as a result of a law passed in May to promote minority rights.
"The law says that if there was one person from the followers of any religion, his rights are preserved," said Sherzad Omar Mamsani, the Jewish representative at the Kurdish regional ministry.
The ceremony in Kurdistan capital Arbil was attended by Kurds of Jewish origin and officials who also visited an exhibition of old photographs and records documenting Iraqi Jewry.
According to Mamsani, the ceremony is the first of its kind and marks what is known as the "Farhud", the dispossession that led to the flight and deportation of Jews from Iraq.
Mamsani, who has Jewish origins, said he estimated that the families who self-identify as Jews in Kurdistan -- but are still officially registered as Muslims -- numbered around 400.
He added that the number of families who converted to Islam but "are Jews in origin" was in the thousands.
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