US Congress: Don't forget about Jewish refugees

Wednesday, April 02, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a non-binding resolution calling on the administration to remember about the the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab nations when conducting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The Palestinians have made their own refugee issue a cornerstone of the peace process, and insist that as part of any final status peace deal Israel must allow those who fled the area ahead of invading Arab armies in 1948 to again take up residence inside the Jewish state, along with their millions of descendants.

The House resolution demanded that the White House and State Department start to give equal weight to the recognition of and rights of multitudes of Jews who were dispossessed, forced to flee and even killed throughout the Arab Middle East in the wake of Israel's declaration of independence.

Resolution co-sponsor Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) noted that "Jewish refugees outnumbered Palestinian refugees, and their forced exile from Arab lands must not be omitted from public discussion on the peace process."

Another co-sponsor, Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) took the opportunity to call out the United Nations over its one-sided approach to the Middle East refugee problem, and said the resolution was also aimed at the world body.

Arab groups predictably responded with outrage, stating that the resolution would draw attention away from what they view as the only refugee issue of any consequence - that of the Palestinian Arabs.

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