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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 19, 2003

Finance Ministry budgets NIS 3m to register claims by Jews from Arab countries

Seems Palestinians were not the only ones who lost out in the chaos begun when arab nations attacked the new state of Israel in '47. And no, these Jewish refugees are not seeking The Right of Return! "Jewish communal property abandoned by immigrants from Middle East countries is estimated to be worth $30 billion."
[...] The claims will be filed by immigrants from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen who immigrated to Israel since 1940. The office will collect documents and legal material pertaining to damage to Jewish property and persecution of Jews in these countries, including confiscation of property and bodily harm. The purpose is to provide a foundation for claims against these countries and international institutions to counter claims by Palestinian refugees.

A partial registration of claims, mainly by immigrants from Egypt and Iraq, was carried out in the 1950s. These claims covered about $1 billion. The registration was ordered resumed in the 1970s, but nothing was done. The current registration is based on a cabinet decision of March 2002.

“Globes” investigations in recent years discovered that the real value of confiscated Jewish property in Iraq, Egypt and Syria totals $8-10 billion. The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC) estimates the total value of property, including communal property, at $30 billion. [more]