The Knesset approved a preliminary reading a bill marking a special day to commemorate Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Member of Knesset Shimon Ohayon (Likud - Yisrael Beiteinu) submitted the bill. 59 Knesset members supported the proposal, and none were opposed.
The bill will mark the Day of Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries by holding a special meeting on the subject, and institute activities to mark the occasion at various sites in Israel and Israeli embassies abroad.
MK Ohayon was born in Morocco and one of the many whose families were forced to leave their homes. It is estimated that 856,000 Jewish people were displaced after 1948 from the Middle East and northern Africa. Their displacement ended the centuries-old communities of the Sephardic, Yemenite and Middle Eastern Jewish Diaspora. Today the Jewish populations of such countries are estimated at only 4,500 where as before it was over 1 million.