Ohayon: American Framework 'A Step in the Right Direction'
Chairman of the Committee for Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands, MK Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beytenu), welcomed one issue addressed in the American framework presented by US envoy Martin Indyk. The framework includes a clause granting compensation for the refugees - something Ohayon and other advocates have been waiting for.
"The issue of Jews expelled from Arab lands was never brought to the table [until now] and has been neglected for many years," Ohayon explained to Arutz Sheva Friday. "This is a historical injustice that needs to be fixed."
"I don't know what the agreement says, but I welcome anything that pays attention to the Jewish refugee issue, of course," Ohayon added.
"Finally our voice is being heard for Jewish refugees from Arab lands, something which has not been discussed for 65 years," he continued. "We are talking about the systematic expulsion of almost a million Jews from Arab countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Iraq - most of whom who left significant amounts of property behind valuing hundreds of millions of shekel."
Roughly 800,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries around the time of the establishment of Israel in 1948. The assets they were forced to leave behind are valued at $4.4 billion.
While unclear of the exact details, Ohayon stated that a list exists naming the specific compensation due for each community who immigrated - and that it's a step in the right direction.
"I congratulate the Foreign Ministry on its extensive work putting the issue of Jews who immigrated from Arab countries on the American agenda," he concluded.