Danny Ayalon
Danny AyalonFlash 90

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) is airing two programs about the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

Recently, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, in conjunction with the World Jewish Congress and the Pensioners Affairs Ministry, launched a new campaign aimed at bringing attention to the thousands of Jewish refugees who were expelled from Arab countries following the establishment of the State of Israel.

The campaign, titled “I am a refugee” and spearheaded by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, seeks to refocus the debate by bringing to light the truth behind the many myths and fabrications that have come to dominate the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“Sixty years ago, around one million Jews lived in Arab societies, but today only a few thousand remain – mainly in Morocco and Tunisia,” begins the promotion for the two-episode program produced by the BBC. “The plight of Palestinian refugees is well known, but the Jews who were uprooted and forced to flee their Arab homes are largely forgotten.”

Titled “Arab Jews: A Forgotten Exodus,” this two-part series which will air Oct.14 and 15, “tells the story of Jewish exodus – a story of dispossession and torn identities in one of the most hotly-debated chapters of history in the Middle East – and how the remaining diasporas are surviving in hostile Arab countries.”

“Based in Israel, part one examines what happened to the 850,000 Jews that have lived in Arab countries since Biblical times. Magdi Abdelhadi meets Jews from Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Syria, and discovers what life used to be like for them, how they got on with their Muslim neighbors and what prompted the disappearance of their ancient communities,” reads the promo.

“He hears their individual accounts of loss, anger and injustice and finds out how much of their old culture and identity they took with them to their new home countries,” it concludes.

For data and information on the issue, click here ( Dr. M.Gerstenfeld's article "Jewish Refugees Lost Much More than Arab Refugees"and here (Eli Hertz on "What You Should Know about the Right of Return".)