To a thronging crowd in the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber in the UN’s headquarters in New York City, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor declaimed Wednesday that the 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries who fled in the aftermath of Israel’s creation in 1948 “deserve justice – and we [Israel] will not rest until they get it."
In what has become an annual event, the Israeli government sponsored a special event entitled: “The Untold Story of 850,000 Refugees, The Tale of Ancient Jewish Cultures in Arab Countries.”
Prosor went on to state:
"Eight hundred and fifty thousand Jews were forced to flee from Arab lands – and while they went on to raise families and have successful careers and give to their new communities – they never forgot the pain and humiliation of being torn from their homes.
“From this podium, in the heart of the Family of Nations, I call on the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative to establish a center of documentation. Collect the evidence to preserve history, document their firsthand accounts, and tell the story of the 850,000 Jews who were persecuted and expelled at the hands of the Arab nations.
“The United Nations cannot erase the pain and humiliation endured by the Jewish refugees, but it can help to make amends.”
This year, Israeli musician Dudu Tassa who comes from a family of famous Iraqi musicians accepted the invitation from Prosor to expose his family’s experience to an audience of hundreds who came from around the world.
The group "Dudu Tassa and the Kuwaitis" performed songs by Tassa's grandfather, Daud, a singer and oud player from Iraq, who was a member of the “Al-Kuwaiti Brothers” and one of the founders of modern Iraqi music.
The event was a collaboration between the Government of Israel, the Conference of Presidents, Justice for Jews From Arab Countries, and Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress.