Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Iraqi Jews reject ‘cynical manipulation’ of their history by Israel, Zionists, writer Almog Behar tells EI

By Ali Abunimah

"It is far from the first instance of tampering with, exploiting, and deleting our history, but it is the straw that broke the camel’s back, and so … we formed the Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan.”
This is how writer, poet and activist Almog Behar described a decision by a group of Jews from Arab and Kurdish backgrounds to speak out forcefully against renewed Israeli government propaganda efforts to counter Palestinian refugee rights by using the claims of Jews who left Arab countries for Israel in the 1950s.
Israeli diplomats, Haaretz reported last week, “have been instructed to raise the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries at every relevant forum. This is part of a new international campaign to create parity between the plight of Jewish and Palestinian refugees, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon announced on Monday.”.....

The Israeli government does “not represent us”

But in an extraordinary statement posted on Facebook last week, the newly-formed Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan, of which Behar is a founding member, hit back:
We are seeking to demand compensation for our lost property and assets from the Iraqi government - NOT from the Palestinian Authority - and we will not agree with the option that compensation for our property be offset by compensation for the lost property of others (meaning, Palestinian refugees) or that said compensation be transferred to bodies that do not represent us (meaning, the Israeli government).
The statement went on to demand an investigation of Israel’s complicity in the departure of Iraqi Jews from their homeland including in terrorist acts against Jews....."

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