OTTAWA, ON, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the House of Commons Standing
Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development commenced a
study on the experience of Jewish refugees from Arab countries who were
displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict. More than 850,000
Jewish refugees fled persecution and violence in Arab countries
throughout the Middle East and North Africa, resulting in the
extinction of vibrant communities that had thrived for thousands of
years. Currently, Canada's official Middle East policy neglects this
fact, only accounting for Palestinian refugees.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs has been at the forefront of
advocacy efforts to change Canadian foreign policy so that it correctly
reflects the historic plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs,
will be appearing as a witness to provide expert testimony alongside
refugees and representatives from Justice for Jews from Arab Countries,
a prominent international organization advocating for refugee rights.
In response to the commencement of the study, David Koschitzky, Chair of
the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, issued the following
"We applaud the Foreign Affairs committee for examining the situation of
Jewish refugees from Arab countries. We encourage Members of Parliament
from across the political spectrum to carefully consider the
testimonies of experts and refugees, and to join together in
recognizing the persecution and displacement of nearly one million Jews
throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
"Two refugee populations were created as a result of the Arab-Israeli
conflict - one Palestinian and the other Jewish. Unfortunately, the
plight of Jewish refugees has been completely omitted from Canada's
Middle East policy while that of the Palestinians features prominently.
It is essential that policymakers correct this inherent imbalance in
Canadian policy. Equitable consideration of Jewish refugees from Arab
countries is a necessary component for any just and lasting
Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement."
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is a non-partisan organization
that serves as the advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada.
SOURCE: Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
For further information:
or to arrange an interview with Shimon Koffler Fogel, please contact:
Deputy Director, Communications and Advocacy Training