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Friday, July 13, 2007

US Congress to hold hearing on Jewish refugees from Arab countries

The US Congressional Human Rights caucus will hold a hearing this coming Thursday (the 19th) on the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. The hearing is in connection with two parallel resolutions in the US House and Senate, which would obligate the President "to instruct all official representatives of the United States that "explicit reference to Palestinian refugees be matched by a similar explicit reference to Jewish and other refugees, as a matter of law and equity."

Hat Tip: Dhimmi Watch
The July 19 hearing in Washington, D.C., under the heading "Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation," is to be hosted by the CHRC in conjunction with B'nai Brith International and Justice for Jews from Arab Countries. It will be the first time that the US Congress will hear testimony on the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

The expert witnesses invited to address the US legislators include:

* Dr. Irwin Cotler, a member of Parliament and a former Justice Minister from Canada who is well-known for his advocacy on behalf of prisoners of conscience around the globe, including Egyptian-American sociologist and human rights activist Professor Saad Edin Ibrahim;
* Dr. Henry Green, a professor of Religious Studies and Sociology at the University of Miami, and the former director of the Judaic and Sephardic Studies Department;
* Mrs. Regina Bublil Waldman, a recipient of the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, and a co-founder of Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA), a US-based advocacy group. Mrs. Waldman was born in Libya and her family was nearly murdered while escaping that country in 1967.

The CHRC hearing will also include a screening of The Forgotten Refugees, produced by the David Project. The film is a documentary about the mass exodus of almost one million Jews from Arab countries.
The hearing is chaired by Representative Tom Lantos (D-Cal.)

If it's taken nearly sixty years for Jewish refugees from Arab countries to reach this level of recognition, I wonder how long it will take for the Jewish refugees who were expelled from the Gaza Strip two years ago. 'Forgotten Refugees' seems like a good title for them too.


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