'It has taken more than sixty years, but here at Harif ... we are celebrating this momentous event.
No amount of grassroots campaigning could work without the official support of the Israeli government. And this week, that support came.
On Tuesday, the deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon held a conference in Jerusalem to launch his ministry's report and recommendations for highlighting the issue of 870,000 Jewish refugees driven out of Arab countries.
Israel's Jewish population is made up of 52% Sephardim/Mizrahim who were forced to leave their homes and possessions in Muslim lands. Not not only have they never received compensation, but their plight has never been internationally recognised.
Hitherto, the Israeli government has been hesitant to raise the Jewish refugee issue, for fear that the Arabs would raise the Palestinian refugee issue. But the Arabs have never ceased raising the Palestinian refugee issue while the Israeli government has been silent.
"I would call this conference Yemoth Ha-Mashiah (The Days of the Messiah Coming)," Levana Zamir, president of the Jews from Egypt in Israel, told me after attending the conference. At this very emotional event, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon announced a new state policy regarding Jews who were forced to flee from their homes in Arab countries.
"We have to correct a historic injustice. But, in a very pragmatic way," Ayalon told the audience.... 'Read the rest of Michelle Huberman's article here