Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries Deserve Recognition

B’nai B’rith Plays Key Role in Bipartisan Congressional Action

(B’nai B’rith International) Shortly before the recess a bipartisan bill  was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would recognize the nearly 1 million Jews displaced from their homes in Arab nations due to the Middle East conflict. Under the bill, the president and other government officials would be urged to note Jewish refugees each time a reference to Palestinian refugees is made at international events.

This new bill takes a 2008 House resolution on the matter a step further, requiring the president to report on how the original resolution is being implemented. The State Department would be required to issue a report every two years explaining what the administration has done to advance the issue and offering recommendations for future action.

The plight of Jewish refugees is often overlooked.  Jews living in Arab countries have had their human rights violated, their property and businesses confiscated and have been displaced from their homes.  By most estimates, fewer than 5,000 Jews remain in Arab countries. Not one of the more than 100 United Nations resolutions that refer to Palestinian refugees mentions Jewish refugees.

More after the jump.
“We want to ensure that the United States makes the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab nations a priority in multilateral discussions about the Middle East conflict. Any time refugee issues are discussed in the context of the peace negotiations, the rights of Jewish refugees need to be given their proper place,” B’nai B’rith International Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Fusfield said.

B’nai B’rith wishes to thank the sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and the co-sponsors:  Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.),  Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R-Fla.) and Rep. Bob Turner (D-N.Y.).  

Ed Koch Likes Romney & Gingrich, But He Will Vote For Obama

— by Alan Oirich

In an exclusive interview on Shalom TV, one of the nation’s leading Democrats has some kind words for two of the candidates vying for the Republican party’s presidential nomination, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

When asked by Shalom TV President Mark S. Golub who among the current Republican candidates would be best for America and for Israel, the former New York City Mayor groups the two front runners together, saying:

I believe that both Romney and Gingrich–one of which will be the Republican candidate–are both able. I’m not voting for either of them; I am voting for Obama; but they’re both able; they are fine Americans (I mean, they have a philosophy which is not mine); but they will do what they think is in the best interest of America–and they are also both very supportive of Israel.

Mr. Koch also described how after the Turner victory, the President reached out to him. In a private meeting in New York City, after the President gave what Mr. Koch calls a “magnificent” pro-Israel speech at the United Nations, Mr. Obama told the former Mayor that he didn’t understand why the Jewish community is upset with him given how very supportive of Israel he is. Mr. Koch explained to the President that he would not have been so upset with Mr. Obama if, when the President had placed demands on Israel, he had also made demands of Hamas. Koch reports the President’s responding, “Didn’t I?”

After the half hour meeting, Mr. Koch was convinced that Mr. Obama believes he is a friend of Israel and now supports Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign because of the President’s strong stand in opposition to Palestinian statehood at the United Nations and because the President has been praised by Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, for being one of the most supportive of all U.S. presidents when it comes to supplying military aid.

Full interview follows the jump.