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Last updated: 2003-07-21

At its plenary meeting yesterday, the Board of Deputies unanimously passed a Resolution to ensure that the rights of Jews from Arab lands are recognised and secured as a matter of law.

Jewish communities across the globe have recently brought the issue of Jewish refugees to the top of the political agenda, especially in relation to the current peace negotiations. The Board co-sponsored a successful conference last month in London on this subject. According to International Law, Jews from Arab countries have a right to redress as victims of persecution. Fifty years ago some 900,000 Jews were driven from their homes by Arab regimes who confiscated their properties and assets without compensation.

The Resolution read as follows: The Board of Deputies of British Jews recognises that there is a moral and legal imperative to ensure that justice for Jews from Arab countries assumes its rightful place on the international political and judicial agenda, and that their rights be secured as a matter of law and equity.

Vice-President Flo Kaufmann, who presented the Resolution to the Board, commented:

“Israel will do its utmost to help resolve both refugee problems, and together with the Jewish Diaspora, will support a programme of gathering testimonies and documentation to preserve the historical record and claims of the Jews displaced from Arab countries.

“The Board recognises that this issue should become one of our priorities. We will ensure that this issue is given the attention it deserves, and that the rights of some 900,000 refugees are recognised and respected.”