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April 4, 2012 9:56 am

Israel Shines Light on Arab Nations’ Role in Creating Jewish Refugees (VIDEO)

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Deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon. Photo: Shahar Azran.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced a bold new awareness campaign on Tuesday, pushing for Arab countries and the Arab League to recognize their roles in displacing over 800,000 Jews from Arab lands.

“The Arab League must accept responsibility and recognize that they are the ones who caused the displacement of Jews from Arab countries,” said Danny Ayalon, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister.

Speaking at a conference which addressed the issue of Jewish refugees, Ayalon noted that close to half of Israel’s residents were former refugees or children of former refugees, and their contributions to the progression of Israel’s society are proof that the same can be done for Palestinian refugees inside a future Palestinian state.

“Today, about 50% of Israelis are refugees and descendants of refugees from those Arab nations. They have assimilated completely and have contributed to Israel’s inception and advancement,” he said.

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“Just like the State of Israel took in the Jewish refugees, the Arab refugees who left Mandate-era Palestine should be afforded the same treatment.”

While noting that Arab countries must acknowledge their role in creating part of the Palestinian refugee issue through instigating wars with Israel, Ayalon said that Palestinian refugees must be absorbed into the future Palestinian state just as Jews were absorbed into Israel following World War II.

“You can not address one side of the equation without the other side, so this is going to be a directive now to Israeli ambassadors, to bring back this issue to present it in the international agenda and also prepare the grounds for addressing that problem,” he said.

To watch Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon speak on the issue, click below.

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