Canadian MP and former justice minister Irwin Cotler proposed a motion in the Canadian Parliament on Thursday for formal government recognition of 850,000 Jews “forcibly displaced and exiled from Arab countries since the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948.”

Cotler has played a prominent part in a campaign being led by Israel’s Foreign Ministry aimed at bringing international recognition to the plight of hundreds of thousands of Jews who fled the Arab states due to state-sponsored persecution after the establishment of the Jewish state.

“The Arab countries rejected the United Nations Partition Resolution of 1947-1948, and launched their double aggression of a war against the nascent Jewish state and assaults on their own Jewish nationals, resulting in two refugee populations, Palestinian refugees and Jewish refugees from Arab countries,” Cotler said.

“The time has come to restore the pain and plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries to the international peace and justice narrative from which it has been eclipsed these past 60 years.”

The former justice minister’s motion also maintains that a Middle East peace agreement should resolve all issues relating to the “legitimate rights of all refugees, including Jews, Christians and other populations, displaced from countries in the Middle East,” and should support remedies for victim refugee groups.

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