A Palestinian refugee camp in Syria 370 (R).
(photo credit: Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters)
The Palestinians use their refugees as a tool and don’t allow them to settle in
society, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said at the relaunch of the Knesset
Caucus for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries on Monday.
“Jews from Arab
countries came to Israel as refugees, but unlike the Palestinians, they
integrated and became citizens,” Liberman told MKs from Yisrael Beytenu, Yesh
Atid and Shas. “Palestinians entrenched their refugee status in order to build
They do everything to prevent refugees from integrating in the
countries they live in.”
The foreign minister pointed out that thousands
of Palestinian refugees and their descendants have been killed during the Syrian
civil war, but the Palestinian Authority did not condemn it.
government is committed to Jewish refugees from Arab countries and will not give
up on their rights and possessions, Liberman added.
“We will bring this
up in every international forum.
There is a broad Zionist consensus [on
the issue] and we cannot turn it into a political argument,” he said.
Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beytenu), leader of the caucus in the 19th Knesset, said
that “the denial of the story of Jews’ expulsion from Arab countries led us to
ignore the rights of and compensation for these 850,000 Jews.”
this year, a bill Ohayon submitted to have a national day in honor of Jewish
refugees from Arab countries passed a preliminary reading.
head of the UN department at the Foreign Ministry, said “the Arab world is
afraid that we are taking over the narrative on the issue of refugees. They’re
not used to hearing our story, and we’re going to keep telling it to parliaments
and international organizations.”