Yisrael Beytenu MK Shimon Ohayon 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Yisrael Beytenu)
February 17 will be the national day of commemoration for Jewish refugees of
Arab countries, according to a bill authorized on Sunday by the Ministerial
Committee for Legislation.
The bill, proposed by MK Shimon Ohayon (Likud
Beytenu), states that an official date will be held to honor the 850,000 Jews
who were forced out of or fled homes in Arab countries in the mid-20th
Ohayon chose February 17 because it was the day in 1948 when the
Arab League approved a law for member states to place sanctions against their
The MK also sent a letter to Arab League
Secretary-General Dr. Nabil el-Araby Sunday, saying his organization should
“accept historic accountability for the humiliation, the suffering and the
losses incurred by innocent Jewish victims of the Arab world’s declared war on
the State of Israel.”
“As a matter of law and equity, the Arab League
must assume full responsibility for ensuring rights and redress for Jewish
refugees, the direct result of the collusive actions,” he added. “This is an
important element of any future peace and reconciliation between Jews and Arabs
in the Middle East.”
Ohayon’s bill was drafted with support from Justice
for Jews from Arab Countries and the World Jewish Congress, who will push for
Jewish communities around the world to observe the day of commemoration.