Hamas Condemns UN Jewish Refugee Conference
[Ma'an] Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, on Saturday denounced a Israel-backed UN conference to discuss claims that Jews who used to live in Arab countries were forcibly expelled.
Hamas front man Sami Abu Zuhri
...a senior front man for Hamas. Zuhri gained notoriety in 2006 when he dropped his money belt containing somewhere between 640,000 and 900,000 euros, which was confiscated by Paleostinian security and customs officials at a routine border crossing from Egypt to Gazoo. The news brought competing Hamas and Fatah forces to the crossing checkpoint for an epic face-making and hollering contest...
said in a statement that "those Jews were not refugees as they claim. They were actually responsible for the displacement of the Paleostinian people after they secretly migrated from Arab countries to Paleostine before they expelled the Paleostinians from their lands to build a Jewish state at their expense."
He added: "Those Jews are criminals rather than refugees. They are the ones who turned the Paleostinian people into refugees, and for that reason, the Hamas movement views this conference as a dangerous, unprecedented move which contributes to the falsification of history and reversing of facts."
The conference, to discuss recognizing as refugees Middle Eastern Jews who immigrated, was denounced by Arab envoys at the UN who lodged unsuccessful protests to call it off.
But Israeli leaders considered it a victory for a population that is increasingly being linked to the grinding of the peace processor with the Paleostinians.
"Between the walls of the UN we are starting to bring justice to the Jewish refugees who were tortured, persecuted and driven away, and whose rights were revoked," said Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister, according to Israeli media.
"We are 64 years late, but it's never too late to bring justice and discuss the historic facts."
Hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern Jews left predominantly Arab countries amid growing hostility following the establishment of Israel in the late 1940s.
Israel had also drafted a "Law of Return" that granted instant citizenship to anyone who can claim Jewish lineage. Most immigrants had no modern ties to the land.
At the same time, over 700,000 Paleostinians were driven from or fled historic Paleostine and today make up the largest refugee population on earth.
Israeli media reported a week earlier that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was preparing to add compensations for Jews who came from Arab and Mohammedan countries as a condition for any future peace deal.
PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat
...negotiated the Oslo Accords with Israel. He has been chief Paleostinian negotiator since 1995. He is currently negotiating with Israel to establish a de jure Paleostinian state...
said in response that there was no connection between Paleostinian refugees and Israelis whose families are from Arab countries, but he supported their right of return.
"We are not against any Jew who wants to return to Morocco, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere. I believe no Arab state rejects the Jewish right of returning to their native lands," he said.
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