The committee’s report cited a correlation between spikes in anti-Jewish measures and “crisis moments” in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and said Middle Eastern Jews had faced discrimination, the revocation of citizenship, pogroms and expulsions, resulting in a mass exodus from countries where they had lived for millennia.
There are 4,315 Jews in the Arab Middle East, down from 856,000 in 1948, according to figures Justice for Jews from Arab Countries presented to the parliamentary committee.
Jewish refugees, many of whom were forbidden to bring property with them when they emigrated, lost $6 billion in assets as a result of the conflict, Dr. Stanley Urman, the organization’s executive vice president, told the legislators.
“Some two-thirds, or nearly 650,000 Jews, immigrated to Israel, while roughly one-third, or over 200,000 Jews, found a safe haven in countries other than Israel, including Canada,” Dr. David Bensoussan, past president of Communauté sépharade unifiée du Québec, told the committee last week.
Recognition of the two-way nature of the refugee problem, the report said, “should be addressed as part of contemporary efforts to achieve lasting reconciliation in the Middle East,” as well as to repair the situation in which the history of the region is “incomplete.”