|FORMER MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF CANADA IRWIN COTLER, MP ADDRESSES JOINT HOUSE OF COMMONS – HOUSE OF LORDS MEETING"RECTIFYING A HISTORICAL INJUSTICE: THE NEED FOR REMEBERENCE, TRUTH, AND JUSTICE FOR JEWS FROM ARAB COUNTRIES"|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE(LONDON) June 26, 2008 – In his appearance before an overflow gathering at the House of Lords, Canadian MP Irwin Cotler declared that "Had the UN Partition Resolution been accepted sixty years ago, there would have been no Arab-Israeli war – no refugees, Jewish or Arab. – and none of the pain and suffering of these last sixty years. Indeed, we would have been celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine."Cotler continued "Yet the pain and plight of 850,000 Jews uprooted and displaced from Arab countries – not only a forgotten, but a forced exodus, – has been expunged and eclipsed from both the Middle East peace and justice narratives these past sixty years."Cotler submitted evidence from a report entitled Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: The Case for Rights And Redress, which documented for the first time a pattern of state-sanctioned repression and persecution in Arab countries – including Nuremberg-like laws – that targeted its Jewish populations, resulting in denationalization, forced expulsions, illegal sequestration of property, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and murder.
He concluded this part of his testimony that "This is a story that has not been heard. It is a story that has not yet even been told. It is a truth that must now be acknowledged."Professor Cotler then set forth a nine-point action plan for human rights and refugee rights – and a just and lasting peace in the middle-East – which included:
Cotler called on the UK Government to use its voice, vote, and participation in matters relating to issues of mid-East refugees to ensure that any reference to Palestinian refugees is accompanied by a similarly explicit reference to Jewish refugees from Arab countries."Simply put," Cotler concluded "the exclusion and denial of rights and redress to Jewish refugees from Arab and countries will prejudice authentic negotiations between the parties and undermine the justice and legitimacy of any agreement. Let there be no mistake about it. Where there is no remembrance, there is no truth; where there is no truth, there will be no justice; where there is no justice, there will be no reconciliation; and where there is no reconciliation, there will be no peace -which we all seek."PHOTOS AVAILABLE: www.justiceforjews.com/houseoflords.html###Convened by Labour MP John Mann and Lord Anderson of Swansea, this Joint Briefing was organized by Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) in association with the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Justice for Jews from Arab Countries is an international coalition of major Jewish communal organizations operating to ensure that justice for Jews from Arab countries assumes its rightful place on the international political agenda and that their rights be secured as a matter of law and equity.