Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) is a coalition of Jewish communal organizations that joined together 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.JJAC operates under the auspices of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Sephardi Federation, and the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC) in partnership with the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the World Sephardic Congress. When the “refugee issue” is discussed within the context of the Middle East, people invariably refer to Palestinian refugees, not Jews displaced from Arab countries. Neither the mass violations of human rights nor the displacement of Jews from Arab countries has ever been adequately addressed by the international community.It would be an injustice to recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees without recognizing equal rights for former Jewish refugees from Arab countries.On two separate occasions the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) ruled that Jews fleeing from Arab countries were ‘bona fide’ refugees who “fall within the mandate of (the UNHCR) office”. Yet, there was virtually no international response to the plight of close to 900,000 Jews who, since 1948, have been displaced from Arab countries.As a matter of law and equity, no just, comprehensive Middle East peace can be reached without recognition of, and redress for, the uprooting, under Islamic regimes, of centuries-old Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa.n the political level, in a bi-partisan initiative, four Senators and four Congressmen have introduced resolutions on Middle East Refugees in the US Senate and in the House of Representatives. Other representations asserting rights and redress for Jews from Arab countries were made to governments officials in Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Belgium and the EU.Jewish communities in 40 countries will participate in the International Rights and Redress Campaign (IRRC), which will record the personal histories of Jews who were forced to flee from Arab countries and catalogue the loss of individual and communal property and assets. With memories fading and legacies passing on, the proposed campaign, to be conducted in the Fall of 2006, will be the last, best chance to obtain and preserve this important record of Jewish history.For more information on these and other activities, please visit the JJAC website at www.justiceforjews.com.
Read the most recent JJAC newsletter at www.justiceforjews.com/newsletter.html.