Israel demands Arab states, Iran hand over $250 billion in reparations

Israel demands Arab states, Iran hand over $250 billion in reparations
Israel has demanded that Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Iran pay reparations that total up to more than $250 billion.
3 min read
07 January, 2019
Israel is demanding 'reparations' from Arab states and Iran [Getty]
Israel is demanding Iran and Arab countries, including war-torn Libya and Iraq, pay over $250 billion in reparation for property and assets once belonging to Jewish citizens who left their countries following the creation of Israel.

Israeli news channel Hadashot TV said in a report that demands for reparations are being completed, with Israel set to request $35 billion dollars from Tunisia and $15 billion dollars from Libya, before demanding money from six other countries.

According to the report, Israel is demanding more than $250 billion from Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Iran.

“The time has come to correct the historic injustice of the pogroms (against Jews) in seven Arab countries and Iran, and to restore, to hundreds of thousands of Jews who lost their property, what is rightfully theirs,” Israel’s social equality minister, Gila Gamliel said.

“One cannot talk about the Middle East without taking into consideration the rights of the Jews who were forced to leave their thriving communities amid violence,” he added. Gamliel is also coordinating the Israeli government’s demand of the issue.

“All the crimes that were carried out against those Jewish communities must be recognised.”

Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), an international parent group of Jewish organisations, claims that around 856,000 Jews from 10 Arab countries - including Algeria and Lebanon — fled or were expelled during the 1948 Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe”, when 800,000 Palestinians were expelled and 532 villages were destroyed to create Israel.

The JJAC has for the last year and a half been using the services of an international accountancy firm while the Israeli government has quietly been researching the value of property and assets belonging to Jews who left their Arab countries following the establishment of Israel.

'Manipulative propaganda'

But analysts say Israel's claims to reparations are not only described as extortionate but lack accurate historic context.

"This latest effort is part of a long-standing campaign by the Israeli government to cynically manipulate the claims of Jews who left Arab countries after 1948. This propaganda seeks to erase the rights of Palestinian refugees by creating a sense of parity with the claim of Jewish refugees", says Tarek Hamoud, General Director at the Palestinian Return Centre.

Prior to the formation of Israel, Zionist emissaries, known as Shlichim, arrived in Libya to try to transform Libya's Jewish community by propagating the Zionist ideology and to "transfer it to Palestine".

In Lebanon, the Jewish community continued to grow even after the establishment of Israel. It was not until the Lebanese civil war of 1975 that the community, among with other religious communities in Lebanon, started to emigrate.

"It is the Israeli government that has yet to recognise its role in the historical and ongoing ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians from their lands to make way for the creation of a settler state", Hamoud added.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to deny the Palestinian right of return and maintains its destruction of Palestinian homes until today.

"Israel continues to deny millions of Palestinian refugees repatriation and reparations for their lost properties. This seems to be another component in the anticipated Deal of Century in which the US and Israel are clearly planning to force Palestinians, and Arab states, to give up on the right of return in any future peace deal", Hamoud said.

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