Prof. Says Arabs Fear Jewish Compensation Demands

Dr. Yaacov Meron of the Hebrew University’s law faculty charged that the Arab states are trying to deflect possible claims by Israel for compensation for Jewish refugees who were forced to leave Arab countries in 1948. He told a special meeting on the situation of Jews in Arab countries Monday night that for this reason some Arab governments are urging those Jews to leave Israel and return to the lands of their birth.

According to Meron, the Arabs are afraid that Israel may make the same demands at a future peace conference that the Arabs themselves made during the Rhodes armistice negotiations in 1949. At that time, the Arabs demanded compensation for the lands and other property left behind by Arab refugees from Israel. They also asked Israel to admit a token number of Arab refugees to those territories originally assigned to an Arab state by the UN Palestine partition plan. Israel was inclined to agree, but because of the compensation demands by the Arabs, the plan was dropped, Meron said.

He said that the ouster of Jews from Arab countries was a premeditated plan, especially in Iraq where it was initiated by Nuri A-Said. Meron quoted portions of the memoirs of a British diplomat who said that Said had suggested that trucks bring Iraqi Jews to the border between Jordan and Israel.

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