Jews expelled from Arab lands press case


ROME (JTA) — Jews displaced from Arab lands are meeting in Rome to press for the recognition of their rights as forced exiled.

Participants will present their case Tuesday to the Italian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission.

"We hope that this will lead to a resolution on the rights of Jews displaced from Arab countries," Stanley Urman, executive vice president of the group Justice for Jews from Arab Lands, which organized the meeting, told JTA.

Urman said representatives from Jews of Arab origin now living in nine countries — Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States — are scheduled to attend the meeting. Among other things on the agenda, he said, is drawing up a joint response to Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi’s visit to Rome last week.

Jewish leaders in Rome boycotted a meeting over the weekend between Gadhafi and Italians expelled from Libya as the meeting was held on Shabbat.

Gadhafi "missed an opportunity to set a standard in the Arab world to address the issue in an open and courageous manner," Urman said.

The 6,000 Jews forced out of Libya were among as many as 850,000 Jews from 10 Arab countries forced to flee their homelands since 1947.

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