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Property in Arab Countries

The decision of Mr Barak, the new Israeli Prime Minister, to start his negotiations with the Palestinians directly over the final settlement covering, borders, joint economical interests, water sources and immigrants parallel with the peace negotiations with Syria and Lebanon, brought immediate response from the Lebanese Prime Minister that the issue of the 330,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and their rights to return back to their homes, where they used to live, be put at the head of the agenda of the peace negotiations with the Israeli Government. Aside of that, there were similar hints on this matter from Jordanian officials.

To my surprise, these statements, did not prompt any reply from Israeli Government sources as to what about the Jewish refugees' properties from Arab countries? Although the major part of these refugees are now living in Israel, the Government in Israel did not compensate them at all for their lost properties in Arab countries. The lost properties of about a million of these refugees more than balance the abandoned assets of the Palestinian refugees in Arab countries.

Along with the negotiations of the Israeli Government over the issue of the refugees, organisations who are old established, looking after the properties and interests of those Jewish immigrants from Arab countries, who are living in the USA, UK and Canada and other countries, must sit and put on the agenda the claims of those immigrants and attain compensations for their lost properties in similarity with the claims now symbolically paid for, by those Governments in Europe who swindled the properties, assets and monies of the European Jewry.

Abraham Yadid

Ramat-Gan, Israel



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