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Irwin Cotler

 
Cotler to Canadian Government: Recognize Jewish Refugee Rights from Arab Countries

by Rhonda Spivak, November 15, 2012

Canadian MP and former justice minister Irwin Cotler  proposed a motion in the Canadian Parliament on Thursday of last week for the Canadian government to formally recognize the 850,000 Jews “forcibly displaced and exiled from Arab countries since the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948.”

Cotler has played a leading role being led by Israel’s Foreign Ministry aimed at bringing international recognition to the plight of hundreds of thousands of
Jews who fled the Arab states due to state-sponsored persecution after the establishment of the Jewish state.

“The Arab countries rejected the United Nations Partition Resolution of 1947-1948, and launched their double aggression of a war against the nascent Jewish state and assaults on their own Jewish nationals, resulting in two refugee populations, Palestinian refugees and Jewish refugees from Arab countries,” Cotler said in a statement.

Cotler, who is Liberal Justice and Human Rights Critic and Vice-Chair of the Justice and Human Rights Committee and the Subcommittee on International Human Rights day tabled  what he refers to as "a comprehensive fifteen-point motion calling for justice for Jewish refugees from Arab countries as a fundamental question of international justice, equity, and peace.'


“The time has come to restore the pain and plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries to the international peace and justice narrative from which it has been eclipsed these past 60 years.”

The former justice minister’s motion also maintains that a Middle East peace agreement should resolve all issues relating to the “legitimate rights of all refugees, including Jews, Christians and other populations, displaced from countries in the Middle East,” and should support remedies for victim refugee groups.

 

 

Former Minister of Justice deplores the fact that this justice issue has been expunged and eclipsed from the justice and peace narrative of the past 65 years.

Cotler, in his recent discussions with Minister Baird, raised this justice issue and expressed his hope that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold hearings on this matter similar to that which has been done in the US Congress, the Italian Parliament, and the UK Parliament, before which Cotler testified as an expert witness.

Cotler says, "If there is no remembrance, there will be no truth; if there will be no truth, there will be no justice; if there will be no justice, there will be no authentic reconciliation between peoples and states and the just and lasting peace which we all seek."

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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