Israel to renew effort to document Jewish assets taken or lost in Arab countries.
by Eric J. Greenberg
In 1969, Israel announced a major project to document the potential billions of dollars in lost property that belonged to the estimated 850,000 Jews who fled or were forced to leave their native Arab countries because of persecution after the creation of the Jewish state.
But the project was quickly abandoned.
The campaign to win compensation for hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees forced to flee Arab countries after 1948 got a boost this week when Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said he plans to introduce a resolution in the House of Representatives next month demanding justice for the refugees.
Carole Basri stood in the bright sunshine in front of the Isaiah Wall, only blocks from the United Nations headquarters. She clutched a black-and-white picture of her white-bearded great-grandfather — the former chief rabbi of Baghdad.
“I come here as a Jew and an Arab,” she told a small gathering of reporters and Jewish officials Monday. “My family had lived there for 2,500 years, before the rise of Mohammed and Islam. I want to see Iraq someday, see the home of my parents and my legacy.”
The day after terrorist attacks rocked the Jewish community of Casablanca (four of the damaged buildings were identified as Jewish) Natalie called to check on her relatives who still live there. She had moved to Queens five years ago from that Moroccan city.
"They are scared, for sure," she said.
Natalie's relatives are looking to leave after Israel issued an open invitation to Morocco's remaining 5,000 Jews to make aliyah, she said, but added they aren't likely to immigrate soon.
Anti-Israel remarks by Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadenijad are seen as rejection of closer ties with moderate Western governments
Monday’s anti-Israel tirade by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Durban II conference on racism could undermine Obama administration diplomatic outreach, several Jewish leaders who attended the controversial conference in Geneva said this week.
Maimonides scholarship is thriving. But there has always been a healthy interest in, and veneration of, the life and works of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon — in his Hebrew acronymic, “the Rambam.” Jewish philosopher, jurist and halachist nonpareil, physician, communal leader — Moses Maimonides looms larger than any other figure in Jewish intellectual, social, and religious history.
Rabbi Sherwin Wine, the founder of Humanistic Judaism who was known as “The rabbi who doesn’t believe in God,” died last week in a car accident in Morocco.
Rabbi Wine was killed when the taxi in which he was riding in the Moroccan town of Essaouira, during a vacation, was struck by another car. He was 79. His partner, Richard McMains, was seriously injured in the accident.