Recognizing Jewish refugees from Arab countries, resettling Palestinian refugees

October 28, 2003
October 28, 2003
Referred to House (sub)committee

22 cosponsors.

“Expressing the sense of Congress that the international community should recognize the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East should establish a program for resettling Palestinian refugees.” Cites the existence of “2 separate and distinct refugee populations exist in the Middle East, Arabs and Jews” and states that around the time Israel was founded the Jewish refugees, who are not well recognized, “faced a campaign of ethnic cleansing and were forced to leave” their homes of 2500 years. Also states that although Israel absorbed and integrated 650,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries this does not diminish their plight of lost homeland and heritage. Resolves that the international community should recognize the plight of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries; sets a 6-month deadline for the UNRWA to establish a program to resettle Palestinians refugees “in the host countries or territories in which they are living, other Arab countries, or third party countries willing to assist”; the UNRWA should replace its school textbooks that “promote anti-Semitism, deny the existence and the right to exist of the state of Israel, and exacerbate stereotypes and tensions between Palestinians and Israelis”; and Arab countries should be willing to take “a meaningful number” of Palestinian refugees and shoulder a larger share of resettlement costs and UNRWA budgets.

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