In the mid 19th century, after the Second World War, Jews in the Arab countries faced the gravest ever case of human rights violation. The Arab regimes in the Middle East and northern part of Africa forced Jews to leave their homes or be held like political hostages. The Arabs came up with official statements that completely subordinated the Jews and threatened their civil, political, economic, and human rights. These actions contradicted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Part II and Article2.1 of the covenant states that “each state party to the present covenant undertakes to respect and ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, religion, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status” (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 2007). The Arab states completely violated this fundamental regulation.
The Arab voices went against all basic human rights in their treatment of the Jewish community. The Arab armies were directly responsible for persecuting and unjustly discriminating, arresting, imprisoning and torturing the Jews. Individuals from the Jewish community were scapegoats as sometimes they were associated with Communism or being Zionists thereby their properties were destroyed. These evil actions were prevalent in countries like Egypt, Syria, and Iraq immediately after the World War II. The Arab regimes with their Pan-Arab and Pan-Islamic Parties and movements across all Arab countries formed mob violence against the Jews where Jewish quarters were burnt down in view of revenge for the several victories of the Israelites in the Arab-Israeli wars. These actions violated Article 3 of International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, which states that “all States parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the Present covenant” (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 2007). The Arab states that hosted the Jews never took into consideration this critical law before they allowed such actions to prevail in their countries.
The laws drafted by the Arab regimes (Political committee of the Arab League) were biased and aimed at incapacitating persons of the Jewish Community. Citing law 2 of the draft that states that, beginning with (date), bank accounts of Jews will be frozen. The funds will be used in part or in full to finance the movement of resistance to Zionists ambitions in Palestine. This law was against the Jews, because, they were Jews and no other specific reason could be provided. The regulation of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural rights Article 5.1 states that “nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any state, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights or freedoms recognized herein or at their limitation to the greater extent than is provided for in the present Covenant” (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2007). Comparing the actions of the Arabs to the stipulated regulations they violated the international standards of human rights.
In 1949, violence escalated against the Jewish community in the Arab world where houses, hospitals, shops and synagogues were set a blaze. Bombs in the Jewish quarters killed many and left thousands seriously wounded. Article 6.1 of the International covenant on Civil and Political rights; states that, “every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life” (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 2007). From the argument above, the Arab regimes never utilized this fundamental regulation and went a head to molest and kill the innocent Jewish individuals.
Article 25 of the international covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that “nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilized fully and freely their natural wealth and resources” (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2007). However, Jews were prohibited from utilizing their rightfully acquired wealth. Indeed, the Arab governments went a head to freeze all accounts belonging to the Jews, thus threatening their survival. Political molestation and violence against the Jews in the 1940s initiated the exodus of the Jews from the Ten Arab countries because they feared persecution. In essence, the Jews residing in these countries became refugees due to life threatening conditions in their countries of origin. For instance, Jews who had lived for generations in Iraq since the biblical age were displaced due to the prevailing violence against their race.
Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law (International Covenant on Civil and Political rights Article 20). All the activities that the Arab countries initiated after the creation of a Jewish state (Israel) from Palestine were a direct recipe for war and massive human deaths and evictions. The 10 Arab countries combined their efforts and spoke with one voice to make sure that no Jewish State is created. For instance, they created laws that were anti-Jewish, gave out threats to the Jewish communities living within their territory, and lastly, they fought them mercilessly. These evictions have made Jews to live in Diaspora for decades.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Retrieved on 21st November 2010 from
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Retrieved on 21st November
2010 from http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cescr.htm
Although the legal status of the Jews in the Arab and Middle Eastern Countries has improved to some extent, the situation is still pathetic. There are still incidences of violence and persecution of the Jews in these countries especially in Lebanon where the Organization for Oppressed in the World humiliate, kidnap and kill Lebanese Jews. Most Arab countries have held strict stand with regard to the prevailing situation in West Bank and Gaza Street. They offer threats that unless Israel stops the war in the West Bank and the Gaza Street, they will continue to harass and torture the Jews living in these Arab nations.
Despite the fact that there have been international calls for peace and restoration of human, social and economic rights to all individuals through several peace initiatives, some Arab countries are adamant. In 1985, three Jews were killed in the La Ghariba Synagogue. Thirty thousand Tunisian Jews were expelled from Libya back to Tunisia. Anti-Jewish sentiments have continued to be expressed across the Arab countries. For instance, prior to the expulsion and killings in the Synagogue, it was discovered that, Radio of Vengeance and Sacred Hate, had broadcast calls to overthrow all western or pro-western regimes and massacre of Jews in North African countries.
Currently, we have Jews living peacefully in Arab countries with improved legal status and are even allowed to visit their relatives abroad. They also have rights to better education, employment and own properties unlike in the mid 19th century. International interventions have helped to improve the general well being of the Jews in the Arab countries.
George E. G. (2008). The Other Refugees: Jews of the Arab World. Retrieved on 21st
November 2010, from http://www.jcpa.org/jl/jl102.htm
Discrimination of the Jews from the Arab and Middle Eastern Countries in their new countries
The immigration of the Jews from the Arab and Middle East came about as a result of the defeat of the Arab Armies. Over 850,000 Jews have left their homes and their birthplaces in around 10 Arab countries since 1948. The Jews who left their homes in Arab countries and moved into new countries were discriminated by the residents of these nations. This is because they were not accorded rights as full citizens. These immigrants from the Arab countries were discriminated in job recruitments. They were not given the chances to occupy some top positions in the government as the inhabitants of their new homes but were classified as bona fide refugees in UNCHR offices. Most of the Middle Eastern Jews left behind their communal holdings and their bank accounts were frozen. The Jews that emigrated from Arab and Middle Eastern countries also have faced discrimination in their new countries. For instance, Syrian authorities have forbidden all the Jews from emigration. Syrian Jews who wish to visit their relatives abroad are forced to leave behind a very big financial deposit and leave behind their close relatives as hostages when they return. Any Jews who made an attempt to flee from Syria was prone to very stern interrogation and imprisonment for six months or more.
The Jews were discriminated by the Arab Nationalists who became jealous of the positions and the wealth which had been acquired by the Jews in the economic and administrative lives and therefore through, “Arabization”, they sought to limit and supplant the Jews in these positions. The Arab regimes scapegoated members of the Jewish communities as being members of the Zionist and communist movements and therefore despoiled their properties and imprisoned them. These practices happened in Egypt during the era of Nasser, in Syria after the 2nd World War and in Iraq during the 1940’s.
In addition, about 2000 Jews scattered in some villages in the North of Yemen, are alienated from the rest of the world. They are not supposed to travel or even maintain normal ties with the relatives who stay abroad. The Jews who migrated from the Arab Countries have been discriminated in terms of protection and relief assistance and instead, more preference was given to the Jewish refugees. It is this discrimination that has made the Jews who migrated from the Arab lands to form some groups. These groups have helped them to fight for their rights and stand up against oppression in their new homes.
Gruen, E (1987). The other Refugees: Jews of the Arab World. U.S.A: Jerusalem Center for
Forms of redress for the rights of Jews from Arab Land
The Jews from Arab lands have all along considered themselves as the victims of conflict in the Middle East and have sought restitution for their communal and personal properties that were confiscated from the involved governments. Around 7000 Jews remained in the Arab countries. As of the present, they have significant basis in the international Law and in the United Nations Charter and conventions which deal with the Human Rights. The Jews have also received official recognition from the United Nations on their claims based on the UN Security Council resolutions number 237 and number 242. The 1967 Resolution of number 237 deals with the welfare, security and the safety of the inhabitants of places where military operations occurred in the Arab-Israel war of 1967 and it also deals with the protection of the minority people in the areas which were involved in the conflicts. Nils-Goran, a representative of the United Nations Secretary General was sent to the Middle East on a special Mission so that the resolution can be implemented.
Resolution Number 242 was also considered to be the primary vehicle towards the resolving of the Israel-Arab conflict which stipulated that a just settlement of the problem of refugees should be implemented through a very comprehensive peace settlement. The Israel-Egypt peace treaty gave way for a joint commission which handled the claims from the Egyptian-Jewish refugees. The establishments of the International Conferences of the World Organization of Jews who come from the Arab land are some of the most important precedents. They have sought to focus on the plight on the personal and communal losses which were suffered by the Jewish communities. Protection of the rights of the Jewish minorities who remained behind in the Arab world and fair handling of their claims was to form the basis of a just settlement of the crisis in the Middle East.
Some political leaders have recognized the rights of the Jewish refugees from the Arab Nations, and these include the former US President Bill Clinton. In his interview on 27th July 2000, he said that Israel is full of the Jewish people who came from Israel because they were made to be refugees in their own nations. The former US president Jimmy Carter in a press conference in 1977 stated that just as the Palestinians, the Jews also do have the same rights.
A report was later released which sought for the redress as a matter of international law arguing that the injustices inflicted on the Jews from the Arab countries caused their displacements. It pointed out the remedies which sought to assert the rights to redress as including The UN convention on the status of the refugees, The Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees and a compensation fund which was established through the Israel-Arab comprehensive settlement.
Cotler, I. (2007). Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: The Case for Rights and Redress. New
York: Justice for Jews from Arab Countries.
The Rights of the Jews and the International Law:
There has been broad international consensus all over the world that the actions of some countries which are involved in the Israel-Arab conflicts have violated the prohibitions included in International Law. The nations involved however, came forth and disputed this legality. One of the arguments which can be made that a full accounting for the rights of Jews from Arab land must accompany any discussions aimed at providing a regional peace agreement in order to strengthen and legitimize it under the International Law is President Barrack Obama’s new diplomacy which emphasizes on negotiation and dialogue. President Obama requires that the USA and the International Community should not just leave this task to Israel and Palestine alone but also to the entire Arab World. Last year, the US urged the Arab government to assist in rejuvenating the Palestinian-Israel negotiations by use of their own normalization gestures to Israel. It never took place and therefore, it raised questions as to whether the Arab States were committed towards peace and reconciliation with their counterparts in Israel.
The second point is that the international Law should be reaffirmed and enforced by the United Nations Security council which is responsible for the enforcement of the rule of Law in the whole world. For instance, the Diplomacy of America on behalf of the Jewish state have barred the UN investigators and defied the mandatory Security Council resolutions with legal and irrelevant excuses. This should not be the case since one side of a dispute is exempted from these principles, then everyone will exempt themselves, thus creating room for the law of the jungle to prevail.
The UN General assembly has however, voted on a resolution which pertains to issues of International Law related to this conflict as from 1974. The vote held on 2nd of December 2009 known as “the Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” was adopted by 164 votes in favor and 7 votes against it.
Jeffay, N (2010). Jews displaced from Arab Lands finally recognized. Retrieved from
recognized-1.264653 on 21st November 2010.