Regarding the Foreign Ministry's initiative for international recognition of the Jews from Arab countries as refugees, one could apply the statement by Khalif Ali bin Abu Talib: "Words of truth whose intent is falsehood."

This is because those who are raising the issue of Jewish refugees, a just cause in and of itself, don't really mean what they say. They just want to put another obstacle in front of the negotiations with the Palestinians. Meanwhile, take note: The Jews from Arab countries have stopped being immigrants; now they are merely refugees. By contrast, the Jews of European origin are the pioneers.

The Arabs don't really have to make much of an effort to refute the Israeli claim; all they have to do is answer Israel with the same arguments Israel uses when accused of being responsible for the Palestinian refugee problem, starting with the claim that in 1948 there was a war, and in war there are refugees - what can you do? They can continue by saying that the refugees weren't expelled but left under the influence of Zionist propaganda (it's hard to argue about this ). And if property issues are raised, one can cite the law on absentee property.

The issue of Jewish refugees is an open wound that everyone conspired to cover up: the state's leaders, who were eager to portray the refugees as sons returning to their borders, and the Arab leaders, who diverted the masses' anger against the Jewish "enemy" among them. Thus, under British auspices, some 2,500 years of flourishing Jewish history in Iraq was uprooted, as just one example. And some around the campfire basked in this achievement.

In his book "My Dear Baghdad," Prof. Shmuel Moreh writes that in the good old days in Iraq, after the calls of the muezzin on Fridays, the Jews would hurry to light Shabbat candles. And trade was suspended on Saturdays in honor of the Jews. Indeed, Jew-hatred was a purely European product. According to all available testimony, the incitement against the Jews in Iraq started with the rise of Nazism in Europe, because nationalist circles viewed the Nazis as allies in the struggle against the British, in accordance with the deviant statement, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

But despite the incitement, the Iraqi people were not drawn toward hatred, and most Jews were not happy to leave Iraq. According to researcher Abdel Majid Hamdan, until the June 1941 pogrom against the Jews of Baghdad known as the Farhud (the result of incitement by Nazi sympathizers ), only a handful of people emigrated to Palestine. But even after the pogrom, only a few hundred left the country, and even that wave slowed considerably in 1945, when the Nazis were defeated.

But the brewing conflict in Palestine exacerbated the anti-Jewish incitement. Many Arab historians sharply criticize the criminal conduct of the Iraqi regime, which abandoned its Jews to an untenable situation, despite their fierce desire to remain in Iraq. Nevertheless, a complete uprooting of Iraqi Jewish life could not have occurred without "outside help." And some sources claim that the draconian degrees imposed on Iraqi Jewry during the 1950s by the regime of Nuri al-Said, a British protege, were issued with the secret agreement of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.

Moreh's book is laced with pain and longing but contains no expression of hatred, only tormented love. In one of his poems, his mother says, "By God, if you visit Iraq, my son, bless our home and our loved ones, and forget what they did and what we did." Yes, so that the pain of the past does not disturb a restful future. It's time for the leaders of Arab countries to announce to the Jewish refugees and their descendants that they have the right of return or the right to compensation.

Epilogue: They say the Palestinians have a just cause and a lousy advocate. With the appointment of Danny Ayalon, there is now an advocate for the Jewish refugees. In comparison, the Palestinian advocate is terrific.