AZA and BBG Pass Resolution to Support U.S. Congressional Legislation Recognizing Jewish Refugees
Posted on 08/17/2012 @ 01:00 PM
Today concluding our Stand UP program, AZA and BBG passed a motion pertaining to standing up for supporting Jewish refugees around the world. Check out the motion below!
Maker(s): 88th Grand Board, Aleph Zadik Aleph; 68th International Board, B’nai B’rith Girls
Second(s): Ilana Ladis (Miami); Brianna Dines (Michigan); Alexa Vecchio (South Jersey); Jonathan Schuster (Southern: Atlanta); Justin Zimmerman (Gold Coast)
Background WASHINGTON (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
- A bipartisan group of six Congress members is sponsoring a bill that would ensure recognition of the plight of 850,000 Jewish refugees displaced from Arab countries since Israel's War of Independence in 1948. (Jerrod Nadler (D-NY); Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL); Howard Berman (D-CA); Ted Poe (R-TX); Joe Crowley (D-NY); Bob Turner (R-NY))
- Their bill in the U.S. House of Representatives also would recognize other displaced populations, including Christians from countries in the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf.
- The legislation specifically calls on the Obama administration to pair any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees with a similar reference to Jewish or other refugee populations.
- Both B’nai B’rith International and the World Jewish Congress were among those who applauded the proposed legislation.
- Justice for Jews from Arab Countries has been pushing the issue for many years and was instrumental in obtaining a House resolution on the matter in 2008. The resolution noted that for any “comprehensive Middle East peace agreement to be credible and enduring, the agreement must address and resolve all outstanding issues relating to the legitimate rights of all refugees, including Jews, Christians and other populations displaced from countries in the Middle East.”
- The U.S. Senate is considering a similar resolution.
- “The suffering and terrible injustices visited upon Jewish refugees in the Middle East needs to be acknowledged,” said U.S. Rep. Jerrod Nadler (D-N.Y.), the lead sponsor of the measure. “It is simply wrong to recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees without recognizing the rights of nearly 1 million Jewish refugees who suffered terrible outrages at the hands of their former compatriots.”
- “Jewish refugees who were forced to flee Arab countries and Iran endured unimaginable hardships,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a news release sent to JTA. “Their plight has been ignored by the United Nations, other international bodies and many responsible nations. Any comprehensive Middle East peace agreement can only be credible and enduring if it resolves all issues related to the rights of all refugees in the Arab world and Iran, including Jews, Christians and others.”
Whereas, AZA and BBG are committed to ensuring the safety, recognition and rights of the Jewish People – and all other people – regardless of location, criteria or borders; and
Whereas, AZA and BBG are committed to ‘Standing UP’ and ‘Speaking UP’ for all those within and beyond our community in need of advocacy, support and protection; and
Whereas, BBYO has been a vital communal component of the Jewish community’s framework since our founding, notably in the aftermath of the Shoah (Holocaust) by aiding Jewish refugees, by supporting the Yishuv in the establishment of the Jewish State, by advocating for the safe migration of Syria’s Jewish population in 1972 and the years-long efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewry;
Be it hereby resolved that the 2012-2013 Executive Body, on behalf of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and the B’nai B’rith Girls, declares our support for this Congressional bill; and
Be it moved that the 2012-2013 Executive Body (utilizing volunteer authors on site during this conference) send a letter to the sponsoring representatives, and other key Congressional leaders and partner organizations expressing our support for this bill’s passage.