Series of events will mark exodus of Jews from Arab countries

By Simon Rocker, December 6, 2013

Plans have been announced for a week-long series of events next year to mark the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries during the 20th century.

The centre-piece will be a commemorative international day, on February 17.

Lyn Julius, a co-founder of Harif — the UK Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa — said; “A bill is currently going through the Knesset to make this law. And it will become a permanent fixture not just in Israel but, hopefully, around the world.”

Some 850,000 Jews left North Africa and the Middle East, leading to the near-disappearance of some of the oldest diaspora communities.

The highlight of what is being called “Justice for Jewish Refugees Week” in the UK will be a musical oriental soiree in London featuring Israeli storyteller, Yossi Alfi. Other events will include a parliamentary briefing and a film screening.

“This not just a Sephardi story,” Mrs Julius said. “This concerns the whole Jewish people. It is integral to the story of the Jews.

“Everyone concerned with human rights should be marking the day as well.”

Last updated: 6:45am, December 6 2013