Rally for 'forgotten' Jewish refugees from Arab lands

By Jessica Elgot, September 26, 2011
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Protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square to highlight the plight of Jewish and other persecuted minorities driven out of the Middle East and North Africa.

Organised by Harif, which represents Jews from the Arab world, the British Israel Coalition and Stand With Us UK, around 100 demonstrators handed out leaflets to tourists and waved Israeli flags.

Lynn Julius of Harif, whose family fled Iraq, said: "We have been forgotten by the world and the UN. We are here on behalf of all the forgotten refugees, the Kurds, the Berbers, Assyrians, Copts and Baha'is. But no-one remembers them."

Ari Soffer, an activist with the British Israel Coalition, spoke of his family's escape from Baghdad. "My father would be heartened to see everyone here. He has always felt betrayed by the UN.

"When he left Iraq, the only country that would accept us was Israel. If I were a Palestinian, I would be considered a refugee myself, even though I was not born in Iraq. No other nationality has that status."

Last updated: 12:20pm, September 26 2011