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Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Cláudia Andréa Prata Ferreira é Professora Doutora - Categoria: Associado III - do Setor de Língua e Literatura Hebraicas do Departamento de Letras Orientais e Eslavas da Faculdade de Letras da UFRJ.

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quinta-feira, 17 de abril de 2008

A Perspectiva Sefardi: A Limpeza Étnica dos Judeus

By Ashley Perry (Perez)

Today, more than ever, certain obscene canards are thrown at Israel in its war of words with those who seek to delegitimize the Jewish State. A cursory study at the many statements that derive from certain extremists sympathetic to the Palestinian cause would see the lie that Israel is "ethnically cleansing" the Palestinians is rife.

Ethnic cleansing has been defined by many people as a variance of acts. Drazen Petrovic wrote, 'Ethnic Cleansing - An Attempt at Methodology' for the European Journal of International Law and defined it as "a well-defined policy of a particular group of persons to systematically eliminate another group from a given territory."

I have chosen this particular person to quote as Petrovic is used by probably the best known academic who still clings to the absurdity of the 'ethnic cleansing' claim, Ilan Pappe. Pappe is quoted extensively by all those who seek to make use of this insidious claim.

If this definition is reliable then Israel is perhaps the worst 'ethnic cleanser' in the history of man. Based on census figures and demographic trends, in 1947 there were most likely about 740,000 Palestinians living in the area formerly called Palestine. Today, the West bank, Gaza and the Arab citizens of Israel comprise a total of over five million Palestinians (including Israeli Arabs) and over nine million worldwide refer to themselves as Palestinian.

To use the popular population growth rate equation, P = Poekt, would mean that the Palestinian growth rate is well above both the average, and even close to double, that of Asia and Africa for a comparable period of time.

However, when compared with the demographic trends for the Jews of Asia and North Africa, there appears to be only one type of ethnic-cleansing in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Before 1948 there were nearly 900,000 Jews in 'Arab lands' and only 6,500 in 2001. This means that that there are more than 150 times less Jews in Arab nations than there was 60 years ago. When compared with the demographic trends for the Palestinians, there appears to be only one type of ethnic-cleansing in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In fact, according to a newly released study by former CIA and State Department Treasury official titled The Palestinian Refugee Issue: Rhetoric vs. Reality for the Jewish Political Studies Review, the value of assets lost by both refugee populations is incomparable.

Zabludoff uses data from John Measham Berncastle, who undertook the task to calculate the assets of the Palestinian refugees in the early 1950s under the aegis of the newly formed United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP). In today's figures, Zabludoff uses the US Consumer Price Index to calculate that the assets are worth $3.9 billion.

The Jewish refugees, being greater in number and more urban, had assets that total in today's prices almost double that of the Palestinian refugees.

On top of this equation one must remember that Israel returned over 90% of blocked bank accounts, safe deposit boxes and other items belonging to Palestinian refugees during the 1950s. This diminishes the UNCCP calculations further.

Whereas the proponent of Israeli ethnic cleansing can show no official command to back up their account, Jewish ethnic cleansing from Arab lands was an official state policy in many instances.

Jews were officially expelled from areas in Tunisia and Morocco. The Arab League actually released a statement urging Arab governments to facilitate the exit of Jews from Arab countries, a resolution which was carried out with a series of punitive measures and discriminatory decrees making it untenable for the Jews to stay in the countries.

According to The New York Times on May 16, 1948 a series of measures taken by the Arab League to marginalize and persecute the Jewish residents of Arab League member states. The Times article reported on a "text of a law drafted by the Political Committee of the Arab League which was intended to govern the legal status of Jewish residents of Arab League countries. It provides that beginning on an unspecified date all Jews except citizens of non-Arab states, would be considered 'members of the Jewish minority state of Palestine.' Their bank accounts would be frozen and used to finance resistance to 'Zionist ambitions in Palestine.' Jews believed to be active Zionists would be interned and their assets confiscated."

In 1951 the Iraqi Government passed legislation that made affiliation with Zionism a felony and ordered, "the expulsion of Jews who refused to sign a statement of anti-Zionism." This pushed tens of thousands of Jews to leave Iraq, while much of their property was confiscated by the state.

In 1967, the Jews of Egypt were detained and tortured, and Jewish homes were confiscated. In Libya the government "urged the Jews to leave the country temporarily", permitting them each to take one suitcase and the equivalent of $50.

Furthermore, in 1970 the Libyan government issued new laws which confiscated all the assets of Libya's Jews, issuing in their stead 15 year bonds. However, when the bonds matured no compensation was paid. Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi justified this on the grounds that "the alignment of the Jews with Israel, the Arab nations' enemy, has forfeited their right to compensation.

Although these are just a few examples of what became common throughout the Arab world where Jews lived, these measures do not even refer to the pogroms and attacks on Jews and their institutions which caused major parts of the exodus.

These facts are conveniently forgotten or not publicized for political expedience. The sad fact is that most Jews and pro-Zionists don't even know many of these facts. This leaves the way open for people like Pappe to spout their half-baked theories without any mention of the true facts of the Middle East's greatest ethnic-cleansing.

However, a few recent events are changing people's perceptions of history to include these important events. On April, 1, the US Congress adopted Resolution 185, which grants for the first-time-ever recognition to Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

The resolution text urges that the President and US officials participating in Middle East discussions to ensure that any reference to Palestinian refugees must "also include a similarly explicit reference to the resolution of the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries."

This resolution and greater recognition of the refugee issue and the ethnic-cleansing of Jews from the wider Arab world brings a clearer definition of the history to a greater number of people. This means that many won't be so easily hoodwinked into buying empty and meaningless statements about the ethnic-cleansing of the Palestinian people.

It is clear from any standard that one cannot possibly be 'ethnically-cleansing' a people from areas where they have seen growth double that of their neighboring areas. However, a people who have lost more than 150 times their number from an area over a few decades can clearly make a very strong case for being 'ethnically-cleansed'.

Extraído de:
The Jerusalem Post Bloc Central, em 06/04/2008.

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